As one of the most integral parts of a woman's anatomy, the vagina is imperative for an array of sexual and reproductive processes. As the vagina is an internal sex organ that also has an external opening, this anatomical feature is often considered to be both an internal and external body part.
The Anatomy of the Vagina
The vagina, a sensitive region functionally used for intercourse and reproduction, has three layers of tissue: mucosa, muscle, and fibrous tissue.
- The mucosa layer is the smooth surface layer that can be touched.
- Below the mucosa, the muscle tissues of the vagina allows for the tightening and widening of the vagina during sexual activities and child birth.
- Lastly, the fibrous tissue of the third layer helps connect the vagina to other vital structures within a woman's body.
The Vagina and Intercourse
When a woman is not aroused, the vagina is essentially like a flat and compressed tube. As a women moves through her regularly daily functions, the vagina is not in the same form as it would be in a sexually aroused state. When engaging in sexually stimulating activities, the vagina will expand and contract, adjusting its size to fit a penis, finger, or sexual device. Since the actual mucosa layer of the vagina does not have many nerve endings, the vagina itself is not extremely sensitive. In fact, in order to stimulate a strong sexual response, a woman and / or her sexual partner should concentrate on exciting the outer one third of the vaginal region.
The outer area, most notably near the opening of the vagina, holds approximately 90 percent of the vagina's nerve endings. As a result, this outer area is highly sensitive and can be used to stimulate an array of sexual benefits. While the interior part of the vagina may still be sensitive to pain or discomfort, this region will generally not be very responsive to sexual stimulation efforts.
Vagina and Lubrication
To allow for reproduction and intercourse, the vaginal walls respond to feelings of sexual arousal by secreting small drops of fluid along the mucosa walls. As the vagina contains an array of blood vessels, feelings of arousal force the blood vessels to fill with blood. As this occurs, the enlarged blood vessels push against the vaginal tissues, forcing the vagina's natural fluids to slowly emit through the walls of the vagina.
As a result of this process, efforts of foreplay prior to intercourse often help a woman experience a more comfortable and pleasurable sexual experience, as the foreplay allows for the vagina to release a substantial amount of lubrication. Once the lubrication is released, the vagina can become penetrated for intercourse. Without the body's natural lubrication, intercourse can typically feel quite painful. For some women, however, the vagina does not always secrete enough lubrication during arousal. To overcome this struggle, women can utilize artificial or herbal / all natural lubricants. As most lubricants are comprised of gentle ingredients, a woman can utilize these products to encounter more satisfying and pleasurable sexual experiences.