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 mucous membranes. Its opening is between the urethra (where urine leaves the body) and the anus.
Menstrual blood leaves the body through the vagina. The vagina also allows for sexual intercourse, and it is the passageway a baby goes through when it 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: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 3.
Update Date 8/14/2015
Updated 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, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.