8 Things You Didn't Know Your Vagina Could Do, Because You Basically Have Superpowers

I may be 28 years old, but I'm only recently discovering the wonderful world of vaginas. I mean, I've enjoyed them sexually for a long time, but I never really wanted to know much about my lady parts. Which is perhaps best exhibited by my referring to them by names like "my lady parts." Sure, we all take the necessary steps when we have an "Is my vagina normal?" freakout, but aside from the basics, we probably don't know how awesome they actually are.

I just wasn't into self-exploration or understanding periods or anything. The only real exploration I did was lying on the bathroom floor at 12 figuring out how to use tampons, because I was terrified I would get my period when I was at my dad's instead of my mom's. Then my vagina and I basically went our separate ways, except for the sex.

Vaginas are effing amazing. And I'm embarrassed that some sort of weird body shame kept me from learning or acknowledging that earlier. Now I am their biggest cheerleader, and am constantly learning things about them that I didn't realize were possible. Seriously, it's not all just sex and period and babies and that stuff. Don't believe me? Here are eight awesome things your vagina can do.

1. Clean Itself

Vaginas are amazing at cleaning themselves. That's a large part of what's happening with that odorless discharge you get — it's sloughing off all the stuff you don't need. And you should leave it to its own devices. All those cleaning products not only perpetuate a horrible myth that vaginas are dirty, but can also cause health problems. According to Women's Health: "Problems arise when you use products that alter the pH levels, causing it to increase into an unhealthy range, which screws with the balance of good and bad bacteria. The result: You’re more susceptible to infections, irritations, and sensitivity — all of which can make you more vulnerable to contracting STDs."

2. Get A Boner

Well, sort of. The fun isn't all for boys, you know. When you're aroused, the increased blood flow means that the clitoris becomes engorged and firm, similar to an erection. It's not exactly the same as a boner, but it's actually better, because it can ...

3. Feel Twice As Much As A Penis

That's right, our clit contains over 8,000 nerve endings, more than anywhere else in the body. A penis has half that. So size isn't everything.

4. Change Color

Not like a chameleon, unfortunately. Or like a mood ring. How amazing would it be if your vagina was like a mood ring? But they do come in a load of different colors, and some will change color naturally with age.

5. Expand ... Like, A Lot

When aroused, vaginas expand through a process known as vaginal tenting, during which it can double in size. Professor Debby Herbenick told BuzzFeed that, “when women become aroused, there’s more muscular tension in the body ... that muscular tension draws the uterus upward, creating more space in the vagina lengthwise.” More room for fun. Also for babies.

6. Pump Iron

Vaginas are hella strong. I mean, that sort of makes sense, as you can push a living, breathing human thing through them. But besides their natural strength, you can also pump iron to make them even more buff (and to make your orgasms even more intense). Start with contracting exercises, and then, if you want more of a challenge, you can even try vaginal weights. Beat that, CrossFit.

7. Talk To You

I don't mean queefing, although they can certainly do that. A lot. Your vaginal secretions actually tell you a lot about your fertility. You know how sometimes it's clear and sometimes it's more milky or white, or how the consistency can change? Well, you can use this to chart when you're most fertile and ready to make a baby.

8. Save A Life

Your vagina is basically an Hermione-Granger-level overachiever. "Oh, make life? Sure, I'll do that, and why don't I just save some lives too, while I'm at it." There is currently a study underway testing the use of menstrual blood to treat those with congestive heart failure. Scientists are extracting stem cells to create muscle cells for the heart. The process is currently just in trial phases, but it's further proof that vaginas can basically do it all.

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Images: Matías Q.V/Flickr; Giphy (8)