vagina

Vagina naming origins

The term vagina is from Latin vāgīnae, literally “sheath” or “scabbard”, and the vagina may be referred to as the birth canal in the context of pregnancy and childbirth.

Although by its dictionary and anatomical definitions, the term vagina refers exclusively to the specific internal structure, it is colloquially used to refer to the vulva or to both the vagina and vulva.

Using the term vagina to mean “vulva” can pose medical or legal confusion; for example, a person’s interpretation of its location not matching another person’s interpretation of the location.

Medically, the vagina is the muscular canal between the hymen (or remnants of the hymen) and the cervix, while, legally, it begins at the vulva (between the labia).

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