Is My Vagina Normal?

As a woman, I’m sure we have all asked, at one point or another, “Is my vagina normal? I’ve never seen a real vulva other than my own!”. It is a question that we are too scared to ask, and for some, it weighs heavy on our minds.

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Vagina or vulva?

When you ask this question, it is most likely that you are referring to the external visible part of the female genitals, formally known as the “vulva”. This includes the labia (the folds of skin, or “lips”), the clitoris, the pubic mound, and the urethral and vaginal openings. The plural form of vulva is “vulvae” or “vulvas”.

As a doctor, I have been exposed to the wide range of female anatomy. I have seen everything from large clitorises, to large asymmetrical inner labia, to vulvas with almost no inner labia or visible clitoris at all. Here’s the good news: they are all normal!

Unfortunately, women at home haven’t been exposed to what other women’s vulvas look like in the real world. We don’t know what is normal. We can only compare ourselves to the media or pornography – which is not representative of the population at all! This may lead us to feel inadequate or or embarrassed about our bodies.

Do I need surgery?

Sometimes we can get so concerned about the way our vulvas look that we consider going for surgery to try and make them look a certain way. Usually it is for a reduction in the size of the inner labia. This type of surgery is known as labiaplasty.

I’m all about feeling comfortable in your own skin, so if you feel that that is what you need in order to have more self-confidence, go for it. Do it for you, but not for anyone else. Just do it with the knowledge that you are perfectly normal, perfectly beautiful, just the way you are.

What do real vulvas look like?

Real vulvas come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. The Vulva Gallery is a fantastic resource for women curious about their anatomy and wondering what other people with vulvas look like “down there” without having to resort to the awkward change room glance. It is a place of radical self-acceptance.

Hilde is actually having a Kickstarter campaign to publish their book currently. Please consider supporting!

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There is no such thing as “normal”

Your vulva is unique, just like every other part of you – and that’s a good thing!  As long as your vulva isn’t causing you physical discomfort, it is most likely just fine.

There are many factors that can change the way your labia looks and smells, and most are completely normal and healthy.

I know that it may be difficult to believe a few words when it feels like society is giving you a completely different message. But that is why I want to show you!

For now, I would like you to go check out The Vulva Gallery on Instagram, have a look at all the beautiful artwork based on real women’s vulvas. Find a few that look similar to your own and admire the diversity.

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It’s homework time!

I have some homework for you this week. Go to your bedroom or bathroom, or wherever you can get some privacy. Take a handheld mirror with you, get some good lighting and start exploring your vulva. What does it look like? What colour is it? How do the lips curve? Can you find your clitoris? Some of you may have never done this before. Take it slow and empower yourself.

Other resources: Labia Library

Much love,

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Dr Megan Martin

Medical Doctor with an Interest in Sexual Health. Aspiring Sexual Health Physician and Sexologist with a Specific Interest in Women’s Sexual Well-being

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  1. Dr Megan Martin - 16th Dec 2018 Reply

    Hi Mellisa, thank you so much for your kind words! I designed this website myself on WordPress, using the Cactus theme. I hope that helps!

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