• The Vagina vs. the Vulva

February 27, 2018

What's a vulva??

A survey of 1,000 British women by The Eve Project in 2015 revealed that half of the women surveyed didn’t know their vagina from their vulva. 

Even worse, only 35% of women were able to correctly identify the different parts of their reproductive organs.

The survey results came as no surprise to me. In my over 30 years as an OB-GYN, I’ve encountered many patients who couldn’t tell you the difference between their vulva or vagina.

The Eve Project survey hinted that some of the lack of knowledge may be attributed to the taboo of using the word “vagina.” In fact, the study found that 65% of women don't like to use the word vagina or vulva and nearly 40% of 16 to 25-year-olds resort to using code names such as "lady parts" or "women’s bits".

If we as women aren’t even comfortable saying the actual names of our reproductive organs, how could we possibly know where they are?

Talking about your reproductive organs with your doctor shouldn’t be something you fear.

Understanding the difference can help you identify any problems or symptoms you may be having, and help your doctor better treat you.

So what exactly is the difference between the vagina and the vulva?

The vagina is the elastic muscular canal that extends from the vulva to the cervix. The vagina allows for sexual intercourse and childbirth and channels menstrual flow. Think of the vagina as an internal reproductive organ.

The vagina is self-cleansing and therefore doesn’t need special hygiene. For years, there’s been the misconception that women should douche to keep the vagina clean, but this is actually harmful in maintaining optimal vaginal health. Douching can disrupt the balance of good flora and microorganisms that help to keep it clean.

The vulva is the external parts of the female reproductive system. These parts include the mons pubislabia majoralabia minoraclitoris and vaginal opening among others. Because the vulva has hair-bearing skin that has sebaceous glands, it’s common for odors, itching and dryness to occur. Aging can amplify these symptoms and leave you feeling less than enthusiastic about midlife intimacy and body confidence.

My V-Line Health proudly offers a daily vaginal health and labial tissue care line called Vibrance that blends thousands of years of plant wisdom with modern research on how to preserve and restore aging tissue. The ancient oils of frankincense and myrrh repair and protect your labial skin and tissue while essence of bergamot protects and calms.

I’m thrilled to unveil the Vibrance line... and hope you’ll try it for yourself – and realize that this easy to use daily skincare regimen will become as automatic as applying lipstick and facial moisturizer.

-Dr. Jessica

 


Dr. Jessica Ybanez Morano Dr. Jessica Ybanez Morano is a leading doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and expert in women’s reproductive health issues.

Dr. Jessica is internationally recognized and speaks regularly about gynecological single incision surgery at conferences throughout the world.




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