Your bits explained
Vagina, Vulva, V-JJ, Vag, female anatomy....there are countless names for our 'lady' parts!
It is important to learn about our anatomies, to understand their structure and the bits which give us pleasure, and the bits that have jobs to do.
This page is a safe space to learn about all the bits and bobs between your legs!
Female anatomy 101
Let's not beat around the bush!
Anatomy is a fancy word for the science of the body's structure and form. It is what health professionals study to know that your nose is different from your knee, or your eyebrow from your big toe.
We start learning anatomy at a very young age. Usually through singing cute songs ("head, shoulders, knees, and toes"), baths with your siblings, or simply by being young and free and having no shame in your body.
Understanding of anatomy (and our bodies) changes when we hit puberty. You start to become more familiar with your body as "things" start to happen - pubic hair, growth spurts, periods, and more!
We aren't going to go into what puberty is or why it happens, but we are going to give you the rundown of some basic anatomy and how your cycles work so that you can be confident in your understanding.
These are the parts of the vulva, listed in order of what is at the top of the vulva, to what is at the bottom.
Mons pubis: the pad of skin over the pubic bone. This is where your pubic hair is.
Labia: the folds of skin on either side of the vulva. They protect everything sensitive inside. 'Labia' is Latin for 'lips', and some people use the word 'flaps' too. There are two sets of labia, the Labia Majora are the larger lips - the two outer folds of skin that frame the vagina. The Labia Minora are the smaller lips - the inner folds of skin. It is normal for the labia to be different lengths or uneven.
Vulva vestibule: an area that goes from the bottom of the labia minora up to just below the clitoris. It is a smooth surface that hosts the urethral and vaginal openings.
Clitoris: Tucked inside the Labia Minora, the 'clit' or 'magic button' is at the top of the vulva. For some people the clitoris is easy to find and see, and for others it is hidden under a protective hood. It can be pea-sized or thumb-sized. The clitoris is purely for pleasure! It contains many nerve endings and when aroused it can harden or poke out to be more visible.
Urethral Opening: Below the clitoris and above the vaginal opening, this is where urine comes out. Also called the pee hole.
Hymen: a layer tissue at the entrance to the vagina. It can be thin and almost non-existent, or thick and fleshier. It is very rare for the hymen to cover the entire opening on the vagina.
Vaginal opening: the entrance to the vagina. It can be penetrated by a number of things including fingers, tongues, penises, diaphragms, tampons, menstrual cups and sex toys. Babies exit the body and are birthed out of the vaginal opening, after growing in the uterus.
Did you know that every vulva is unique?
Like your fingerprints, your vulva is unique to you!
Different shapes, sizes, lengths, hairiness and colours are all the norm in the world of vulva!
If you don't believe us here at Luna Health, have a look at the following websites:
Or for some truly artistic illustrations and to join the celebration of vulva diversity, head on over to the.vulva.gallery on Instagram.
Grab a mirror and check your own vulva out.
Admire your natural look, form and shape.
Remember to use affirmations - only positive body love here!
labelled diagram of a vagina
- to purchase
These are the parts of the vagina, listed in order from the vaginal opening upwards to deeper inside of the body.
Vaginal canal: this is the passage from the vaginal opening up to the cervix.
G-Spot: about half-way up the vagina canal, this is a fleshy bit of tissue full of nerve endings. Like the clitoris, this is also called a 'magic button'! It can be tricky to find, but when you are aroused it can swell, feel bumpy or harden. To try and find it, put your index or middle fingers inside your vagina and slide them up, angling towards your bellybutton. Try and feel for roughly a coin-sized piece of tissue that feels different to the rest of your vagina walls. Stimulate the area with a 'come here' finger motion to see if you feel any changes or sensations! You might feel lots, nothing, or not much at all. Everyone is different!
Cervix: at the top of the vaginal canal, this is a neck of tissue that connects to the uterus. The cervix widens to let a baby come through and be born.
Inside the pelvis
Ovaries: glands on each side of the uterus that produce hormones as part of the menstrual cycle by communicating with hormonal centres in your brain (pretty cool!). They are also where eggs come from that are released and picked up by the fallopian tubes to transport to the uterus
Fallopian Tubes: two tubes on either side of the uterus that loop around and are open near the ovaries. They have little fingers (fimbriae) on the end that help to pick up the eggs released by the ovaries and can even pick up eggs from the other side (how cool!). A major role is them transporting the eggs to the uterus.
If there has been no unprotected intercourse, the egg will die, and a menstrual cycle will begin
If there has been unprotected intercourse, the egg and sperm meet in the tubes and are transported to the uterus to try and make a pregnancy
Uterus: above the cervix and is also called a womb. This is where periods come from: the lining of the womb builds up throughout the cycle
A period will occur if the egg has not been fertilised by the sperm (no pregnancy)
If an egg is successfully fertilised and pregnancy occurs, then the uterus hosts the pregnancy and grows with the baby throughout the 9 months of pregnancy (this can be up to the ribcage!!!)
The "menstrual cycle" is more than a period. It is a fancy name for your body's pattern of when you have a period. Periods are the visible end product of conversations between your brain, ovaries, and uterus.
Their way of communication = hormones (chemical signals via blood).
How does my cycle work?
The first half of the cycle:
Your period (starts on day 1) - is the shedding of the endometrium (lining of the uterus)
Once complete, your body then focuses on growing the endometrium (lining of the uterus)
Ovaries "recruit" an egg
The second part of the cycle:
The egg is released from the ovary (ovulation)
The uterus is primed to accept a possible pregnancy
If a pregnancy does not occur, then your body will start your next cycle (day one of your next period)
AND thus the cycle continues... If you are wanting to read more, click here to be taken to Clue's run-down of the menstrual cycle.
Periods can be an annoying part of being a woman, but what's cool is that these sneaky wee monthlies are the reason women can get pregnant.
Why do we bleed?
We bleed when no pregnancy happens after ovulation. This is where the lining of the uterus sheds (in response to those hormone conversations), leading to a monthly bleed.
What is a normal period?
Periods are different for every woman. They also vary in different parts of your life. Periods can be particularly unpleasant (we are talking: heavy, painful, or irregular) at menarche (when your periods start), and at menopause (when your periods stop). These times are when your body is working out what to do with the hormonal changes occurring. Usually, in the middle (reproductive years), your body falls into a reliable pattern.
Normal cycle lengths can range from 21 - 40 days, with the average being 28 days (one period per month). Women can also bleed for differing lengths, usually between 2-7 days.
It is important to know that if your bleeding is affecting your quality of life, you should seek medical attention. You are not alone - there are plenty of things doctors can do to help!
If you've ever watched the TV show 'Friends', you may remember this scene when Monica explains the 7 Erogenous Zones for their friend Chandler (Season 4, Episode 11; The One With Pheobe's Uterus).
Monica and Rachel aren't wrong, these zones are powerful places of pleasure!
The erogenous zones are:
Stimulating (caressing, fondling, stroking, touching, gently blowing on, nibbling, licking, playing with) these areas on your own body or on someone else's body is a fantastic way to give and receive pleasure, and to learn about the types of pleasure unique to every individual! Remember to always, always, always give and receive consent, to listen/look out for reactions to the stimulation, and adjust as necessary to respect everyone involved!