When it comes to the vagina, there are three basic things every woman knows: You don’t need to douche, every woman has vaginal discharge, and ultimately, nothing can get lost in the vagina. Our lady parts have capabilities that are more than meets the eye, and can tell us a plethora about our sexual health. Like any other body part, our vagina is just another part of us, so it seems logical to get well acquainted with it. It’s time to sit among your girlfriends over a glass of wine and talk about the 10 mind-boggling facts you may not know about your hoo-hahs, brought to you by the folks at BuzzFeed.
1. “Vagina” comes from the Latin root meaning “sheath for a sword.”
2. There are 8,000 nerve endings in the clitoris, while the penis only has 4,000. This is why the tiny area is considered to be the most sensitive part of a woman’s erogenous zone. Powerful sensations can spread across a woman’s pelvic area by affecting 15,000 other nerve endings.
3. Vaginas are lined with ringed muscular ridges. This helps it expand when necessary, such as during intercourse or childbirth. They expand up to 200 percent during intercourse or childbirth.
4. A doctor once removed a potato that started sprouting vines out of a patient’s vagina. The patient told the doctor her mother said it would prevent pregnancy. In that case, mother didn't always know best.
5. Believe it or not, the first movie to use the word “vagina“ on film was Disney’s “The Story of Menstruation,” released in 1946.
6. Vaginas and sharks have something in common. They both contain the substance squalene. This exists in shark livers and is a natural vaginal lubricant.
7. In 2009, a woman reportedly set the vagina weightlifting record by lifting over 30 pounds. She attached the weight to a wooden egg so her muscles could grab onto it. This gives Kegel exercises a whole new meaning.
8. Vaginas are also strong enough to clamp down on penises. This is known as penis captivus. It is a rare occurrence in intercourse when the muscles in the vagina clamp down with intensity on the penis, which makes it impossible for the penis to withdraw from the vagina.
9. It’s impossible to lose anything in your vagina. The opening of the uterus is too small for anything to go through it, unless you’re giving birth, of course. Before puberty, the uterus is about 3.5 centimeters (cm) in length with an average thickness of 1 cm. After puberty, its normal length is about 7.6 cm, and width is 4.5 cm, with a normal thickness of 3.0 cm.
10. Lastly, in case you didn’t know, vaginas are self-cleaning, too. The vagina is designed to keep itself clean with the help of natural secretions, or discharge. When washing your vagina, it’s best to avoid perfumed soaps, gels, and antiseptics, as this can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels, and even lead to irritation.