Anatomy of a girl’s vulva and vagina

Girl PubertyA pre-pubescent girl has a very different vulva and vagina than a grown woman does, and it needs to be treated differently.

It’s important to be able to name the basic parts so that everyone has a common – and correct – language. The vagina is the part on the inside; the vulva is on the outside, and includes all ‘external genitalia’ – the labia (four lips), the clitoris and the opening of the urethra.

The child’s vulva and vagina is far less accessible, flappy, oozy and hairy than a grown lady’s. It is likely to have the entrance at least partially closed over with the hymen which means nothing much gets in or out, and nor does it really need to.

The child’s vagina looks plump and generally has a single crease with at most a bit of the clitoris and urethral opening sticking out, with the outer labia (labia majora) covering most of it up.

The inside is your classic uterus and ovary scenario found in adult women, but these organs are inactive and although they are fully formed, and she has all the eggs she’ll have in her lifetime, without hormonal activity her system remains dormant. This includes her bacterial colonies too, as oestrogen feeds certain types of bacteria that protect a sexually active and fertile woman, matching the stage she is in her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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