WARNING: This site features very frank discussion and occasionally explicit images of medical conditions.
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Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, 12:30am Tuesday 26th May 2015 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.

Hi I'm 13 and I'm really self consoius about my vagina... Because one of the inside flaps are wayyyy longer than the other and it's really stretchy and it kinda has brown on the top of it. And when I start to have sex when I'm older I realy don't want a weird looking vagina. Please is this normal!?





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It's really common for one side of the labia to be a different size/shape than the other. Most people have asymmetrical genitals, to one degree or another. I don't think it's anything to worry about!

I'm 16 and a virgin. In the past few months I noticed a small pointy strip of skin coming from the inside of my vagina. Since, I has grown and now I'm able to feel it when just regularly using the toilet. It's not painful and I if try to pull or squeeze it, it feels numb but i can still feel a pulling sensation inside my vagina. The actually piece of skin is snake shaped I don't know what to do about it.





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Interesting, I'm not sure what that could be. It would be a good idea to have that examined by a doctor.

Hi, I'm 15 and I'm a virgin. I have a boyfriend and we've been together for a year now. I'm afraid that once we have sex, he won't like my vagina (I know. I know, weird...) but anyways, I'm afraid that he'll think I'm "Too tight" I'm kinda anxious and nervous about having sex for the first time. Any suggestions? Please help.





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It's pretty common to feel nervous and anxious about your first time. I'm not sure that it's worth worrying about the things you've mentioned though. Many guys really like that tight feeling - how do you know that your boyfriend isn't one of them? Have you talked to him about how you're feeling? That might be the best way to clear up your worries. Being prepared might help ease your worries too - having some water-based personal lubricant on hand would be a good idea - that could help a lot if tightness does prove to be an issue When you're ready for sex, take things really slowly, relax and enjoy yourselves, use condoms obviously, keep the lines of communication open, and you'll be fine!

I was scared of the same thing but to be honest mine didn't really look down there and I think it's actually nicer for them if it is tighter, but it really hurts the first few times so I'd make sure he knows not to be too rough

Hai im 13 recently my boyfriend and i were going trough our candy stashes eating abunch of candy as se went but things got sexual and he ended up going down on me he got qa jolly rancher stuck in my vagia And i told him just to leave it bc its not like anything is going to happen but my juices have become blue and taste like jolly rancher I'm wondering if I should see a doctor





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I imagine the problem has resolved itself by now, but in case it hasn't... Sugar can encourage yeast infections, so if you get itchy, it might be good to see a doctor. Otherwise, it's probably nothing to worry about. Still, if it were me, I'd probably draw a bath, and clean things out as much as possible with just water.

I'm 16 and over the last two weeks, I've been through hell with my vulva area. It started as a bit of an itch and I began scratching without realising. This left the area red, swollen, and sore. That's has thankfully gotten better but I am now left with what appears to be the top layer of skin come off. Does anyone know how to fix this? I also still have this slight itch and I think it might be due to my pubic hair as I do not shave, is that possible? Thank you in advance.





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help me im 15 and really self conscious about my vagina labia they are huge seriously they stick out completely and lookslike a small penis I hate them and I have a boyfriend and we both want to become sexually active please don't say he will find it normal because him and his friends joke about girls with baggy flaps and having vaginas that look like kebabs but I do love him hes even fingered me twice do you think he knows? and I want to tell my mum so I an get labia plasty what should I do help I get really upset thinking about it





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I'm 16, and a virgin. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost a year and I want to begin becoming sexually active, I have recently been more aware of my vagina so I've been looking and as I pull my vagina lips apart on the top part of one of the folds that I'm pulling and on one side of my clit is a dark pink round flat bump and it hurts a little bit, I can't remember a time where I didn't have it, but it's very different in colour in comparison to the rest of my vagina :(





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Hi I'm 17 years old and not a virgin, when I feel my vaginal opening it's not just a hole, there's like some sort of bumpy tissue just before it, I googled it and it said it's probably my hymen but clearly this isn't the case. I was worried I might have a prolapse or there's something wrong with me? It sometimes hurts when I have sex but only if I get a bit nervous about it hurting really. Don't most normal vaginas just go straight into being a hole at the opening?





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At 35 and the mother of 3 daughters, please be reassured that you sound perfectly normal to me! No vagina is perfectly smooth unless its before puberty and after menopause. Your vaginal canal has ridges (hence ribbed condoms to give a similar sensation.) Your hymen breaks either naturally pre-sex or sometimes remains intact until you lose your virginity, but the tissue remains at the entrance to your vagina. If you notice any bumps that resemble little cauliflower heads there then you may have contracted genital warts, but it doesn't sound like that is what you are describing. Every womans fanny is different, no one fanny is 'the norm', but if you are really concerned, please go see a female GP, they have seen every shape size, smell and state of a vagina so dont be ashamed. You will probably have your lady parts looked at many more times before you get to my age lol, so take a deep breath, make an appointment and go get some reassurance. :) hugs xxx

Oh and I forgot to add that if it hurts, you probably aren't being lubricated enough or not relaxed enough. Make sure you are having sex because you want to, hopefully within a loving relationship where you can feel comfortable talking about things like contraception and lubricants etc, remember that being on the pill/implant/injection will not protect you from any kind of sexually transmitted disease and that to be sure, use a condom and make sure you know the background of (and cop a look at the penis of) the man you are going to have sex with. :) Be careful, have fun, be safe. :D

Okay I shave My vigina & I have Been seeing bumps & when I bust it white things come out & I'm scared because Its making My vigina look ugly





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This is just what happens if you shave your vagina too often, it's probably just ingrown hairs or irritated shaving rash :)xx

Hy i am 20 years.not in any relationship.jst engaged but spent time or did sex with him.so i want to ask that From last many months i feel that an insect is movingin my vagina.last day i found that its a white worm.yes a white worm nearly half inch long comes out of my vagina.because of this i am in pain and feel ichiness.please tell me it is normal or not .i am very tens about it.:-(. Should i go to doc or not???





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Those are pinworms. They're a fairly common parasite, and they're usually pretty easy to get rid of. There's over the counter medication that you can buy to treat them without seeing a doctor. It's often a good idea for everyone living in the same house to get treated at the same time, since it's easily passed between people living together, and you'll need to wipe out all the sources at once if you want to be free of it for good. You'll need to wash your bedding, always wear clean underwear (I know... this one's pretty obvious, but worth mentioning!), and wash your hands frequently. Cleaning the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom thoroughly will help too, since the eggs can be passed from the genitals or anus (which is the most common place for pinworm infections) to the hands and then to other surfaces. Google can help with more info if you need it. Don't stress about this - it's quite easy to get rid of!





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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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