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The vagina is the female body part that connects the womb (uterus) and cervix to the outside of the body.


The vagina is a muscular tube lined with mucus membranes. Its opening is between the urethra (where urine exits the body) and the anus.

The vagina allows for the flow of menstrual blood and for sexual intercourse, and is the passageway through which a baby is born. Inflammation of the vagina is known as vaginitis.


Katz VL. Reproductive anatomy: Gross and microscopic, clinical correlations. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL. eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 3.

Review Date: 
Reviewed By: 
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.