Our bodies are weird and wonderful. You'd be surprised by all of the amazing stuff that goes on inside that we don't even think about. As much as we might curse our bodies when that time of the month comes around, there are benefits to being a female of the species too. For example, did you know that we have sharper senses than men do and we're way more flexible? Evolution has given us some unique perks.
You might be interested in learning about your lady bits too. That's what's most different to our male counterparts after all. You might be interested to learn that the clitoris is the only part of the human body that's solely devoted to giving us pleasure. There's another great perk to being a lady for you! And we should know about lady parts, and our bodies in general. Because how will you know if something is wrong if you don't know anything about your body? Gaining knowledge of your body can help you respect it more, and help you to stay healthy. So we've gathered some fascinating and shocking facts about the female body that you may not have known previously.
15 Women Cry More Than Men
It's an annoying stereotype that women are emotional wrecks and quick to fall to pieces when something bad happens, especially during that time of the month. But the unfortunate truth is, according to science, that women actually do cry more than men. Psychologists from Tilburg University in the Netherlands found that women cry two to five times per month and three to five times more often than dudes. And it's not just the case that European women are crybabies, there's a similar gap across all countries (except for some African countries, in which there are minimal differences between men and women). There is a reason why us gals are more likely to sob our hearts out, it's in our biology. It's thought that testosterone may prevent men from crying, while female reproductive hormones may encourage it. So, technically, it's not our fault. Plus, according to experts, us women tend to seek out activities that elicit strong emotions, such as watching a sad movie.
14 Some women are born with two uteruses
I'm sure you don't appreciate the fact that you have one uterus sometimes, having two would be too much. The odd truth is that some women are born with two uteruses and even two vaginas! All female foetuses have two uteruses, two vaginas and two cervixes to begin with that are split by a temporary wall. As the foetus grows all these parts merge together, losing the wall, to form one uterus, vagina and cervix. In three percent of female babies the process is disrupted and they're born with the wall intact, making two separate uteruses. According to doctors, some with this condition have two vaginas and have to decide which to have intercourse with when they want to get pregnant. Ahh, decisions, decisions... Joking aside, it's an important decision because people with this condition usually find that one uterus is more viable than the other.
13 Women have more nightmares
I don't know about you, but I have vivid nightmares fairly regularly. In a recent nightmare, I was being attacked by a hoard of feral cats – not fun. Unfortunately, research has shown that us girls are more prone to having nightmares. Dr Jennie Parker of the University of West England found that women have more nightmares than men and that our nightmares have a strong link to our emotions. The women who took part in the study showed evidence of 'emblem' dreams in which real life anxieties concerning things that have happened in the past show up in their dreams. According to Dr Parker, “women’s nightmares can be broadly divided into three categories, fearful dreams – being chased or life threatened, losing a loved one or confused dreams.” I guess my crazy cat dream falls in the category of being chased/threatened.
12 We're super flexible
It's not just the yoga that's making you as a bendy as wet spaghetti. We're born that way! Scientists have discovered that women have a more flexible lower back than men. Of course, we have evolution to thank for that, in particular the need for mothers to stay mobile during pregnancy. Obviously, you gain several pounds when you have a bun in the oven and this shifts the center of gravity in your body. Without a flexible lower back you wouldn't be able to stay upright. It means that when you're pregnant you can carry on doing all the normal stuff you would want to do, we just keep calm and carry on! According to studies of pregnant women, when they're stood upright and lean back the curvature of their spine increases by 60%. Try that fellas! It's also thought that our flexibility is beneficial to carrying babies in our arms. You have to imagine that it does no harm when it comes to making babies, too.
11 The Best Age To Have A Baby
Our parents' generation can't quite understand the way in which many of us millennials want to wait to have children. Earlier generations had babies earlier. But when is the best time to have a baby? Biologically speaking, experts say that you are in the best condition in your late teens or early twenties because you're less likely to have complications during pregnancy. Yet, at that age there are more likely to be social problems, for example it could affect your education. If we want to go into specifics, the best age for you to have a baby in terms of the health of the infant is 26 according to some experts; while other research suggests age 32. In terms of the health of the mother, experts say the ideal age is 34. Clearly, therefore there are different experts and different studies saying different things. An obvious conclusion would be to have your first baby when it feels right for you.
10 We expose our bodies to harmful chemicals every day
I watched an episode of Chelsea on Netflix recently, which featured a woman talking about the impact of the products we use on breast milk. She had her milk tested and found she had nasty stuff in her milk like fuel. It's scary that the products we use affect our bodies in such a way. According to research from the Environmental Working Group, US women apply an average of 168 chemicals to their bodies every single day. Some of those chemicals are harmless but some are toxins which can increase the risk of reproductive issues and cancer in women. We are doing it unknowingly as well, because it's not like you think about cancer when you're applying a moisturizer at night. Your best bet is to research the products that you're using and perhaps choose organic products instead.
9 Our Senses Are Sharper
Misogynists like to think that men are superior to women in all aspects of life. We know better, of course. And when it comes to our senses we're superior. According to Dr Paul Breslin, professor of Nutrition at Rutgers University, “women seem to have a slight edge up on men in terms of abilities.” For example, men are more prone to color blindness and hearing loss – they're five and a half times more likely to have hearing loss as they get older, starting at the age of 20. So maybe, when you think your guy isn't listening to you, it's actually that he can't hear you! Women also have a more adept sense of smell when it comes to body odor. The reason is that we choose a mate who we can sense has a strong immune system based on what we're getting from their scent. So it seems that overall we have developed stronger senses than blokes.
