Body Is my vagina normal?
Yes, we know it’s a glorious work of nature, but we all have questions!
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.”