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How Deep Is a Female Vagina? The Average Depth of a Vaginal Canal

Everybody is unique, but on average, vaginal canals are around 3.77 inches (9.6 centimeters) deep. In this article, Flo has summed up what influences the depth of female genitalia.

Female reproductive organs include the vagina, ovaries, and uterus. The external sexual organs are referred to as the vulva. The vulva includes the vaginal opening, clitoris, and outer and inner lips (labia majora and labia minora, respectively) of the vagina.

The vagina is a closed muscular passage extending from the vulva to the cervix (the neck of the womb). The color, size, and shape of vaginas vary. Some vaginas are ovoid (egg-shaped) and small, and some are large and cylindrical. Vaginas range from deep red-pink to light pink in color. A large study of women found that the average length of the vagina is 3.77 inches (9.6 centimeters), and the average vaginal opening is 1.14 inches (2.9 centimeters) in width.

No matter the size or shape of your vagina, what’s important is that it functions normally.

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The vaginal walls are quite elastic and have rugae, which are a series of ridges. This means the vaginal walls can collapse or expand whenever needed. The vagina can stretch very easily during sex or while delivering a baby. Because of this flexibility, the vagina doesn’t stay at one specific size and changes as needed.

Changes in the vagina due to childbirth

Vaginas can change naturally after delivering a baby, and it’s normal to feel dry, sore, or wider after giving birth. During delivery, babies travel through the cervix and are delivered through the vagina. The vaginal opening stretches to allow the baby to pass through it. After a vaginal delivery, it’s normal for vaginas to feel drier or looser than usual. Sex may also be a bit painful for a while.

After a vaginal delivery, the vagina will not return entirely back to its previous shape. This shouldn’t cause any problems, though. If you have any concerns about this, you can talk to your doctor.

It’s normal for vaginas to feel drier after childbirth because of the reduced levels of estrogen compared to what they were during pregnancy. After you stop breastfeeding your baby and getting your period again, your estrogen levels will stabilize to their pre-pregnancy levels. If vaginal dryness creates problems during sex, you can try using or adding more lubricant.

Changes in the vagina due to menopause

Hormonal fluctuations (especially estrogen) during menopause produce various changes in the body. This can affect the vulva and vagina.

  • Vulvovaginal atrophy — The lack of estrogen causes the vulvar tissues and vaginal lining to become drier, less elastic, and thinner. This is referred to as vulvovaginal atrophy. In this condition, the vagina creates fewer fluids, resulting in reduced lubrication.
  • Atrophic vaginitis — Atrophic vaginitis occurs due to a lack of estrogen during menopause and can cause vaginal discharge and redness. The condition usually gets better with low doses of vaginal estrogen.
  • Prolapse — Prolapse is a condition in which one or more pelvic organs (rectum, bladder, and uterus) slides down from its usual position and protrudes in the vagina. Prolapse can occur due to a strain of the muscles supporting the pelvic organs. This kind of straining can happen during vaginal delivery or with violent coughing, heavy lifting, or chronic constipation. Mild or moderate cases of prolapse can get better with nonsurgical treatment. Severe cases of prolapse may require surgical treatment.  

What can you do to maintain the health of your vagina?

You can take the following steps to maintain your overall and vaginal health:

  • Maintain your sexual health. This includes using condoms while having sex and being thoughtful about your sex partners to protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Have an honest conversation with your sex partner about STIs and make sure you both get tested. Make sure to clean sex toys properly after every use.

  • Get vaccinated. Vaccines can help protect you from contracting human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that is linked to the development of cervical cancer, and hepatitis B, a severe infection of the liver that can transfer via sexual contact.
  • Know your medicines. Talk to your doctor about any medication you’re taking, including if it has any possible side effects on your sexual health.
  • Perform Kegel exercises. Doing Kegel exercises regularly can help tone the muscles of your pelvic floor, helping prevent prolapse, pelvic floor weakness, and incontinence.
  • Avoid smoking and limit your alcohol intake. Excessive drinking may impair your sexual function, and the nicotine from cigarette smoke may reduce sexual arousal. Furthermore, substance abuse may also cause an adverse effect on your mental and physical health.

Maintaining vaginal health is an integral part of general health. Just as there is a variation in the size of feet, hands, and breasts, the depth and size of vaginas also vary.

Moreover, the depth and size of vaginas change in certain circumstances. It can stretch to accommodate a baby during labor as well, as the introduction of a finger, tampon, or penis. Although it may feel embarrassing at first, if you have any concerns about your vagina or vaginal health, it’s important to talk to your doctor.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/vagina-shapes-and-sizes/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15746674-pelvic-organ-support-study-posst-the-distribution-clinical-definition-and-epidemiologic-condition-of-pelvic-organ-support-defects/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/vagina-changes-after-childbirth/

https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/changes-at-midlife/changes-in-the-vagina-and-vulva

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cystocele/symptoms-causes/syc-20369452

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562

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