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? Find out how vaginas can be different. Yours is unique. Some of a woman's sexual organs are inside the body, such as the womb, ovaries and vagina, and some are outside. The external organs are known as the vulva. This includes the opening of the vagina, the inner and outer lips labia and the clitoris, which is located at the top of the vagina. The vagina is a tube about 8cm 3in long, which leads from the cervix the neck of the womb down to the vulva, where it opens between the legs.
The vagina is very elastic, so it can easily stretch around a man's penis or around a baby during labour. The important thing is that the vagina functions normally. Pelvic floor exercises can help keep your vagina in shape. Some women worry about the size of their labia the lips outside the vagina , but there isn't usually any cause for concern. Labia vary from woman to woman, so don't judge yours by anyone else's standards. A healthy vagina shouldn't be itchy. They need to see the vulva, perineum [between the vagina and anus] and the vagina directly.
Female genital mutilation FGM is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there is no medical reason for this to be done.
It is illegal in the UK, and is child abuse. FGM is very painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.
FGM is also known as "female circumcision", or "cutting", and by other terms like sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan. It is carried out for various cultural, religious and social reasons within some families and communities. It is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. In some cases, girls and women may not remember having the FGM at all, especially if it was performed when they were a baby.
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