Anatomy

Reproductive and sexual anatomy includes your genitals and your internal sex and reproductive organs. Everyone’s reproductive and sexual anatomy looks a little different.

The external parts

Vulva

The vulva is the outside part of your genitals – your labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and the opening to the urethra. No two vulvas looks the same, but they’re made of the same basic parts.

Labia

The outer labia (labia majora) are the large fleshy lips of the vulva.

The inner labia (labia minora) are the folds of skin that protect the entrance to the vagina and urethra. They begin at your clitoris and end under the opening to your vagina. The inner labia may be covered by the outer labia. But it is also quite normal for them to extend outside, be of different lengths and colour.

Clitoris

The clitoris is just above the urethra. You can only see the tip of the clitoris (glans) located at the top of your vulva. Everyone’s is a different size from as small as a pea or as big as a thumb. The tip of the clitoris is covered by the clitoral hood.

It has thousands of sensitive nerve endings. It also has a shaft which extends into the body, and crura (roots and legs) back and down on both sides of the vagina. When you feel sexually excited, the clitoris fills with blood and swells. When the clitoris is stroked or rubbed, this pleasurable feeling can produce an even more pleasurable and exciting sensation called an orgasm.

Urethra

The urethra is the tube which carries urine away from the bladder. The opening is a tiny hold located just below your clitoris.

Vagina

The vagina is a stretchy tube made of expandable muscle. It is about 9 cm long and leads from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is where menstrual fluid leaves the body, and babies pass at birth. When sexually excited, it is quite normal for your vagina to expand and become moist. A variety of things can go inside your vagina, like fingers, penises, sex toys, tampons, and menstrual cups.

Anus

The anus (butthole) is the opening to your rectum. The anus has lots of sensitive nerve endings, so some people experience sexual pleasure from anal stimulation.

Mons pubis

The mons is the fleshy mound above your vulva. After puberty, it’s covered with pubic hair. It cushions your pubic bone.

The internal parts

The female reproductive and sexual anatomy include:

Vagina

The vagina is a stretchy tube made of expandable muscle. It is about 9 cm long and leads from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is where menstrual fluid leaves the body, and babies pass at birth. When sexually excited, it is quite normal for your vagina to expand and become moist. A variety of things can go inside your vagina, like fingers, penises, sex toys, tampons, and menstrual cups.

Cervix

The cervix divides your vagina and uterus, located right between the two. It looks like a donut with a tiny hole in the middle. This hole connects your uterus and your vagina. It lets menstrual blood out and sperm in. Your cervix stretches open (dilates) during childbirth.

You can usually feel your cervix at the end of your vagina if you insert your fingers, a penis, or a sex toy into your vagina. Your cervix separates your vagina from the rest of your body, so things like tampons or other objects can’t get “lost” inside of you.

Uterus

The uterus, is a hollow, pear-shaped muscular organ about the size of a small fist. It’s sometimes called the womb because it’s where a fetus grows during pregnancy and can expand up to 50 cm in length. During sexual arousal, the lower part of your uterus lifts toward your belly button. That’s why your vagina gets longer when you’re turned on. If there is no pregnancy then the uterus sheds this lining (menstruation). It’s called “tenting.”

Fallopian tubes

The fallopian tubes are 2 narrow tubes one on each side stretching from the ovaries to the uterus. They carry an egg from one of the ovaries each month. Sperm travels through them to try to fertilise your egg.

Fimbriae

The fimbriae are projections that look like tiny fingers at the end of each fallopian tube. When your ovary releases an egg (a process called ovulation), they sweep it into your fallopian tube.

Ovaries

The ovaries are glands that produce egg cells (ova) to store and release your eggs. Each ovary is only the size of an almond, but it contains 150,000 to 200,000 eggs. They also produce female hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormones control things like your period and pregnancy. Every month from puberty until you reach menopause, your ovaries release an egg each month (this process is called ovulation). Sometimes (but not common) your ovaries release more than one egg.

Bartholin’s glands

The Bartholin’s glands are near your vaginal opening. They release fluid (mucus) secretion that lubricates your vagina (makes it wet) when you’re turned on.

Skene’s glands

The Skene’s glands are on either side of your urethral opening. They release fluid during female ejaculation. They’re also called paraurethral glands or female prostate glands.

Hymen

The hymen is a mucous membrane located at the beginning of the genital tract that stretches across part of the opening to the vagina. Hymens vary a lot in how much of your vaginal opening they cover, and they can tear and cause slight bleeding at the first attempt at sexual intercourse, or it may be so soft and pliable that no tearing occurs. The hymen may also be torn during exercise or insertion of a tampon or diaphragm.

G spot

The G spot, or Gräfenberg spot, is located on the front or belly-button side of your vagina. It’s a few inches inside your vagina. Your G-spot swells when you’re turned on. Some people like the feeling of having their G-spot touched.

Further reading