Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Where is my vagina? And what is a Vulva? Anatomy 101

If you were like me, in high school during health class I was present but not really mentally present during anatomy. It was not until I started my journey into pelvic health that I really got the chance to go through the proper anatomy and terms. Unless you are somehow involved in health sciences, which most people aren’t, you don’t really get any exposure to proper anatomy of the pelvic region. So for this blog post, I want to focus in on female external genitalia.

During my in clinic therapy sessions, I show ladies the pelvic model so they know what areas I will be assessing and they will sometimes ask questions about where things are located or, will say I didn’t know that was located there. It is always an educational learning moment and really helps women connect with, “down there.”  But this blog isn’t just for women, men have misconceptions about female anatomy too. They don’t really know the terms and locations either.

The anatomy we will cover includes: the vulva, mons pubis, clitoris, clitoral hood, clitoral head, labia majora, labia minora, vestibule, vaginal opening, urethra and anus.

For those whom prefer to read we will go over the anatomy here but if you are a visual learner, please see the video. Ok, let’s start at the belly button. If you go straight down you will reach your hard pubic bone. This is where the mons pubis is located. This is the area where pubic hair tends to be most dense. From there when you go straight down, you will see a split in the tissue that represents the labia majora (the outer lips).

At the top in the middle of the labia majora is the clitoral hood which I associate as a “bridge” that when you pull the skin back reveals the clitoral head. For some ladies the clitoral head may be an oval bulb or will look more like a triangle of tissue. Underneath the clitoris is another split of tissue representing the labia minora (inner lips).

When you spread the lips open, this reveals the vestibule. At the top of the vestibule is a small hole where the urine comes out, called the urethra. The larger hole below is the vaginal opening. The entire area I just described is called the vulva, not the vagina. The Vulva is made up of the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, urethra, vestibule and vaginal opening. So everything you see on the outside is called the vulva. Lastly below the vulva area is the anus or external anal sphincter. The vagina, is not actually visible because it is inside, you can only see the vaginal opening. The vagina is the tunnel that leads to the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus.

For a visual instruction of anatomy described above, please see the video. I also address the question, you may have asked yourself at some point, which is, "does mine look normal?" DISCLAIMER. The video is a non-graphic whiteboard illustration of female anatomy.



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Thank you,

The Pelvic Health Lady

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