There’s a lot of talk about what’s “normal” when it comes to vaginas.  It makes sense. Many of us have been raised to avoid talking about our nether regions so second-guessing seems natural. But if you’re ready to embrace your feminine parts and still left wondering about different kinds of vaginas and what makes a vagina “normal”, we want to help you out. 

What is normal anyway?

So while there are a lot of different types of vaginas, a vast majority of them are normal. Not all anatomy has to look the same for it to be considered normal. We all have different eye colors, nose shape, and knee caps- vaginas work the same way. Just because no two are alike doesn’t mean they’re wrong. 

So what’s the nitty gritty of normal? Normally, people with a vagina will experience periods as part of a menstrual hormone cycle. A normal vaginal will have a canal that fits the size of an average tampon. We can also expect a mound of nerves that comes in handy for pleasure-more on that below!

There are some outliers of course too. It’s possible to have an underdeveloped vagina that is too shallow for a tampon. Folks with a vagina like this benefit from surgical intervention and the care of a doctor as it could mean other organs could be underdeveloped as well. Some folks may have a vagina that’s fully developed but that has extra tissue blocking the opening, which can make periods last extra long and make insertion extra challenging and painful. These folks also benefit from surgical care to repair tissue. 

The Parts

While there are a wide variety of types of vaginas, it’s mostly about the size and placement of the same key components. For the sake of self-exploration, we’re going to focus on the visual parts of the female anatomy. Your OB/GYN would be the best judge of your internal anatomy and be best able to help you determine if there are any issues there. 

The parts of the vagina you can regularly see are the labia, clitoris, and the mons pubis. There are both outer and inner vagina lips that we call the labia majora and the labia minora respectively. The mons pubis is just the technical term for the fatty tissue surrounding the pubic bone. And if you’re used to self-pleasure, then you’re probably familiar with the clitoris. The clitoris actually has a large internal network, but there is a small protruding part that becomes engorged with stimulation. All of these parts should be easily seen to the naked eye. 

Find out your type of vagina

Are there different types of vaginas? First things first, get comfy. Talking vaginas means getting up close and personal with yourself. A great time to look is after a shower. Not only will you be feeling fresh down there, you’ll also be used to being comfortable and naked. 

We also recommend a mirror. It helps to get a lay of the land with a lot of different angles. Mirrors can help you identify different components of your vagina and where they fall in respect to other parts. Some women even appreciate taking pictures. While these anatomy shots may not be the sexy shares with your significant other, they may help you learn to embrace your type of vagina when you see it in photo form. 

Then you’re going to find some different comfortable positions. You’re going to want to check out your vagina both while laying down and standing up. The laws of gravity also apply to vaginas so sometimes you may notice shifts in appearance depending on your position. Depending on your anatomy it may also be helpful to move some things around down there. Some labia minora simply aren’t visible unless we move things around. 

Larger outer labia, smaller inner labia

In this type of vagina the labia majora is larger than the labia minora. Visually this may mean that you hardly even see the smaller labia minora unless laying down or moving things around. While standing you may be able to see very little beyond the crease between the two larger labia majora lips.

Larger inner labia, smaller outer labia

This type of vagina is the opposite of the prior. In this vagina, the labia majora is actually a bit smaller while the labia minora is a bit larger in comparison. This labia shape may create a sort of ridge-like labia majora. When standing, you may notice the labia minora hanging down outside the vagina. 

Closer labia

Labia can also be different distances apart. Both labia majora and labia minora can be either close or far together. Labia majora that are close together may create a tight crevice look when standing. Labia minora that are close together may need some help pulling apart to find the vaginal opening.

Distant labia

In contrast to closer labia, both labia majora and labia minora can be further apart. Labia majora that are further apart may leave more visible to the naked eye when standing. Labia minora that are further apart may make it easy to reach the vaginal opening.

Asymmetrical labia

Perhaps most popular, labia come in different shapes and sizes. Your left and right labia majora or labia minora are more sisters, less twins. One lip being larger than the other or hanging down further than another while standing is actually very common. 

Big or small clitoris

The clitoris and the clitoral hood also vary in size. Some women have small clitoris with bigger hoods. Others have larger clitorises with smaller hoods. Both feel pleasure the same and are simply an aesthetic difference. 

Color variations

Finally, color variations are very normal when it comes to vaginas. Vaginas can range from your skin tone to pink, to even shades of purple. When aroused these colors can shift. The key is to learn the normal for you and your vagina. If yours is regularly a pinkish hue and it shifts to red, it may be time to find a doctor. 

It’s all Normal

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that all of the above are normal. There is no one type of vagina, and there certainly isn’t one that’s right. Just like the rest of your body, it’s just something that makes you uniquely you. There’s nothing wrong with being exactly who you are. 

If you’ve enjoyed this read and learned something, we encourage you to keep reading. In our regular blog feature ‘Ask the Experts’ we answer your real questions about feminine health. 

September 21, 2022

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.