Hoo-ha. Ya-ya. Fancy Bit. Velvet Glove. There are so many names for the vagina (and these are the more flattering ones).

We love a good nickname as much as the next person, but for many of us with a vagina, these nicknames are pretty much cover-ups for a complex and multifaceted genital area we might’ve never gotten to know. (For example, those who are born female at birth are told they have a vagina, but the clitoris and the urethra are forgotten. This leads to an entire future of lost potential in pleasure and health.)

As we get older and discover our own sexuality, we absorb the message that our bodies — our vaginas included — could be “more:” more tight, more pleasantly scented, more even-looking, more orgasmic, more pleasurable for our partners.

It’s a message that keeps us constantly searching and striving. But perfection — especially when it comes to the vagina — is literally an impossible standard to meet.

So it’s time we started talking about vaginas — correctly

We’ve carefully curated a series of articles that dive into what happens to our minds and bodies when we live by myths or misinformation about the vagina. These articles explore the vagina through the lens of history, science, culture, sex, and media.

Erika Engelhaupt uncovers how the past has shaped the way we talk about vaginas today and has led to our obsession with achieving the “perfect” V.

English Taylor looks at why more and more cis women are seeking vaginal rejuvenation and if the perfection is a myth, will surgery really make you happy?

Nian Hu looks at what happens when vagina myths go too far and turn into damaging stereotypes, while Nicole Lane unveils how empowering it can be when we don’t associate the vagina as the center of sexual desire.

These stories are just the tip of the (clitoral) iceberg!

The Vagina Files also features the best of Healthline’s expert- and science-backed vagina content in one place.

Knowledge is one of the strongest allies we can have, and we hope to provide you with everything you need to get to know your vagina better and take control of your vaginal health.

Editor: Christal Yuen
Illustrations: Pichamon Chamroenrak

Production: David Bahia
Contributors: Erika Engelhaupt, Nian Hu, English Taylor, S. Nicole Lane
Special thanks: Rita Mauceri, Whitney Akers, Healthline Editorial Team