8 Our Bodies Have Sensitive Zones
Canadian scientists carried out a study to determine which erogenous zones on a woman's body are most sensitive. The test, involving healthy women ages 18 to 35, saw scientists prod women in their different parts with different levels of intensity (using scientific instruments of course). Here's what those saucy scientists found out: The areas most affected by light touching are the neck, forearm and vaginal margin (the edge of your vajayjay that's closest to your behind). The areas most sensitive to pressure, as well as vibration, are the clitoris and nipple. The anus and side boob are least sensitive when it comes to pressure. The clitoris is the most sensitive to vibration overall – that's pretty obv, we buy'toys' for a reason. It's pretty cool because this study is helpful in terms of gender reassignment surgery and breast augmentation.
7 Our Lady Parts Are Longer Than You Think
You think of the clitoris as that little nubbin tucked away under the hood at the top of your vagina. But she's much more than that. The clitoris actually extends inside of your body in a sort of wishbone shape. The nub is just the top part of it. The inside part forms legs that can be as long as nine centimeters. Our lady bits are much more complicated than you would think, well to be honest, we don't really think about them that much. But we're lucky to have a clitoris. It's the only part on a human body that is solely devoted to pleasure. Obviously there are other parts (e.g. the peen) that give the body pleasure but they also serve other functions, while our clits are only about having a good time! Plus you might not have realized that despite the visible nub of the clitoris being smaller in stature than a penis, it's more sensitive!
6 Our Lady Parts Grow With Age
We stop growing in height in our teens, but there's one part of our body that grows throughout our entire lives, the clitoris. It seems odd but it's true. By the age of 32 your clit will be four times the size it was at puberty. And it just gets bigger from there, by the time you reach the age of menopause your clitoris will be seven times the size it was when you were born. Clits come in all different sizes. Some women have them so small that it's even harder for their partners to locate them. That's because for some unfortunate souls the clitoris is covered up by vulva tissue. But as you know now, she grows with age so it will get easier for somebody to find your pleasure point in later years.
5 Half Of Us Don't Know Where Our Lady Parts Are
Have you seen that episode of Orange is the New Black where some of the ladies didn't know that we have two separate holes down there – the vagina and the one for peeing? It turns out that the storyline isn't so far from the truth. Many of us need an education in our own parts. A UK study showed that only half of the women surveyed could locate their vagina on an anatomical diagram – half! Plus, fewer than a third could label six different parts down there. It's pretty bad. If you don't think you could label the parts then you need to do some studying girl. We need the information for the sake of our health. We need to be aware of our bodies so that we can work out if something is wrong. The study also showed that one in seven women couldn't name a single gynaecological cancer. That's dangerous.
4 Our bodies change a lot in our Twenties
I don't know about you but I have noticed some changes in my body since entering my twenties. I certainly get worse hangovers now. The truth is that even in our twenties our bodies are still growing and changing, which is surprising because you would think that by the time you've gotten through your teens and come out the other side you're fully grown. Your brain for example is still developing in your early twenties, your prefrontal cortex in particular which has to do with decision-making. So that's why you're still doing stupid sh*t in your early twenties. And for a lot of women, their period changes for the better in their twenties – it becomes more regular. But here's the bad news, gynaecologists believe that cramps get worse in your twenties due to the high production of hormones that cause contractions in your uterus. That's no fun.
3 Your man's seed is good for your body
It's hard to believe such a thing is the truth, it sounds like more of a myth your man would use to get some action. But seminal fluid really is good for a woman's body. First of all it helps fight depression and anxiety. His swimmers contain the hormones serotonin, oxytonin and endorphins which are all mood-boosters. So next time you feel down, you might want to go out and get some action. Another benefit of his swimmers is that it helps you sleep better. Semen contains melatonin which you've probably heard of because sleeping aids you buy at the pharmacy contain the stuff. It's the melatonin that makes you want to go to sleep after a love-making session and it also helps you to stay asleep. So it turns out that your man's juices are good for you after all.
2 Women's and Men's Brains Aren't So Different
It's often thought that the brains of men and women work differently and it's what makes us such staunch opposites. Yet a study at Tel Aviv university showed that, in actual fact, men's and women's brains aren't that different. There are some features that show up more often in women's brains, and some features that show up more in men's but the study found that we all have a highly unique mix of such features. All of our brains are individuals. Our experiences and environment also have an affect on the characteristics of our brains, in other words “nurture”. But it can't be said that everyone who has a set of mostly female features in the brain is female and the same goes for dudes. So men and women aren't split into two distinct groups when it comes to our brains.
1 Women Hate Their Bodies More Than Ever
You'd think with the whole body positive movement that women would be becoming more comfortable in the skin their in. But apparently, in 2016, we feel worse about our bodies than ever before. The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report surveyed over 10,000 women from 13 different countries and found body confidence to be at an all time low. According to the survey, most women (85%) have avoided going to important events because they didn't feel comfortable with their appearance. And perhaps the freakiest statistic says that 87% of women would be willing to starve themselves if they didn't think they looked good. We all know how unhealthy that is! But rather than end on a sad note, let's work to change these statistics by supporting and loving other women, along with ourselves. Let's work on being happy and healthy, and not ashamed of our bodies.