Female Sexual Health & Anatomy (Weekly Top 5 July 18-24)
Updated: Jul 22, 2021
And we are back!! Whoo, I needed that break, but I am so glad to be back and writing again. As mentioned in my last email, I did pass my state licensing exam here in Pennsylvania on Jun 12th. Having passed that exam, I am actively seeking full-time employment in an office, so my current availability for taking on new clients has shifted for sure. Once I have an office location, I will be taking new clients at that location, make sure you are staying tuned for updates.
So, the website will be more focused on my blog for now. With that being said, I have content planned out for the next month, and as I had already attempted to start doing, each week's blog entry will cover one distinct topic or category. I recently had a discussion with some friends about aspects of female anatomy, and what female ejaculation is and where it comes from, which led to me realizing that I wanted to do a blog about female sexual health and anatomy. Now, full disclosure, while I am certified as a sexologist and am a licensed counselor, I am not a medical doctor, so if you have any medical concerns, please seek medical help. With that being said, if you do have any follow-up questions from this blog, please do not hesitate to reach out.
#1 External Anatomy
Ok, let's break down this diagram. This is the external genitalia or vulva of most females. So if you ever hear someone, like myself or other sex educators, talk about vulva-owners, this is what we are talking about. To start at the top, we have the mons pubis. This is where the pubic hair grows and is just a mound of fatty tissue to help protect all the organs underneath. I want to use this moment to say that pubic hair on vulva owners is just as normal as on penis owners. It is healthy and natural to have busy, but it is also a woman's choice to not have hair there at all. Whichever way the vulva-owner chooses to go hairstyle-wise down below is up to them and should never be dictated by a partner.
Moving on to the Labia Majora, which in this picture are spread. These are the outer lips of the vaginal opening; I want also to point you to the Labia Minora here, as these are the inner lips protecting the vaginal and urethral openings. So to make few notes on these areas, some people experience pleasure from having the labia touched, teased, licked, and played with, and others do not. Also, it is normal and natural if the inner lips hang past the outer lips, or if the lips on one side of the body are larger than on the other side of the body, things in the body are often asymmetrical. Also, the labia come in many different colors and can vary differently in skin tone from the rest of your body. When aroused, the labia will swell and open up to more easily expose the vaginal opening.
What about vestibular glands? So in this diagram, we have the lesser and greater vestibular glands. The lesser refers to the Skene's gland, which I will elaborate on in internal anatomy. The greater refers to the Bartholin's gland. Both of these glands play key roles in the lubrication of the vagina. I also want to draw your attention to the Hymen. For years upon years, the hymen has been viewed as a sacred sign of women's virginity, which is honestly absolute garbage. If you do not know, many women bleed the first time they have sex. It was believed this was because of the breaking of the hymen, and while in some cases this is true, it is not the absolute truth. The biggest reasons women bleed the first time they have intercourse is because of a lack of foreplay and proper lubrication and/or because of microtears due to the first instance of anything of size entering their vaginal canal. Many vulva owners tear their hymens before they ever have even considered intercourse when they are children. It can tear in sports, riding a horse, from falling while learning to skate or ride a bike, and some folks aren't even born with them. So a hymen is not proof of virginity.
The final two terms I want to point you to in the diagram are the prepuce and the clitoris. The prepuce is also known as the clitoral hood. This is a small amount of skin that hangs over to protect the sensitive clitoris. The hood pulls back when the clitoris becomes aroused and engorged. (Yes, the clitoris becomes engorged and gets bigger when it is aroused.) I want to add a reminder here that 75% of vulva owners need clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm, so make sure you are paying attention to the clitoris and learning how your partner likes to have it touched, or sucked, or played with.
#2 Internal Anatomy
So, we have several pictures here. We're going to break down each one. Also, each picture has a link so you can learn more if you would like.
Here I would like you to not the locations of the different "Spots" There are the A, U, O, and G. While all of these Spots are highly debated, and each vagina owner will respond differently to different stimulation, these are some general ideas of where a vagina owner can obtain pleasure internally. This picture also has stars next to other external and internal areas that could produce arousal or orgasm, such as the anus, clitoris, and for some, the cervix.
I want to dive deeper into the G-spot and the Skene's gland. As you can see in the image above, they have the bone-like structure surrounding the urethra labeled as prostate gland tissue. This structure is not bone but glands, the Skene's glands. It is believed that in utero if a vulva owner had been born a male, that their Skene's gland would have become their prostate. That is why it is labeled as prostate tissue in this picture. As you can see, there are opening from these glands into the urethra. As I stated earlier, the Skene's gland and Bartholin's gland are instrumental in female lubrication. The Skene's gland is also instrumental in female ejaculation. The secretions of the Skene's gland have a chemical makeup similar to that of prostate fluid, and they are secreted into the urethra when a vagina owner's G-Spot is stimulated. The G-Spot, which is located 1-2 inches inside the vaginal opening, is the underside of these Skene's glands. This is why G-Spot stimulation is usually necessary if you want to get a vagina owner to have a female ejaculation or squirting orgasm.
