Getting To Know Your V-Zone
Your vagina, your vulva…your V-Zone. Let’s learn about it.
You might have noticed that we talk a lot about the V-Zone – but what do we really mean when we say this term? Where is your V-Zone and what can you do to get to know it better?
The V-Zone is a term that describes everything to do with your vagina, vulva and the V-shaped front of your body that you can see if you look in the mirror. It’s an area of your body where there’s a lot going on – pain, pleasure, periods and everything in between.
Everyone has a different relationship with their V-Zone, and how you feel can even change day to day. This part of your body is pretty complex and it can be quite overwhelming trying to understand all the mind-boggling details. What’s most important though, is getting to know your V-Zone, and understanding how to take care of it and keep it healthy.
Discovering more about the different parts and how they work can help you learn to love yourself. Let’s talk through everything you need to know about the different areas of your V-Zone, with some handy diagrams to help you understand what’s really going on.
What is the vulva?
The vulva refers to the external parts of the female genitalia, in other words, all the bits you can see from the outside! This includes part of the clitoris known as the glans clitoris (we’ll explain more later), labia minora and majora (outer and inner lips), urethral opening (where pee comes out) and the vaginal opening (the entrance to inside your body). Nearby, you’ll also find the mons pubis (that’s the front bit where your pubic bone is) and the anus (where poop comes out).
While people often refer to this entire region as the vagina, that’s not quite accurate. The vagina is actually found inside the body (we’ll talk more about this a bit later on).
It’s important to understand that every vulva is completely unique and each one comes in a different shape and size. Some are hairy and some are groomed, but one thing they have in common is that all are good enough and beautiful! Labia specifically can vary massively in shape, size and colour, so whatever yours looks like – it’s normal.
Your vulva is also an extremely sensitive area and therefore it’s important to have a V-Care routine in place – just remember that everyone’s routine is different so do what works best for you and your vulva!
What is the clitoris?
Part of the clitoris is located at the very front of the vulva, however most of it can’t be seen from the outside, with the majority of it being inside your body. In fact, the only visible part of the clitoris is about the size of a pea! Some people may not be aware of this, but there’s certainly a lot more to it than just this tiny bud. Read on to learn all about its different parts.
The clitoris is made up of five key components: the glans clitoris and clitoral hood, which as previously mentioned are both found outside your body. We then have the body of the clitoris, paired crura (these are like the “legs” of the clitoris) and the vestibular bulbs which live inside the body.
The tiny pea-sized bud is called the glans clitoris which is protected by a fold of skin known as the clitoral hood. Think of it like an iceberg, where the majority of the iceberg sits underneath the surface of the water and only the tip is visible above it. It’s exactly the same with the clitoris!
Just like the labia, the clitoral hood comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours (they’re effectively the female equivalence of a male foreskin) so be aware of this before you start second guessing what yours should look like. Now you know what everything is, how about taking a look at your clitoris (as well as the rest of your vulva) with a handheld mirror?
The vagina is the muscular tube that connects the vulva with the cervix (the lower part of the uterus) and is often referred to as the birth canal as this is where a baby travels down before its grand entrance into the world! It’s around 7-12cm in length and is slightly curved , but again each vagina is different. The size, shape and colour of yours can change during sex, at different parts of your menstrual cycle and throughout the course of your life.
When you have a period, menstrual fluid drips down from the womb, through the cervix and vagina before flowing out of your body. Some period products like tampons or menstrual cups are inserted into your vagina to either collect or absorb your period fluid. It can feel a little daunting if you haven’t used these before, but it’s easy to get the hang of with a little practice.
The vagina is extremely elastic, which means it can hold a tampon in place, but also stretch to accommodate a baby passing through it during birth! This is thanks to bumpy folds on the walls of the vagina called rugae. Think of these like the folds of an accordion, or the pleats on a skirt.
This part of the V-Zone is inside your body. It leads to your cervix, womb, and all of the other parts of the female reproductive system. Read on to find out more about how all of these work together in a natural cycle…
The female reproductive system
Now we’ve tackled all about the different parts of the V-Zone, let’s take a look at the bigger picture – the mind-blowingly intricate female reproductive system. It has the power to bring great pleasure, make babies, but also cause pain that makes you want to scream!
The vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and external genital organs (i.e. the vulva), are all included in the female reproductive system. Although you might have learnt about it in biology and sex education classes at school (maybe even a parent, relative or friend has talked through the subject with you), let’s have a quick recap.
Located on either side of the uterus, the ovaries are oval-shaped glands that create and release eggs. They make oestrogen and progesterone which are the fluctuating hormones linked to fertility. They’re also linked to experiencing PMS and can have a big influence on your how you feel day to day
The fallopian tubes
Also known as the oviducts, the fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the upper part of the uterus and it is here where conception usually occurs. The fimbriae, which are small ‘finger-like’ projections at the end of the fallopian tubes, then help carry eggs from the ovaries to the womb.
The uterus (also known as the womb) is home to the development of the foetus when conception occurs. It’s split up into two sections: the cervix, which is the lower canal of the uterus where the sperm enters, and the corpus, which is the main body of the uterus that can expand up to 1,000 times its size to hold a growing baby .
The lining of the uterus (also known as the endometrium) is what thickens to nourish a fertilised egg which implants into the lining. If getting pregnant isn’t on the agenda, then the lining along with the unfertilised egg is shed as period blood as part of your menstrual cycle. This blood exits via the cervix and vagina through the vaginal opening.
Learning to embrace your V-Zone
So there we have it, everything you need to know about the different parts that make up the V-Zone, and the wider female reproductive system. Having all the information means that you can understand what’s going on with your body, and embrace what it looks like and how it feels as you go through your cycle. We know it’s a lot to take in, but if anything doesn’t make sense, then don’t be afraid to ask a parent, older sister or friend for advice, or continue learning about all the myths and facts on the Libresse South Africa website.
The medical information in this article is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your doctor for guidance about a specific medical condition.
 Anatomy: pelvic viscera. In: Hoffman BL, Schorge JO, Schaffer JI, Halvorson LM, Bradshaw KD, Cunningham FG. Williams Gynecology. 2nd edition. New York: McGraw Hill Medical; 2012. p.928-937.