They both start and end with the same letter, are in the same general region of the body, and are often confused—so what exactly is the difference between them? While many people mistakenly use the words interchangeably, the vulva refers to the outside parts of the genital area that you can see. The vagina, on the other handis the canal-like structure on the inside of the body.
That issue? For lack of a suitable euphemism, how pussy feels. I mean, how would most straight women know one way or the other?
Many of us don't tend to intensely inspect the anatomy of anyone else's much we've not got it all hanging out, like menwhich is how so many women end up with a complex over whether theirs is 'normal'. Carrying out regular procedures on women as his day job means he's seen his fair share of vulvas - so he was able to pin-point seven key 'types' of labia. But just in case you're not proficient in vag-talk, we thought we'd clarify what's what.
Vaginas — or more accurately, vulvas, and all their components — come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. They even have different smells. And unless your normal involves pain or discomforteverything is likely fine.
One of the most consistent corrections HuffPost Women gets comes any time one of our writers uses the word "vagina" to refer to a woman's entire genital area, as opposed to the more anatomically accurate "vulva. Look, we get it. There is a difference between the vagina and the vulva and indeedy, loyal readers, we know what it is.
Back to Sexual health. Vaginas are designed to help us have and enjoy sex, have periods and have babies. But what's normal and what's not?
When was the last time you looked at your vulva? Like, really looked at it? Real talk, looking at yourself while squatting over a mirror can feel weird.
It can help with body image anxiety. Now, her latest work puts vulvas and vaginas in the spotlight thanks to her new book Womanhood: The Bare Reality and forthcoming Channel 4 documentary: Vaginas. And when women share intimate photos and deeply personal experiences relating to their vaginas, the result is a tender yet taboo-exploding message of women reclaiming their womanhood. I think a part of me was shying away from that intimacy because I would have to address my own related experiences.
What exactly IS a vagina? It's a surprisingly commong question, and one a good old vagina diagram can sure help out. You might think you've got it all down pat down there, but we use a lot of code words to talk about it, and we use the technical word itself in the wrong way — after all, it's not entirely accurate to call the extended network between your legs just the "vagina.