Half of Men (and Almost as Many Women) Don't Know Where the Vagina Is

While it's true that the vagina is probably the body part most shrouded in mystery, it may shock you that a recent survey found that half of 2,000 U.K. men surveyed can't identify the vagina in an anatomical diagram.

But what's more is that in a study conducted in 2014, nearly the same amount (44 percent) of women couldn't find the vagina either. (For the record, the vagina is the internal canal that connects the cervix to the outside of the body — not to be confused with the vulva, which is the external genital area that includes the labia and clitoris.)

The findings of the surveys, conducted by British gynecological health organization The Eve Appeal, also point to other shocking revelations, like the fact that over half of the men surveyed were uncomfortable discussing gynecological health with their female partners, or that 17 percent said they knew nothing about the topic and "don’t feel that they need to know, as it is a female issue."

The Eve Appeal begs to differ and says that it released the findings of its survey in an attempt to increase awareness among men about gynecological health issues like symptoms of uterine, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and ovarian cancer — which men can actually help their female partners identify, according to The Eve Appeal CEO Athena Lamnisos.

Other findings included that only 20 percent of men surveyed said they felt confident enough to mention a change in their partner’s vagina, and just 17 percent felt they understood “how the vagina really works.”

The survey also found that 19 percent of women wouldn't see a doctor if they noticed abnormal bleeding; 50 percent wouldn't seek medical attention if they experienced persistent bloating; 15 percent wouldn't see a doc if they found a lump or growth in their vagina. And while those symptoms aren't always synonymous with cancer, the diagnosis should be left up to a medical professional.

“There’s a difference between symptoms that come and go and things that are there all the time, and between symptoms that have always been there or are new or different,” Dr. Jen Gunter, MD, told Health. “Obviously if you eat a large meal you’re going to feel bloated—but bloating is also one of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer, and so it’s important for people to notice when something has changed for them.”