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: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 3.
Review Date: 8/12/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.