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

Embarrassing Bodies: Back to..., 1:05am Monday 8th February 2016 on Channel 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.

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

Explore Am I Normal? >

Am I Normal?: Sex And Relationships >
Am I Normal?: Mental Health >
Am I Normal?: Drugs And Alcohol >

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

Did you find this useful? YesYes NoNo

3332 of 3856 people said they found this useful

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
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.

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





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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??





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Normal.

Is it normal to have hair on the outer lips and little fine hairs around the anus? I'm 18 and I've never waxed or shaved before. I just trim it every now and then. I'm not very fond of he idea of shaving, and waxing hurts. That's why I've never done anything down there. Also, I'm a virgin.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Do u have black hair

Hi I'm 13, I'm not planning on having sex anytime soon , but my inner lips hang way lower than they should and I feel like it dosent look normal at all , I want to go to the doctors to have it trimmed but I'm sacred what it might look like and if it will look worse . Help





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hey, I am 16 and a virgin. I have this lump on the opening of my vagina it's pretty bjg and stretches to the inside. My sister had a look and said the part that goes into my vagina is a slight grey colour. I don't have trouble peeing but I can't wear tampons because it hurts too much. Please help!!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My 10 year old daughter has been complaining recently about her labia minora hanging down very low. She says it is uncomfortable to sit or play because she has to fold it back up. Being her father I have not seen this but she describes it to be hanging down 2-3 inches and only on one side. She started her period at 10yr 3 months and is in the midst of a rapid growth spurt. I assured her that it was nothing to worry about but just the uncomfortableness brings her down and I worry about how this will effect her self esteem later on. I took her to the Dr who confirmed this and referred us to a plastic surgeon but is this really a smart choice for a 10 year old girl? I'm just not sure what else to do.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Maybe sit your daughter down and talk to her about it, see what she wants. Talk over the pros and cons of having the surgery. If it is very uncomfortable and painful, I would consider the surgery. I know it sounds scary but in the long run it can benefit her. Just make sure that she knows her vagina is completely normal and is nothing to be ashamed of!

Hi I'm 14 and I'm concerned my vagina looks really wierd of course I'm a Virgin but it just looks really ugly everything seems to bulge out. Like every thing that's meant to be inside isn't it's bulging out please is this normal or do I need help ?!!???! Like my vagina lips are really saggy and it looks like j have extra skin or something it just all bulges out I'm afraid that boys will think it's gross !!?!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hey, don't feel like your vagina is perfectly normal. One of the most important thing to remember is that everybody's vagina is different. A boy should be mature enough to know that your vagina is perfectly normal. I understand how you feel Isobel, being a 16 year old girl that is also a virgin can be difficult and feeling self concious about how things look. Just remember that your vagina is normal for you like mine is for me. But later in life if it still makes you uncomfortable, you could always see a plastic surgeon. And if a boy thinks your vagina is ugly, he is not worth it at all.

I have to go to the doctor next month and I'm embarrassed because the have to check my vagina and I have discharge and hair on my privet and I'm scared should I be scared or no and also she has to look at it and I'm really really scared should I just say what ever





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Don't be embarrassed by that: it is normal to have discharge mid-cycle and above all, it is normal to have hair down there! Doctors know that and this whole depilation thing is just a "fashion". There are many people who don't follow fashion, doctors see all sorts and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Your health comes first! Think of your health and tell the doctor what is worrying you about your health.

I have to go to the doctor next month and I'm embarrassed because the have to check my vagina and I have discharge and hair on my privet and I'm scared should I be scared or no and also she has to look at it and I'm really really scared should I just say what ever





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


More Information

  1. Tinnitus

    In Conditions - Sufferers of tinnitus can hear noise within their ear or head that…

  2. Vulvodynia

    In Conditions - This unpleasant condition causes chronic pain and discomfort in the…

  3. Vaginal Tearing

    In Conditions - A vaginal tear most commonly occurs during the birth of a baby, whe…

  4. Problem Piercings

    In Conditions - People have been piercing their bodies for thousands of years, but…

  5. Varicocele

    In Conditions - Varicocele are formed when varicose veins appear around the scrotum.

  6. Doctor Responses: Polycystic Ovaries

    In Videos - Dr Dawn discusses the causes and treatments available for PCOS, as…

  7. Am I Normal?

    In Episodes - Episode 2 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies looks at conditions includ…

  8. Fibroids

    In Conditions - Uterine fibroids are a type of non-cancerous muscular tumour that g…

  9. Doctor Responses: Diabetes

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper answers your common questions about coping with diab…

  10. Dr Dawn Harper

    In Videos - Find out more about Dr Dawn Harper

  11. Doctor Responses: Pelvic Floor Problems

    In Videos - Dr Dawn answers common questions from women regardng the pelvic floor.

  12. Doctor Responses: Foot Problems

    In Videos - Dr Dawn aims to keep your feet healthy by answering the most popula…

  13. Doctor Responses: OCD

    In Videos - Dr Pixie answers your most common questions on the tricky subject o…

  14. Doctor Responses: Eczema and Skin Conditions

    In Videos - Dr Dawn advises on the most common questions sent in to the Embarra…

  15. Doctor Responses: Night Terrors

    In Videos - Dr Dawn answers your most common questions about night terrors and…


Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here