The vagina is one of the internal sexual organs and is part of the Female Reproductive System of mammals.
It consists of a muscular canal, about 8 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter, that connects the vulva to the uterus.
The other female internal genital organs, in addition to the vagina, are: ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus.
What are the functions of the vagina?
The vagina is very elastic and contractile, which allows it to expand. This feature allows the vagina to perform the following functions:
- Birth canal, where the baby leaves;
- Place where the penis penetrates during sexual intercourse;
- It allows the passage of blood during menstruation.
It is through the vagina channel that sperm travel their way until they reach the egg, and consequently fertilization occurs . See also: Penis
Anatomy of the vagina
The opening of the vagina is protected by the labia majora and the vulva. The vulva is part of the external organs of the female genitalia.
The vagina is full of nerve endings, which allows the sensation of pleasure during sexual intercourse.
The parts of the vagina are:
- Clitoris : female sexual organ related to the woman’s sexual term.
- Hymen : membrane located at the entrance to the vagina. Most of the time, the hymen is broken during the first sexual intercourse.
- Vaginal wall : the vagina is formed by two walls, which have three layers: the mucosa, the muscle and the adventitia.
- Bartholin’s glands : located on both sides of the vaginal walls, they are responsible for secreting a clear, viscous and lubricating liquid, important at the time of sexual intercourse.
- Cervix or cervix : located at the bottom of the vagina, it represents the lower portion of the uterus and where its opening is located.
- The vagina can expand up to 200% during sexual arousal and childbirth. The elasticity of the vagina is lost with age.
- The shape of the vulva varies from woman to woman.
- The vagina has natural mechanisms to keep itself clean.
- Over-cleaning the female genitalia can make her more vulnerable to infections.