9 Things to Know About Your Vagina

Fifty percent of the world has a vagina — and yet, so many people know so little about them. Below, check out nine fascinating things you never knew about your vagina: 

MORE: 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Penis

1. Vagina Facts: 1

It Won't Stretch Out Permanently: Your vagina is elastic. It can stretch to accomodate larger objects, and it won't get "loose" from too much sex, contrary to prevailing myths about virgins being "tight."

"Women, like men, come in different sizes," LA Weekly explained. "It's important to understand that vaginal musculature is elastic, meaning it naturally contracts and resumes its normal size and shape, both after sexual intercourse as well as childbirth."

2. Vagina Facts: 2

The clitoris has far more nerve endings than the penisResearch suggests that the clitoris has over 8,000 nerve endings. For perspective: the penis has just 4,000. Psh. 

3. Vagina Facts: 3

The vagina shares something in common with sharks: The fluid produced by your vagina consists of proteins, acids and squalene, a natural lubricant also found in shark liver oil. 

4. Vagina Facts: 4

Your vagina loves cotton:  There's a reason most underwear (even the sexiest, laciest pairs) come with a strip of cotton in the crotch: your vagina loves cotton, because it breathes and absorbs moisture. So break out those granny panties, ladies!

(P.S. Don't be afraid of going commando, either; sometimes your vagina just needs a little extra breathing room.)

5. Vagina Facts: 5

The word etymology of "vagina" may surprise you: The word "vagina" roughly translates from the Latin word for "sheath" or "sword holder." 

 

6. Vagina Facts: 6

You may be surprised at the power of kegels: A woman named Tatyana Kozhevnikova has unofficially become known for "The World's Strongest Vagina." She reportedly set the vagina weightlifting record in 2009 when she hoisted 31 pounds with the power of her vaginal muscles. Lesson: remember to always do your kegels, because they aren't just about great sex. Kegels can prevent and control urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems. 

7. Vagina Facts: 7

Pubic hair removal isn't as popular as you might think: According to a study conducted by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, only one-fifth of the women aged 18-24 classified as "typically hair-free."

As women got older, they also appeared to stop engaging in the shaving and waxing of pubic hair, as the majority of woman aged 50 and over did not remove their pubic hair. Just over 50% never engaged in hair removal, one-third engaged in partial removal, and only 2% had removed all their pubic hair.

Cameron Diaz has advocated against pubic hair removal — and it looks like she may be onto something. 

8. Vagina Facts: 8

Your vagina can basically clean itself: Don't douche. Really, don't do it. The vagina — a wondrous, marvelous creation — happens to be mostly self cleaning. Douching actually strips you of your natural vaginal flora, and can lead to infections. In fact, the CDC reports that women who douche have a higher risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease compared with women who do not douche.

So, scrub down everywhere else — including outside the vagina — but avoiding using soaps, wipes, washes or sprays in your vaginal area. If you suspect a problem or have any discomfort, see a doctor. 

9. Vagina Facts: 9

No, you can't lose a tampon in your vagina: Technically, you can't lose anything in your vagina, although you can misplace things. The average length of a vagina is 3 to 4 inches, which really isn't large enough for things to get sucked into it permanently. That being said, women do occasionally get tampons, condoms, and other objects lodged in their vagina. If you suspect you have an object in your vagina, don't dig around for it. See a gynecologist, who will quickly retrieve it for you.