According to one study, the average vaginal depth is about 3.77 inches, which is 9.6 centimeters (cm). Other sources suggest that the average size may range from 3 to 7 inches (about 7.6–17.7 cm).

However, these variations in size are usually not apparent, even to a sexual partner.

Size and Appearance of the Vagina

An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology stated that the average depth of the vagina is about 3.77 inches (9.6 cm), but the depth and appearance of the vagina can vary widely.

In fact, the depth of the vagina (from the opening to the tip of the cervix) can measure anywhere from 7 inches (17.7 cm).

The vagina is the cervical canal, which separates the uterus and vagina.

Several types of tissue line the inside of the vagina, including the mucosa. The mucosa is made up of specialized cells that secrete a lubricating fluid, which helps to stretch the walls of the vagina.

The outer part of the female genitalia is the vulva. The vulva includes the labia majora and labia majora—the labia majora of the female genitalia.

The appearance of vulvas varies widely. The skin may be the same color or darker than the rest of the body. The labia majora, which are the outer “lips,” can vary in length from about 2.7 to 4.7 inches (7 to 12 cm).

The size of the clitoris ranges from about 0.1 to 1.3 inches (5 to 35 mm), but it swells and becomes larger if the woman is aroused.

What Affects Vaginal Size?

In some cases, the size and depth of the vagina changes. It may stretch to accommodate a tampon, a finger, or penile insertion.

During arousal, more blood flows into the vagina. This causes the vagina to lengthen and the tip of the cervix, or uterus, to rise slightly, allowing the penis, finger or sex toy to fit into the vagina.

While the vagina expands during arousal, a large penis or sex toy can still cause discomfort during intercourse.

How Does the Vagina Change Over Time?

The vagina will not change in appearance, because it is internal. In fact, research has found no correlation between a person’s vaginal depth and their age.

However, the labia may appear smaller over time. This is because the body’s estrogen levels decrease with age, which can reduce fat and collagen.

With hormonal changes over time, the genitals may also appear lighter or darker in color.

Some women may find that their vagina feels different after childbirth. Although the tissues in the vagina expand to accommodate the baby, this is not permanent.

The study found no difference in vaginal length between women who had given birth and those who had not.

If a person thinks their vagina feels different after giving birth, a doctor may recommend Kegel exercises, which involve squeezing and releasing the muscles used to control urination. The pelvic floor can be strengthened.

Vagina Size and Penis Length

The average erect penis is about 33% longer than the average vagina. Although both the penis and vagina can vary in size, these organs can usually accommodate each other.

A 2015 study found that the average penis length is just over 5 inches (13.12 cm). Some women may report discomfort if their partner’s penis is larger than average.

If something like a penis or sex toy hits the cervix, it can be painful or uncomfortable. Adequate lubrication and comforting a partner can help keep sexual activity pleasurable.

Self-care Tips

Tips to keep your vagina healthy include:

  • Avoiding douching or using heavily scented bath products, tampons, or feminine hygiene sprays
  • Change wet clothes and swimsuits as soon as possible to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Changing pads and tampons frequently
  • Use protection during sexual activity
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight, which can cause irritation and excessive sweating
  • Urinating after sex to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

The depth and appearance of the vagina varies greatly between individuals. Normally, the depth of the vagina is between 3 and 7 inches.

The vagina is an organ designed to accommodate both childbirth and sexual activity. However, if a woman is experiencing pain during sex that she thinks is a shallow vagina, she should talk to her doctor.

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