WARNING: This site features very frank discussion and occasionally explicit images of medical conditions.
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Embarrassing Bodies, 11:10pm Monday 25th August 2014 on More 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.

Hi just want to know if it is normal that something blocking flesh on my private zone.hope this is not a cyst.





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Have you found out what it is? I have this too and I was so scared that I was the Only one!

So I'm really worried that my vagina's not normal as inside/at the opening of it there's like this fleshy lump and you cant see pAst it so there's like no whole basically. Is there something seriouSly wrong with me?





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I'm 15 and I have a really long labia and I'm scared to let any guy near there Im so scared they will judge me because it's kinda hangs down and is really wrinkly and pinky purple in colour I feel like I'm not normal please help me :(





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i have the same problem but my boyfriend doesnt have a problem with it, guys dont care what it looks like i promise

I'm 14 & I'm exactly the same! Please don't worry, it's normal to have large labia. They come in all shapes and sizes. I used to feel insecure about it and I still do but I've been told by guys that they really don't care that much. P*rnography portrays the image of a 'perfect' vagina, but the fact is that p*rn actors get surgery (labiaplasty) for it so please don't think it's not normal. When you're with a guy for the first time you should mention that you're a little insecure about the way it looks and if he's a good guy he'll be nice to you about it.

Hi, I had sex for the first time not long ago and my boyfriend said that he could feel my cervix ( the muscle like ring) inside my Vagina! Im scared that I have something wrong with me, is this normal?? Or is it just the way I am??





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I have been intimate with a boy but have not had sex but when I shaved down there it was really itchy and these big lumps formed and you can squeeze them and stuff comes out , it's disgusting and I'm worried . I have to stress that the boy I was with was also a virgin and had never done anything like this .





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That's completely normal if its on the outside of the vulva where your pubic hair grows, if its on the inner part I would get it checked out. but by the sounds of it, its just a shaving rash. What often happens, not so much on your legs or anywhere else, is that the bacteria can get down to where the hair follicle is and an infection can then begin and then turns into a pimple. The hair can also become ingrown causing and infection as well, but they usually go hand in hand. I'm not sure if you noticed but sometimes a little bit of hair comes out with the pus.

I've never had sex but whenever I shave my vagina it leaves me with these horrible red spots all over and it's really itchy sometimes you can squeeze them it's really embarrassing and it really puts me down and makes me uncomfortable





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It's just a shaving rash, don't worry about it. Perhaps try giving shaving a break for a while as it can lead to ingrown hairs which is probably part of what you're experiencing.

There's a part right outside the opening that used to be like a lining around the edges. It's torn in several places, but it doesn't bleed and it doesn't heal. It's in pieces though. What is wrong with me?





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It's your hymen! It tears when you have sex (or penetration) and shouldn't be anything to worry about.

I am 16 and my lebria seems to be really big and i get brown bits on it





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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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Omg this is exactly the same as me, please tell me if you find out anything!;)

Honestly don't worry - I have the same thing! Don't be embarrassed because no one cares about it! my boyfriend doesn't care at all - no guys do to be frank. The discharge is a way of cleaning itself but you could have a minor infection so I would just talk to your doctor about it Xox

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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you probably got an infection don't be scared tell you mother it's completely normal and every girl has many infections in their lives even virgins consult your doctor and they will give you topical and systemic drugs according to the type of your infection you will be fine in no time

Hi, same happens with me at times and this is really annoying i know. well this is normal in some cases. Normally after periods it causes Itchingness and can cause your vagina to swell and it gets okay by the time. But yiu should go and consult your docter because it might be a yeast infection but dont worry try keeping that area clean and dry and don't wear tight jeans. Wear something througj which air can pass and yes eat yogurt this really helps.





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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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