So now that you’re an expert on the external part of your body, it’s time to get in tune with what’s going on inside. Before we get to basic anatomy, I want to kick off with a little vaginal ecology. Yes, you read it correctly, vaginal ecology. I know that you already know that there’s a whole system at work down there, which you probably don’t pay all that much attention to, unless there’s some kind of disruption… and it’s usually not all that pleasant. Keeping and maintaining a healthy body requires a little understanding, awareness, and some tender loving care.
A healthy vagina has a slightly acidic pH, and is full of a special type of probiotic, called lactobacillus acidophilus. These good bacteria work to protect the vagina, and keep it clean and healthy. They control the amount of yeast, and other bad types of bacteria that enter your body. Your monthly fertility cycle can influence this.
An unhealthy vagina, shows signs like increased discharge (above your personal ‘normal’ amount), a change in colour, a change in consistency, itching, bad smells, pain, and discomfort during sex. From my own experience, I’ve learned that clearing these up using medication and antibiotics can throw your entire system off balance, and affect your immune system. If you learn to understand the signals your body is sending you, it’s possible to catch imbalances at an early stage (before infection) and treat it using herbs, probiotics, and nutrition. I’m not a doctor, so please always check anything you’re doing with your GP first.
Did you know? Antibiotics can kill off your normal healthy flora, allowing yeast and bad bacteria to take over. Look into ways to keep your flora thriving.
Internal female reproductive system
The internal genitalia and organs includes: the Vagina, Uterus, Ovaries, G-spot, Bladder, and Rectum.
This elastic, muscular passage, that connects the vulva and cervix (the lowest part of the uterus), can range from about 10 to 15cm. Your menstrual blood, and any child you give birth to, will travel through this passageway.
During arousal, the blood vessels in your genitals dilate, and blood flow increases in the vaginal walls. This causes fluid to pass through them, lubricating the vagina. This is why you get wet!
When you’re turned on, your vagina expands, sometimes up to twice its size. The uterus is pulled upward into the body due to muscle tension, changing the position of the cervix and lengthening the vagina (I will write a blog about how this indicates ovulation if you do any types of natural birth control). It was made to birth babies, so it’s built to be elastic. This comes in handy if you have any pain while getting it on with someone on the large side. There are all kinds of techniques you can do to help you and your vagina ease into accommodating all kinds of package sizes. I like to think of it as a flower, that, with the right care and attention, gently and welcomingly opens its petals inviting, luring you in. Keep your eyes peeled for my experience doing a Jade egg workshop and how it this can get you started in building a healthy relationship with your vjayjay.
The amount of lubrication produced, varies from woman to woman, and from encounter to encounter. We are wild, fluid, emotional beings that are affected by stress; hormonal fluctuations; medications we take; our diet; sleep; and so much more. It may also vary throughout your cycle, as well as with age.
Undies: “Why Are You So Afraid Of Your Own Anatomy?” by Eleanor Haswell
Tiny glands on each side of your vaginal opening that produce a thin lubricant during arousal. This lubrication varies from the vaginal lubrication. It’s good to know the differences in texture, especially if you follow FAM (Fertility Awareness Method – also part of the anatomy blogs).
The womb is in the center of the pelvic bowl, located behind the bladder, which is behind and above the pubic bone, and in front of the rectum. It is a remarkable organ, capable of expanding to the size of a watermelon when pregnant. A non-pregnant uterus is hollow, pear shaped and about the size of a small lemon.
It only has one function, to contract and release. We experience it as cramping during our cycle, or contractions during childbirth. Its thick walls are made of some of the most powerful muscles in the body. The inner lining, the endometrium, is richly supplied with blood vessels. It acts as a type of incubator for a developing foetus, or is built up and shed each cycle, resulting in a menstrual flow. The walls of the uterus touch, unless pushed apart by a growing foetus or an abnormal growth. The uterus curves forward for most women.
The vagina forms a passageway to the cervix, which is the lowest part of the uterus. It protrudes into the upper part of the vagina and is covered by the same type of cells as vaginal lining. The cervix opening forms the entry into the uterus and inner pelvic organs.
The two fallopian tubes extend back and outward from each side of the top of the uterus. They are 10 to 12cm long tubes in which fertilization occurs, and through which the egg is transported from the ovary to the uterus. The opening of the tubes into the uterus are tiny and flare out, with an outer fringe, into funnels. The ends are finger like tissues, called fimbria, which partially wrap around the ovaries on each side. They don’t actually connect to the ovaries but are held in place by connective tissue, which wave the egg into the tube after ovulation.
The ovaries are two almond and sized primary sex glands. They contain up to a million immature eggs at birth. Each egg is surrounded by a group of cells called a follicle. The ovaries are located about 10cm below the navel, and 7.5cm directly to the sides of hat point. They produce sex hormones: oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and more, throughout the reproductive years.
There’s a textured area about 2.5 to 5 cm up on the top front wall of the vagina. You can experience intense pleasure, and even orgasm, if this area is rubbed the right way. You can teach your body how to relax, so you can let go and experience a full body orgasm, including the illusive squirting. I’ve been asked to share my first experience squirting within the blog, as it seems to have helped a few of my friends out – still building up the courage… but I’m getting there.
The Bladder and Rectum
The bladder is located just above the vagina. The urethra, the structure that leads our urine from our bladder to the outside, can be felt on the top part of the vagina as a protruding ridge running up the middle from just above the vaginal opening. The rectum lies below and behind the vagina, nearest to your sacrum. Yep, if you got poop low in your system, you can feel it through the bottom part of your vagina. If any of you get into, or are already into, Natural birth control, you’ll know what I mean 😉
To keep your rectum and bowels healthy, as you should hopefully want as it’s the keystone in optimizing your health, check out my piece on squatting.
© Juel McNeilly
Featured Blog photograph: Barbara Galvacs
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