The vagina is vital part of a woman’s body and is impertinent for human reproduction and plays a major role in sexual satisfaction.
However there is a lot more to the vagina than many of us realize. The word itself derives from the latin word for "sheath" or "scabbard"?
While many would like to think they know exactly what's going on down there, there are a women are actually fairly unfamiliar with their private parts.
A new research claims that 41 per cent of women have never even checked their vagina, yet almost half of women surveyed were concerned about their intimate health.
Here’s 7 things you need to know about your vagina.
Vaginas come in varying sizes: All vaginas are different shapes, sizes and colours - there's no such thing as normal. Women should feel comfortable with their intimate area, no matter what it looks like.
Discharge is healthy: Discharge is actually the vaginas way of keeping itself clean. Glands in the vagina produce normal secretion including discharge, which helps to cleanse the vagina, get rid of bad bacteria and any dead cells; it provides natural lubrication.
You don’t need to clean there: You actually don't need to over clean down there because it does it all by itself. Also, perfumes and scented soaps on and around the vagina can be very irritating. Women should wash their intimate area with either water or an unperfumed, specialist wash such which helps maintain a natural pH and supports a healthy balance of microflora.
Sex shouldn't hurt: While there are times that a woman may experience pain during sex, but, if it's happening all the time it's not normal. Sex shouldn’t hurt – but it may hurt for a variety of reasons, including dryness caused by the menopause or oral contraceptives, or infection, such as thrush or STIs.
Thrush happens: Most women experience thrush at some point in their life. It is a common yeast infection that can be uncomfortable and itchy but is usually relatively easy to treat. According to experts 75 per cent of women will experience thrush in their lifetime and it is likely that 50 per cent will get it again at some point in their lives.
Smell down there: A slight smell down there is totally normal, but it shouldn't be off-putting. And if it comes with unusual discharge you should speak to a doctor because you may have an infection.
It bounces back: Rumours say that too much sex may loosen the vagina. That is not true. Despite various myths, sexual intercourse will not loosen the vagina. As for childbirth, for young women (late teens and twenties) who give birth, there may be some looseness in the first few months straight after delivery, but things should return normal within six months. However, giving birth many times can make the elastin less likely to recover. Likewise, ageing causes the elastic quality of the vagina to become less efficient.