The vulva is the external portion of the female genitalia. This includes the Mons Pubis, the ‘skin folds’ or ‘lips’ (Labia Majora and Labia Minora), the Hymen, the clitoris, the urethral opening, and the vaginal entrance.
The Female Structures of the Vulva
Introitus (Vaginal Opening)
- Introitus is the entrance to the vaginal canal or the vaginal opening, which is called the introitus of the vagina. In anatomy, an introitus is thus an entrance, one that goes into a canal or hollow organ such as the vagina.
- Mons pubis is the adipose tissue lying above the pubic bone of adult females, anterior to the pubic symphysis. The mons pubis forms the anterior portion of the vulva. The size of the mons pubis varies with the general level of hormone and body fat. After puberty it is covered with pubic hair and enlarges.
- The labia majora constitute the lateral boundaries of the pudendal cleft, which contains the labia minora, interlabial sulci, clitoral hood, clitoral glans, frenulum clitoridis, the Hart’s Line, and the vulval vestibule, which contains the external openings of the urethra and the vagina.
- Each labia majora has two surfaces, an outer, pigmented and covered with strong, crisp hairs; and an inner, smooth and beset with large sebaceous follicles. The labia majora are thicker in front, where they form by their meeting the anterior commissure of the labia majora. The labia majora correspond to the scrotum in the male.
- The Labia Minora are bilateral mucosal-cutaneous refolds located between the labia majora and vulvar vestibule. While there is a wide range of normal anatomic variants, in general, the labia minora are semicircular with a 3-Centimeters long base and a free edge extending from the clitoris to the posterior commissure.
- The medial mucosal surface is derived from the primitive urogenital sinus and is shiny and pink in color. The free edge and the lateral cutaneous surface are derived from the urethral folds and are more deeply pigmented.
- The introitus is sometimes partly covered by a membrane called the hymen. The hymen will rupture during the first episode of vigorous sex, and the blood produced by this rupture is seen as a sign of virginity. However, the hymen may also rupture spontaneously during exercise or be stretched by normal activities such as use of tampons
- The clitoris is the human female’s most sensitive erogenous zone and the primary source of female sexual pleasure. In humans, the visible button-like portion is near the front junction of the labia minora (inner lips), above the opening of the urethra.
- Unlike the penis, the male variant of the clitoris, it usually does not contain the distal portion or opening of the urethra and is therefore not used for urination. The size and shape of the clitoris varies from woman to woman. Generally, it is 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch in size.
- Urethral opening is the small opening just below the clitoris and directly above the vaginal opening. Urine from the bladder passes through this opening. The urethra is the tube that facilitates urine passage from the bladder.
Understanding about the Vagina
Vagina is a fibromuscular tubular tract which is a sex organ and has two main functions; sexual intercourse and childbirth.
- In humans, this passage leads from the opening of the vulva to the uterus (womb), but the vaginal tract ends at the cervix. Unlike men, who have only one genital orifice, women have two, the urethra and the vagina.
- The vaginal opening is much larger than the urethral opening, and both openings are protected by the labia. The inner mould of the vagina has a fold texture which can create friction for the penis during intercourse.
- During arousal, the vagina gets moist to facilitate the entrance of the penis. The vagina is the tubular structure that connects the uterus and cervix to the outside of the body. The vagina passes menstrual blood, permits sexual intercourse, and is the passageway during childbirth.