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Important Lesbian Teen Vulva & Vagina Information

Everything from Periods, to STDs, Sex & Grooming

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female reproductive anatomy

Female Reproductive Anatomy Model

Image (c) St. Muse

About 50% of the population has a vulva and vagina, but that doesn't mean that everyone knows enough about this part of the body. Here is important information about the vulva and vagina for lesbian teens.

What's the Difference Between the Vulva and the Vagina?

People often use the word vagina when they mean vulva, but these are actually two different things. The vulva refers to a woman's external genitals, basically what you can see when you look between your legs. The vulva is made up of:

  • the labia (lips)
  • the urethral opening (the organ where urine leaves the body)
  • the opening to the vagina
  • the clitoris

During puberty girls will grow pubic hair. This is often found over the pubic mound and outer labia. It can also extend towards the anus, inner thighs and navel.

The vagina, on the other hand, is the stretchable passage that connects your internal reproductive organs to the outside world. It has a number of different functions. When a woman has her period, it's the place where the fluid leaves the body. The vagina is a sex organ and it can also be the birth canal when a woman is delivering a baby. Despite what a lot of people think, women don't pee out of their vaginas!

Vaginal and Vulval Health

Like other parts of the body, it's important to keep your vulva and vagina healthy. It is totally normal for girls to notice discharge from their vaginas. This can be clear or yellowish and often has a distinctive odor. Discharge isn't a sign that a girl has an infection or that anything is wrong. But if a girl notices uncomfortable itching or discharge with an unpleasant odor, it would be good to talk to a health care provider. Some lesbian teens choose to see a GLBT-friendly health care provider. A girl should also see a health care provider if she had any gynecological issues like heavy crampy periods, that she is concerned about.

Another reason a woman should see a health care provider if for a pap smear. Pap smears are important for all women who are sexually active, whether or not they have sex with women, men or both. These tests look for changes on the cervix (which is the top of the vagina and the bottom of the uterus) that could lead to cervical cancer. Generally, cervical cancer is caused by a strain of a virus called HPV. HPV can be passed through skin-to -skin contact.

Women who have sex with women have a greater chance of contracting infections that can be passed through skin-to-skin contact from their female partners than they do of contracting things like HIV, chlamydia and gonnorrhea, which are spread through body fluids. But it is still important for anyone who is sexually active to practice safe sex. For a lot of lesbians this means getting tested for STDs and using a dental dam for oral sex.

People used to think that lesbians didn't need to worry about things like pap smear or testing for STD's, but now we realize that this isn't true. The decisions you make about your health have to do with your actions and behaviors, not your identity.

Periods

At some time during puberty you will begin to get your period. This is also known as menstruation. A girl's first period usually happens shortly after she ovulates, or releases an egg, for the first time. Periods are a sign that a girl's body is maturing and physically capable of becoming pregnant. A girl will often realize that she has her period because she notices menstrual fluid in her underwear or on toilet paper. This fluid can range in color from light pink to dark reddish brown. Some girls get uncomfortable abdominal cramps and other side effects when they get their periods, but others don't. When a girl as her period, menstrual fluid tends to leave her body through her vagina for 3 to 7 days. Though this happens approximately once a month, many teens have irregular periods when they first start menstruating.

Like all girls, lesbian teens may have complicated feelings about getting their periods. Some might be excited to see their bodies maturing. Others might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about the changes that are taking place. Lesbian girls who aren't comfortable with a feminine body may see their periods as part of other changes, like breast growth, that they are unhappy about. If a girl is feeling this way, it could be a really good idea to talk about it with someone she trusts.

Sexuality

In addition to the biological functions of the vulva and vagina, these parts of the body also serve a sexual function. During sex, some lesbians enjoy vaginal penetration, either with a sex toy like a dildo, or with a partner's hand. Other lesbians aren't into penetration at all. Oral sex and body rubbing might be more their thing.

For most women, the most sensitive sexual organ isn't actually the vagina. It's the clitoris. The clitoris is a small, nerve-filled organ that is found between the inner labia. It looks a little like the tip or your finger, or the end of your nose and stimulation of this part of the body with a hand, mouth, or a toy like a vibrator, is one of the most common ways for women to have an orgasm.

Just as with any group of people, there is a huge range of sexual activity that lesbians participate in, some whihc may involved the vulva or vagina, and some which may not.

Though we don't often learn formally about our vuvlas and vaginas, it's important for lesbian teens to get to know about these multi-purpose body parts!

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