BY CASEY GUEREN
You probably already know your vagina is seriously impressive. This amazing body part can bring about intense pleasure, annoying pain, and even another tiny human being. In short, it’s pretty awe-inspiring. That’s why we think it’s crucial to stay on top of everything going on below the belt. Need a primer? Read on for all the fascinating facts:
It can handle a pretty intense workout. “The muscular tone of the vagina is so strong,” says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., co-author of V is For Vagina. On a related note, kegels are seriously effective at strengthening the surrounding pelvic floor muscles for more intense orgasms. Could there be any better reason to exercise?
Your diet may affect how things smell down there. While there hasn’t been much research on the topic, anecdotal evidence suggests that your scent can vary during ovulation and even when you eat something pungent like garlic, says Dweck.
The clitoris has more nerve endings than anywhere else on the body, says Dweck. No wonder it’s like the control center of your orgasm!
Your vagina actually expands during sex. Ever wonder how it can seem pretty shallow when you’re putting in a tampon but can also accommodate even a well-endowed guy? It’s called vaginal tenting, says Dweck, and it’s when the inner two-thirds of your vagina increase in length and width when you’re aroused. Seriously, vagina, you never fail to impress us.
Not all lady parts are created equal—in fact, some clitorises may be a little closer to or farther from the vaginal opening. A brand-new study found that women whose clitorises were farther away from the vaginal opening were more likely to have trouble orgasming (probably due to decreased stimulation).
It tells you when it’s baby-making time. “It’s incredibly cool that your vagina will let you know when it’s the optimal time to get pregnant,” says Dweck. “The cervical mucus during ovulation is clear, rubbery, and stretchy.” If you’re not taking oral contraceptives (which interfere with this process), watch out for this pretty cool sign from below.
It allows for so many different types of pleasure. All those pleasure-packed areas in the vagina mean you can havefour different kinds of orgasms (clitoral, vaginal, blended, and multiple). Correct us if we’re wrong, but can’t guys only have one kind of orgasm? Yeah, thought so!
One word: childbirth. “It’s an unbelievable fact that the vagina can allow a 10-plus-pound baby to come through it and still come back to a normal size,” says Dweck. The healing process generally takes about six months post-baby, but that’s still pretty impressive considering what the body part went through.
There’s no such thing as a “normal” vagina. From the vulva to the labia, they come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t fret about being perfect below the belt.
Your hoo-ha is so self-sufficient, it even cleans itself.In fact, many intravaginal products and washes can increase your risk of bacterial and yeast infections by throwing your pH levels out of whack. So stick to regular soap and water, and let your lady parts do their own thing. There are probably more bacteria in your mouth than in your vagina, says Dweck.