The shape and characteristics of the vagina are different and unique to each woman, so a different vagina may not be called abnormal. Some women have a distinctive vaginal anatomy, some are smaller and oval in shape. While some others have a tube-shaped and larger vaginal anatomy.
In addition to the shape, the color of the vagina in one woman is different from other women, from the easy red to brownish red. Not only that, the vagina is part of the reproductive organs that are no less vital and needs to be recognized further so that you can understand their functions and know how to maintain their health. Maintaining vaginal health is the same as maintaining the health of your body, because the vagina can be the first area of entry of germs and the development of various types of diseases.
The vagina is an elastic channel about 8 centimeters long that connects the uterus with the outside area of the body. With a soft and flexible coating that can produce lubricants and certain sensations, the vagina becomes the penis entrance during intercourse. But in the process of labor, the channel wall is very elastic, this can expand and become a way out of the baby. In addition, the vagina is also a channel for menstrual blood discharge. These three functions will certainly complement each other with the functions of other female reproductive organs such as the cervix and uterus.
Other Organs Around The Vagina and Its Functions
In addition to the vagina, female genitals are also equipped by other organs that are still included in the members of the female reproductive organs. Organs that are closest to the vagina and can be seen by the naked eye, are the vulva, labia mayora and minora, clitoris, and Bartholin’s glands. The following is a brief description of each of these organs and their functions.
Labia Mayora and Minora
The entrance to the vagina is called the vulva. The vulva is the outer part of the female organs which includes vaginal opening, vaginal lips or labia, and the clitoris which is located at the outer portion of the vagina. Labia or vaginal lips are different between one woman and another woman. While the so-called hymen is a layer of membrane that surrounds and narrows the vaginal opening. This membrane can be torn because of excessive physical activity or when having sex.
The vagina is protected by labia majora and minora, also called vaginal lips. The size of the labia can vary from woman to woman. Labia mayora is located on the outside of the female genitalia and covered with pubic hair. Labia minora are two folds of fatty tissue found on the inside of the genitals, with the clitoris at the top end.
Like the penis in men, the clitoris is a very sensitive area in women. The clitoris is located behind the two ends of the front labia minora, with an average size of 1.5–2 cm in adult women.
Bartholin gland is a gland that produces lubricants for the vagina. Its position is close to the hymen or hymen, with a shape that resembles red beans.
The cervix or cervix is part of the female reproductive organs. The cervix is a part of a woman’s body in the form of a channel that connects the uterus and vagina. Under normal conditions, the cervix will be closed. However, the cervix will open during labor or menstruation.
Natural Changes in the Vagina
Over time and certain processes, the vagina changes. After delivery, the vagina will generally feel dry and loose.
A vagina that is no longer narrow is a natural thing because the vagina has become a way out of the baby.
Widened vaginal size probably will not return to size before labor. But Kegel exercises (pelvic floor exercise) can be run to strengthen the vaginal muscles so that they feel firmer.
Decreased estrogen levels during lactation can cause the vagina to become drier than it was before labor. This problem will subside after your menstrual period returns to normal. Dry vagina also often occurs when entering menopause.
Perineal pain due to childbirth generally occurs up to about three months afterwards. Prevent infection by keeping the area clean and bathing regularly. Taking pain relievers and Kegel exercises can also help reduce pain.
Pain during intercourse
In addition to vaginal dryness and stitches in the birth canal, generally women who have just given birth will need time before wanting to have sex again. You can use the help of vaginal lubricants that are sold freely at pharmacies, or if the pain does not go away, consult the problem with your doctor.
Things Are Not Always Bad
Many people think that the fluid coming out of the vagina and bacteria in these organs is a symptom of a serious illness, which is not always the case.
- A bacterium called lactobacili maintains a low pH or vaginal acidity (less than 4.5). If the pH rises, the germs or fungi that cause disease can multiply and risk causing fungal irritants, itching, and abnormal vaginal fluid, and bacterial infections in the vagina.
- Producing a natural antibiotic called bacteriocin to reduce other bacteria that enter the vagina.
- Maintaining a good balance of bacterial levels by beating the number of potentially harmful bacteria.
- Producing substances that prevent foreign bacteria from damaging the vaginal wall.
Menstrual blood and other vaginal discharge, such as vaginal discharge, is normal. This liquid actually helps keep the vagina clean. This makes you not need a special vaginal cleaner. The thing to watch out for is if vaginal fluid has changed color, smells sharp, causes itching, or is accompanied by other symptoms. Vaginal discharge that is not normal needs to be checked immediately in order to get the right treatment. Apart from cleaning the vagina regularly, exercising, and implementing a healthy diet are the best ways to maintain the health of the intimate organs.
The presence of good bacteria in the vagina is normal to protect this organ. Unlike other germs, good bacteria that grow in the vagina do not cause disease. Here are some of the functions of good bacteria in question.
In addition to cleaning the vagina regularly in a natural way, vaginal health can also be maintained by undergoing healthy sexual relations that are protected. By using a condom, you are relatively protected from the risk of bacteria and viruses that cause sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, all women especially those aged 25-64 years are advised to undergo an examination to detect the risk of cervical cancer or to undergo a pap smear procedure. In addition to Kegel exercises, walking and running can be a choice of exercise that can help maintain overall body fitness, including pelvic muscle strength.