WARNING: This site features very frank discussion and occasionally explicit images of medical conditions.
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Embarrassing Bodies: The..., 12:10am Thursday 25th August 2016 on More 4. Catch up for free on All 4 »

Video

Anthony Quinlan: Mott

Boy 1: Naughty, i’ve heard it called –

Boy 2: Really?

Boy 1: The lady’s naughty.

Anthony Quinlan: Poonanie

Hollie Jay-Bowes: I think my friend’s called hers Rachel.

Kent Riley: Pink velvet sausage wallet

********

Dr Dawn: If you don’t use the word vagina, you almost certainly don’t talk about your vulva.

The vulva is all the bits you can see on the outside of a woman’s genitalia: the area covered by pubic hair, the outer and inner lips surrounding the vaginal opening called the labia majora and minora, the clitoris and the opening of the urethra which is where we wee through;

And just as no two penises are the same, no two vulvas are the same.

Some are wrinkly and some are smooth. Some pink, some brown. Some girls have large labia, others small.

And the only way you’ll come to know what’s normal for you is if you regularly look and feel.

*******

Girl 1: I think what worries a girl most about it is like you don’t normally talk about stuff like that and it’s embarrassing to ask someone like their parents or their friends

Girl 2: I think if people did talk more about it they would not worry half as much because they would realise everyone’s different and everything’s never the same.

*******

On this website there’s a video showing you how to check your vulva.

Hundreds of thousands of people have watched it and women, from their teens up to their fifties and older, have left comments and questions.

With vaginas a big concern is size. Girls who experience pain during sex; or have difficulty inserting a tampon, commonly worry that their vagina is too small.

But it won’t be. When we get nervous we tense up. And this will make the vagina tighten.

The more relaxed you are the more comfortable inserting a tampon or having sex will be.

The vagina is the passage that connects the woman’s internal reproductive organs to the outside world.

When a man and a woman have sex – it’s where the penis enters. And when a woman has a baby the vagina expands so the baby can be born.

Another common worry is that discharge means your vagina’s dirty. It’s actually the opposite.

Discharge is your vagina’s way of keeping itself clean, free from infection and lubricated.

If your vagina is dry, you could try using lubricant or vaginal pessary available from chemists to make the vagina more comfortable during sex or masturbation.

And yes I did say the ‘M’ word.

Masturbation is not just for boys !

To keep your vagina and vulva healthy…

Wear cotton underwear, it will keep you cool and dry ñ bacteria thrives in damp, warm environments!

Go knicker-free at night.

Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes, swimsuits or gym kit for prolonged periods

Don’t use perfumed soaps, gels, talcs or bubble baths as these can irritate the vagina.

If you get an infection take the medication as directed and complete the treatment even if you think the infection’s gone.

Avoid sex until an infection has cleared.

After going to the loo always wipe from front to back.

And ALWAYS practise safe sex.

If you do notice any changes, unusual lumps, bumps, spots or sores.

Or if your discharge differs in consistency, colour or smell from your norm – make an appointment to see your doctor.

It could be something as simple as thrush or bacterial vaginosis but it needs checking out especially if you have had unprotected sex.

On this site you’ll find a self-checker for STI’s with information about symptoms for all kinds of infections.

Don’t be embarrassed – your doctor will have seen thousands of Vulvas and vaginas. It really is all in a day’s work for us

Read the video transcript

Am I Normal: Vagina

Dr Dawn Harper discusses what is normal when it comes to vaginas, looking at everything from discharge and childbirth, to the normal variations in vulval appearance. The video also includes discussions with teenagers from around the country and the cast of Hollyoaks.

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Explore Am I Normal? >

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If you think your child may be going through early puberty, check our guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

With thanks to:
Hollyoaks
University of Birmingham Hockey Club
Llanelli Youth Theatre
Tetbury Hospital

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Comments and Questions

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I don't know but my outer lips of my vagina it's like coming out. Does it mean that im not a virgin beacuse it makes my vagina look like it had been touches before i reaaly don't know what does it meann And im 15 and virginggg of courseee





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Hi, I'm 21 and I've noticed recently (past couple of months) that the opening to my vagina has become quite swollen and puffy, like a light circle around the hole. It doesn't hurt or anything but I know it didn't used to be like that. Is there anyone who knows what it could be? Im a little worried something is wrong! Many thanks.





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Hi I'm 16 I find it really hard and painful to get fingered and my boyfriend has tried multiple times and I can't stop tensing up. I'm ready for sex but how can I when I can hardly get fingered





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I'm really sorry that you've been experiencing this - it sounds very unpleasant. It seems like you may have vaginismus. It's a condition that you can learn to overcome. Your doctor can help you with this.

Hey, around the bottom of my vagina it is red, sour and itchy. Also a layer of skin is missing as I've been scratching. I don't know what it is or what to do. Someone help please.





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Hello I have had this before and I would advice to go to the doctor as it can be something serious however when I had these symptoms I had thrush Hope this helps

Hello, I'm 14 years old. Is it OK to be looking at your vagina in the mirror? Im not undergoing any sexual activity, I'm just looking because I'm interested in how it looks, is that OK? And also my clit is very large in size and I feel quite embaressed about it. Is it OK to have a larger clit?





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That's a very healthy thing to do. Not only is it natural to be curious, but self-examinations can help to identify potential medical problems before they become serious. Everyone's genitals are unique, and it's very normal to have a larger clit. Don't worry about a thing - everything you've mentioned is perfectly normal.

hi I m 23, never have any sex...yesterday after cleaning from my periods I have pain because of high white flow...there I noticed a flesh come out from vaginal opening..it is whitish in colour and feels hard tissue while touching...though it is not causing any pain but I m worried about it...is it normal???





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Hey,I'm 15, Virgin and if I put my fingers in my vagina I can feel a small bubble like lump on the right next to my cervix, it's not painful and I can kind of push it back into my vaginal wall but not fully as it's like a grape sized balloon. I'm quite worried about it and haven't got a clue what it is or if it will naturally go





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im 15 and a virgin and im super insecure about my vagina, specifically my inner labia and clitorious which i feel are much bigger than they should be . when i look in the mirror standing up , my inner labia come out farther than my outer labia. is this normal? will guys judge me for having a "meaty vagina" . its lowering my self esteem and wanna know if theres any way to reduce the size of them besides surgery





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Please...you're totally normal. Many guys LIKE large labia - me being one of them! Please don't feel self conscious - the sexiest thing is when someone is comfortable with themselves. Vulvas come in all shapes and sizes, and unless it's causing you discomfort, surgery is best avoided IMO. You are natural and beautiful as you are. If anyone judges you, they're not worthy of sharing your body with. Let's face it, the penis isn't exactly a work of beauty - are you going to judge a guy 'cos he bends a bit left or something? Not to mention that initially at least, most guys' experience is going to be from porn - they're not going to have a lot to compare to!

Hhi am 23, never had sex, except oral but am not sure if that means am sexually active???? cause i think i might have an infection which am not sure of, but with a yellowish heavy cottage cheesy discharge, itching, sore and burns when urinating.





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Sounds like a yeast infection. They go away by themselves over time, but if it's causing excess irritation there are OTC creams and things you can get for it. If it doesn't clear up within a few weeks it would probably be wise to consult a doctor.

2 days ago i had sex with my girlfriend and now she told me that there are few drops of blood coming out from her vagina.what should i do??





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Normal.


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