WARNING: This site features very frank discussion and occasionally explicit images of medical conditions.
Parental guidance is recommended.

Embarrassing Bodies, 11:05pm Monday 28th July 2014 on Channel 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

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.

If you’d prefer to watch this video on your mobile, then download our specially produced version for your mobile phone from the Channel 4 Mobile site.

Just text Normal to 84444

Texts and data are charged at your standard network rate.
Terms and Conditions at channel4.com/mobile

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 am 14 years old and have a really long clitoris flap. It's really embarrassing and I'm not sure if it's normal. Is there a way to fix this? Also, I get discharge everyday, when it's only meant to be before and after periods. I'm worried if I've got an infection or disease :/





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My vagina was itchy so I went to the bathroom to take a bath and the flappy part on the inside is like swollen and has like a huge knot like thing in the middle of it... It's really red and itchy and when I try to walk it rubs against my legs. In just wearing loose shorts now. But does anyone know what this is or what I should do I am really scared and I don't wanna talk to my mom about it.





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How to get rid of vaginal discharge?





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I'm 16 nd I'm embarrassed cause my labia minora's are very stretched out for some reason. I am a virgin nd don't want to go to my Gp or stepmum. Can I get surgery or somethin to make them smaller? Please help. Thanks





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I have a large fatty area where my 'triangle' pubic area is and no matter what j do I can't get rid of it. It's like a large bulge that won't go away





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I am 18, ive never had sex or anything. However i do get these kind of spots or lumps on my vagina, sometimes big and sometimes small. They become very ichy and uncomfortable so i squeeze them sometimes and these fluid or liquid stuff come out. Its not the most pleasant. Ive had it for quite a long time now but im embarassed to check it with my GP. So please help, am i normal?





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Im an 18 year old lesbian and I can't have sex. Everytime my partner and I try to have sex I end up in physical pain and my legs shake and spasm. I get a burning sensation as soon as the entrance to my vagina is touched and I'm too embarrassed to see my doctor. Its red and swollen and very sore for a while after an attempt at sex. The whole area in general doesn't give me pleasure. Please help, is there something wrong with me?





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hi, i got a few lumps on my vagina,they are soft and normal colour, i have never had sex or contact with anyone. i just wont to know if its normal, i will not go to a doctor due to having issues about being touched specially in my privet areas. i be greateful if someone can say its normal.. thanks





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I'm a 14 year old virgin and I'm really self concious about my vagina because my flaps are really big. Whenever I wear a swimsuit or something like that, there's like a lump and it makes it look big. Is this normal?





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Hey!, I'm a 14 year old virgin too, and I have the exact same problem me and my ex-boyfriend did become intimate and he never said anything so I assume it's perfectly normal, girl rock your body!

Hey.. I'm 18 and almost 2 months ago I had a UTI. After that my clitoris went pinkish and then some white thin skin covered it. I have no pain or itching there. But is it normal? The whiteness comes and goes. Please help





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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