I will note here, too, that while a vagina owner can have some urine mixed in with a squirting orgasm, especially if she did not empty her bladder before sex or if intimacy has been going on for a long time, squirting in and of itself is not urine. It is a natural and often involuntary orgasmic response, though sometimes it can occur without a traditional orgasm.
The actual size of the clitoris, as far as human anatomy studies go, is a fairly new bit of information, with the full structure not being discovered and understood until 1998. Yes, you read that right, 1998!. Before then, it was believed that the clitoris was simply the external nub, but it is so much more than that. While the visible part of the clitoris does contain about 8000 nerve endings, the internal structure of the clitoris is full of nerve endings too. It can be stimulated via the labia and vulva, as well as internal with fingers, toys, or a penis. Seeing the entire structure makes it that much easier to understand why the clitoris plays such a vital role in a vulva-owners ability to orgasm.
#3 What Happens After Having a Baby?
I have been pregnant 4 times, have vaginally delivered 5 children, 3 of whom are alive today. Your body and vagina go through a lot of changes when pregnant and after delivering a child. I could easily cover the changes that happen to your body while pregnant and what that means for your vagina and intimate life, but I wanted to focus on what happens to your body after having that baby. The biggest reason is that women so often lose the sense that they are sexual beings after having children. Becoming a mother does not change the fact that you are a woman and deserve sexual intimacy and pleasure.
The biggest piece of advice I can give before you have the baby is to do your Kegels. During birth, if possible, don't take the epidural. I realize it is a painful experience; all of my deliveries were without pain medication, I'm well aware of the pain. The issue with an epidural is that you can not move. The method of childbirth that has become common in hospitals of lying on your back with your knees hugged into your chest is not conducive to childbirth, and when you have an epidural, you can not move and have no other birthing options. By being able to move, you can let your body do what comes naturally to it. I was squatting or all fours for the births of my living children, which were my full-term babies. I had very minimal tearing and was able to work with my body through labor, pushing when my body told me to, instead of a doctor. I realize this does not work for everyone, but it was my journey and worked well.
For after you have your baby, be gentle with your body. Give it grace. Give it the full 6 weeks to heal, and begin doing your Kegels as soon after birth as feels comfortable. Understand that whenever you decide to engage in sexual activities again, especially intercourse, it will feel different the first couple of times. You may require more lube and may need to go slower, more shallow, or try different positions for comfort. If you have a lot of pain or struggles, don't be afraid to reach out to your doctor or a pelvic floor therapist, which we shall discuss next.
#4 Pelvic PT and When to Seek Medical Help
Ok, while pelvic rehab and pelvic floor issues are not only related to pregnancy, or to women in general, pregnancy and birth are massive physical traumas to this region of the body, and can cause immense damage to the muscles of the pelvic floor. Above you can see the network of muscles that make up the pelvic floor. Many times this muscles can tear during pregnancy and childbirth, and many times will go unnoticed or undiagnosed, sometimes for years afterwards, if they are ever diagnosed at all. This is still an area I will admit I am not as knowledgable as I would like to be, but that more because it is a medical specialization area. Doctors and physical therapists are trained to look for and know how to help and heal these kinds of issues.
Above I have Ashlie, who is a pelvic physical therapist. I first found he via TikTok, and the information that she was putting out just blew me away. She is local in the Harrisburg, PA area, but there are more and more pelvic physical therapists popping up across the country. Chances are too, that if you have had a baby, your insurance will cover at least a consultation with a pelvic floor specialist. I also am including a link to a listing of other common pelvic floor issues after having a baby.
Please, if you are having ongoing issues, pain, or something just doesn't feel right, speak with your doctor.
#5 Sex after Menopause or a Hysterectomy
Both menopause and hysterectomies can seem scary to younger vagina-owners. Not only because of the immense physical changes it brings with it, but also the emotional and mental changes, many of which are tied up in our own self-image. There is often a fear, too, that once you have reached meopause or have had to have a hysterectomy that your sex life is over. That could not be further from the truth. There are so many options today to help those who have gone through menopause or who have had to have a hysterectomy to be able to still have fulfilling intimate lives, if that is what they want. Between hormonal identical therapy, hormone replacement therapy, creams, gels, dilators, lube and so many other options, it is possible to continue have penetrative intercourse for as long as you want. Also, sex can begin to mean different things as we age or have to adjust to life changes like a hysterectomy. Perhaps oral sex and mutual masturbation will become more of staple, or toys will need to be incorporated more. Bottom line, neither menopause nor a hysterectomy makes you any less of a sexual being, and neither means the end of your sex life.