Welcome to our newest anonymous-question-answerer, Gabrielle! Gabrielle is a Sexology student at UQAM and a beloved stagiaire here at Head & Hands. Today she waxes poetic about the varieties of vulvas out there…
Q: how many types of vagina do we have?
An important thing to note is that there’s a lot of confusion in our day-to-day language about the female genitals, especially about the difference between the vagina and the vulva. The vulva refers to the outer portion of the genitals formed by the clitoris, the hood of the clitoris, the outer and the inner labia, the opening of the urethra and the opening of the vagina. The vagina is the internal part: it’s the canal that connects the vulva to the cervix and the uterus (the inner genitals). Check out the diagram below to see how it all comes together!
In any case, the precise number of different types of vulvas and vaginas are impossible to determine. Everybody is shaped differently to begin with, and people can alter the appearance of their genitals in different ways (e.g. piercing, shaving, tattoos or dyes)
As cliché as it sounds, every vulva is a unique piece of art. It has its own colour, size, amount of hair, and texture. Colour can range from a subtle pink to a rich brown tone. The clitoris, its hood and the labia can be very small and the skin tight, or larger and with the skin more elastic. Inner labia might be longer or shorter, sometimes extending below the outer labia and sometimes not. All of these things are normal! It’s also important to note that the inner labia (like breasts and testicles) usually differ in size. For example, your inner right labia might stick out beyond your outer labia a lot more than the left one.
To get a better idea of variations, and to appreciate their difference, take a look at these pictures of vulvas after the break (NOTE: may not be acceptable viewing material in certain workplaces or schools!)