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Female External Genitalia (Vulva)

Picture of female external genitalia

The external female genitalia (vulva) include:

  • The opening of the vagina (also called the birth canal). The vagina is part of the reproductive tract and extends from the womb (uterus) to outside the body.
  • The fleshy lips (labia majora and labia minora) around the vagina.
  • A small bump of tissue (clitoris) covered with a thin flap of tissue. The clitoris is the main source of sensations during sexual activity.

During a vaginal self-examination, you can also see the urethra, an opening that leads to the bladder, and the anus, the opening that leads to the colon.

Current as of: February 19, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC, FACOG - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

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