Body Is my vagina nor­mal?

Yes, we know it’s a glo­ri­ous work of na­ture, but we all have ques­tions!

Glamour (South Africa) - - All About You -

Alit­tle porn view­ing can lead to a lot of ques­tions. Not just the “How did they defy grav­ity to do that?” kind, but also ques­tions about lady parts: does ev­ery­one have per­fect pink ones like those on screen? Why are their labia so small? And what ex­actly is nor­mal?

“With the rise of porn, I’ve seen women re­ally ask­ing and com­par­ing,” re­veals ob-gyn Dr Katharine O’con­nell White. But porn is not re­al­ity, and those women are waxed, plucked and of­ten sur­gi­cally al­tered, which can make the rest of us start to ques­tion what we have go­ing on down­stairs.

What’s more, the move to­wards re­mov­ing all pu­bic hair has made women more aware of what their body looks like, and how it dif­fers from other women’s, ex­plains ob-gyn and sex­ual health spe­cial­ist Dr Leah Mill­heiser.

( Worth men­tion­ing: Dr White says that most of the con­cerns she hears are from het­ero­sex­ual women.)

So, we’ll give you some in­sight into la­dy­town.

First up, the labia

Here’s an anatomy re­fresher: there’s the ma­jora (the larger outer lips) and the mi­nora (the in­ner area con­nected to your cli­toris – you know what this is!). The labia mi­nora, es­pe­cially, are the source of many ques­tions: doc­tors we spoke to re­ported that women worry that their in­ner labia are too long, too short, too lumpy or too lop­sided.

Says Ni­cole, 22, “When I was about 15, two friends and I com­pared. Ever since then I’ve won­dered if some­thing is wrong with me, be­cause mine are bumpy and stick out.”

Ob-gyn Dr Kath­leen Va­len­ton ex­plains that these bumps and ridges in the labia form nat­u­rally, and they can and do look like broc­coli – so there’s noth­ing weird there. “All of this is nor­mal and healthy,” as­sures Dr Va­len­ton.

Asym­me­try is also stan­dard for any body part that comes in twos (see: your al­most-def­i­nitely-not­the-same-sized boobs).

As for length, short and long are both com­mon. The only time you should worry is if your labia cause you any pain, es­pe­cially if they are get­ting pulled into your vagina dur­ing sex. This is prob­a­bly the only sce­nario, Dr Mill­heiser says, that would jus­tify labi­aplasty, a sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure that short­ens or re­shapes the lips. “That’s a func­tional is­sue, not a cos­metic one.”

Next, the cli­toris

Big­ger doesn’t al­ways mean bet­ter (though it might make the spot a lit­tle eas­ier for your part­ner to find).

One caveat, says Dr Mill­heiser: if your cli­toris is pro­trud­ing past your labia when you’re not aroused, it could be a sign of ex­cess testos­terone, which in rare cases can be a sign of an un­der­ly­ing ovar­ian mass that could be can­cer­ous.

Check with your doc­tor if you’re con­cerned, but oth­er­wise, ex­perts say, all shapes and sizes lead to the same good time.

Fi­nally, the mons

Naked­ness and tight yoga leg­gings alike, docs say, cause women to worry about their mons pu­bis, the fleshy mound above your vulva. Some even turn to mon­splasty, a sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure used to re­duce it.

Its size of­ten fluc­tu­ates as you gain or lose weight, but there’s no point in stress­ing out about it. If you’re a healthy weight over­all, there are no health risks here. “As long as your lady parts feel good and are work­ing for you,” says Dr White, “con­grats – they’re as nor­mal as they come.”

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