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20 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Vagina

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[i] Ebrahim, S., et al. (2002). “Sexual Intercourse and Risk of Ischaemic Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease: The Caerphilly Study.” Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, 56, 99–102.

[ii] Lê, M.G., et al. (1989). “Characteristics of Reproductive Life and Risk of Breast Cancer in a Case-Control Study of Young Nulliparous Women.” Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 42(12), 1227–1233.

[iii] Charnetski, Carl J. & Francis X. Brennan. (2001). Feeling Good Is Good For You: How Pleasure Can Boost Your Immune System and Lengthen Your Life. Emmaus: Rodale Press, Inc.

[iv] Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s Sexualities. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

[v] Weeks, David & Jamie James. (1998). Secrets of the Superyoung. New York: Berkley Books

[vi] Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s Sexualities. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

[vii] Cutler, Winnifred B. (1991). Love Cycles: The Science of Intimacy. New York: Villard Books.

[viii] Burleson, Mary H., et al. (1991). “Heterosexual Activity and Cycle Length Variability: Effect of Gynecological Maturity.” Physiology & Behavior, 50, 863–866.

[ix] Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s Sexualities. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

[x] Kaplan, Helen Singer. (1984, October). “Desire ? Why and How It Changes.” Redbook, 58. As cited in Komisaruk & Whipple, 1995.

[xi] Shapiro, D. (1983). “Effect of Chronic Low Back Pain on Sexuality.” Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 17, 241–245. As cited in Komisaruk & Whipple, 1995.

[xii] Whipple, Beverly & Barry R. Komisaruk. (1985). “Elevation of Pain Threshold by Vaginal Stimulation in Women.” Pain, 21, 357–367.

[xiii] Catania, Joseph A. & Charles B. White. (1982). “Sexuality in an Aged Sample: Cognitive Determinants of Masturbation.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 11(3), 237–245.

[xiv] Charnetski, Carl J. & Francis X. Brennan. (2001). Feeling Good Is Good For You: How Pleasure Can Boost Your Immune System and Lengthen Your Life. Emmaus: Rodale Press, Inc.

[xv] Weeks, David J. (2002). “Sex for the Mature Adult: Health, Self-Esteem and Countering Ageist Stereotypes.” Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 17(3), 231–240.

[xvi] Hurlbert, David Farley & Karen Elizabeth Whittaker. (1991). “The Role of Masturbation in Marital and Sexual Satisfaction: A Comparative Study of Female Masturbators and Nonmasturbators.” Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 17(4), 272–282.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
3:54AM PDT on Oct 1, 2015

It's amazing how many women and the men who love them do not know what makes up female genitalia. Get a mirror, look and learn.

3:55PM PDT on Sep 29, 2015

Thank you for this important information - real and necessary knowledge that isn't taught and rarely discussed.

3:08PM PDT on Sep 29, 2015

Great article. All young girls should have access to this information. Embrace your uniqueness!

7:22PM PDT on Sep 28, 2015

Not bad writing, but some of the descriptions u could've done without. I definitely cringed reading this.

7:18PM PDT on Sep 28, 2015

Wow, this article is freaking crazy.

10:10AM PDT on Sep 21, 2015

Great article, thank you! I would like to add that for women it is really important to get to know and love their bodies. Most of us are completely disconnected from our genitals because of our cultural upbringing. I agree with what they said about vagina being a muscle that needs to be exercised to stay toned, but completely disagree with using vibrators. Vibrators dull our senses and make us require more and more stimulation over time.

Yoni egg is my favorite tool that helped me to get in touch with my body, learn to control my muscles, and it is very sweet and enjoyable practice. You can read more about it at

6:53PM PDT on Sep 19, 2015

Anders - real macaroons are made of almonds, not cocoanut. Look out for some of the real things next time you're in Rome.

6:44PM PDT on Sep 19, 2015

I find some women's sexual organs visually very beautiful, attractive, erotic; they often inspire a type of protective tenderness in me. But I'm sick of this nonsensical claim "they're all beautiful". That just renders the word meaningless. Like every other bodily part, male and female, they range in aesthetic qualities. Pretending that Quasimodo looks like Helen of Troy is PC gibberish.

4:39PM PDT on Sep 19, 2015

I really fail to see how an upbeat, supportive, and informative article about vaginas is somehow "degrading to women"?

3:57PM PDT on Sep 19, 2015

I find this article somewhat offensive.With the way females all over the world are being treated I would of hoped for a more supportive article.Rather than degrading us more.This just lets the unsavoury become more informed by viewing this as females don't even require privacy on issues of their most personal anatomy.Im really disappointed.Do we not have parents or doctors to go to if we want this info? What happened to respect of ones privacy

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