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12 Superpowers your vagina actually has

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

More proof that a woman's body is basically magic

From having sex to menstruating every month to birthing babies (especially birthing babies!), our vaginas are busy ladies. And when we talk about them, too often it's to complain about them. Sure, they bleed at inconvenient times and eventually get loose and wrinkly (like the rest of our body parts), but we can't forget all the amazing things they do for us every day.

So, in the spirit of honoring our hoo-has, here are the superpowers your vagina has.

1. Self-cleaning

Think your oven is fancy with its self-cleaning setting? Well, your vagina does exactly that every day. And it does it without making your house stink like smoke. Your love canal naturally expels dirt and debris, all while regulating its complicated and unique bacterial ecosystem — no soap or douching required. (In fact, experts now say don't ever douche, as it can harm your delicate vaginal ecosystem.)

More: 'Vagina facial' trend a major insult to women

2. Shape shifting

Ever wondered how a large penis can fit in a small vagina? It turns out your man's member isn't the only thing that can grow rapidly in response to arousal, his is just more obvious. The average vagina is a mere 3 to 4 inches long, but can expand up to 200 percent in both length and width when you get turned on during sex. All the more reason not to skip the foreplay!

3. Purse holding

No one is encouraging you to become a drug mule — you should never, ever stick foreign objects in your vag that weren't made for that purpose — but its ability to carry things is really quite impressive. Here is just a short list of bizarre things doctors have found in a woman's internal purse: credit cards and ID, a loaded handguna plastic hair spray bottle, a packet of Pop Rocks candy (it did not make her feel "tingly," FYI), cell phones, not one... but two knives, a 10-year-old sex toy and an entire rolled-up poster of Donny Osmond. So. Many. Questions. (And sadly no good answers.)

4. Self-protecting

We're not talking vaginas with teeth here, but your lady bits do have ways of safeguarding the goods. The first line of defense against both chafing and infection is your pubic hair. (Yes, it does have a purpose!) Any germs or dirt that get inside are then taken care of by your bacteria and vaginal secretions. Lastly, your cervix provides a good physical barrier.

More: 8 Things you should probably know about your vagina

5. Super sensing

When Spider-Woman says her spidey senses are tingling, she's on a whole other level than poor Spider-Man. The itty bitty clitoris has twice the nerve endings as the much-larger penis, with 8,000 compared to a man's 4,000.

6. Shark-like abilities

Your vaginal lubricant naturally contains squalene, a compound found in high concentrations in shark livers. No one is quite sure why women have it in our hoo-has, but apparently it has anti-cancer and anti-aging properties, so it can't be a bad thing!

7. Weight lifting

Yes, I actually mean this literally: In 2009, a woman set the world record for vaginal weight lifting by attaching a wooden egg to a dumbbell and lifting a 30-pound weight with just the power of her vagina. Lady bits? Try lady boss! And now you have a new goal for your Kegels.

8. Sword sheathing

The word "vagina" actually comes from the Latin word that means "a sheath for a sword." Obviously a man named it. But whether it's literally housing a sword or just a penis, it's kind of a cool trick. And in rare cases the vagina can actually clamp down on a penis, preventing it from being removed. It's called "penis captivus" and I still can't think of any situation where I'd want that to happen.

9. Danger sensing

Buffy the vampire slayer could famously detect the presence of the blood-sucking beasts through the power of her menstrual cramps. But while she is fictional, scientific studies have found that the increased progesterone that accompanies your period also increases your intuition!

10. Animal attracting

Menstrual blood has a powerful scent, as many women can attest. And certain animals respond to that scent. Research has shown that bears, sharks, dogs and horses are all sensitive to a woman's menstruation — although what that means for real life, I'm not sure. Beacon for dogs looking for you in an avalanche? You get front-row seats for wildlife shows? It's still cool.

11. Baby birthing

They can push out a whole (pint-sized) human being. You don't have to be Michelle Duggar to appreciate how something can go from 4 to 6 centimeters wide to big enough to accommodate an adorably giant baby head. They don't call it the miracle of childbirth for nothing.

12. Two words: Multiple orgasms

I probably could have just started and stopped this list here.

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