What in the world is a vulva?

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Someone asked us:

what is the vulva?

I’m so glad you asked! Lots of people have this question. And what’s funny is most of them know what a vulva IS, they’ve just been using the wrong name.

Most people call vulvas “vaginas,” even though that’s not technically correct. The vagina is actually just the tube inside that runs from the uterus and cervix to the vaginal opening.

The vulva, on the other hand, is the all-in-one term for the entire external shebang: clitoris, urethral opening (pee hole), inner and outer labia (lips), vaginal opening, perineum (taint), and anus. That’s it! Just a simple name for our outside genitals.

It’s important to know the correct names for our body parts and what they look like, so we can accurately talk about them with doctors and intimate partners.

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Yes, for realsies, we do actually encourage folks to explore their bodies and check out their “cha chas” with a mirror. Aside from being an important part of self-love and body positivity, knowing your genitals up close and personal makes it easier to tell if something goes awry down there. It can also help you learn how you like to be touched, which can make sex better. And one of the coolest things about vulvas is how beautifully unique they all look — just like snowflakes.

So, for the love of all snowflakes, go forth and spread The Gospel of the Vulva!

-Kendall @ Planned Parenthood