Vaginas and Vocal Cords; There IS a V in Team
Today Andie talks about the connection between your vagina and your vocal chords - the V team.
Points from the video:
Very rarely in life are we presented with intriguing and exciting gifts that speak directly to our character and passion. Here’s a place where that has happened for me. Vaginas and vocal chords!! Vaginas just happen to be the coolest creation under the sun, and well, let’s face it, vocal chords give us the ability to gab and sing. I happen to be a fan of both.
A little background.
The link between the vagina and vocal chords starts with language. For example, we all have hopefully heard the word cervix. Did you know that the word “cervix” in Latin translates to “neck”? So, while your vocal chords reside in your literal neck, your vagina has a neck of its own in the form of the cervix!
Additionally, if we look at the two and appreciate their anatomy, their configurations are oddly parallel. Both are supported by diaphragmatic muscle structures that operate and have corresponding movement with our breathing. Take a nice breath in, and as you let it go, imagine both your lungs and vagina reacting to it.
Let’s touch on the more obvious, blatant relationship. If any of you saw our post on social media with the image of the two you will notice they look like twins! To an untrained eye seeing an up close and personal image of either the vagina or the vocal chords, it could give you a pause figuring out which is lady parts, and which is throat parts.
Other likenesses between the vagina and vocal chords?
Both are corridors to our bodies making way from the outside to the inside. Whether physical or emotional, they both let out and express what’s inside. They are gatekeepers per se.
The juicy aspects come in the form of expression. This is what excites me as a woman and midwife. When we look at body function and what is happening internally; when we vocalize, birth our babies, or climax; we see a cadenced pulsing of our muscles. All three of those look similar inside when they are happening.
Sometimes we hear about silent birth or even silent sex. Ya know, not making any noise at all. Not to judge, but that sounds rather boring and non-expressive. It is natural in both birth and sex to be vocal in some form or fashion. Speaking physiologically the two (vagina and voice) really need each other to function.
Research has shown that when we turn off our voice, we suffer from discomfort, detachment, and stress. But, if you put the V in team and work together with your voice and your vagina, you can experience more control in labor and easier birth, more pleasure in sex and a less stressful life. Let’s let our vaginas and vocal chords talk to each other.
The anatomical link between the vagina and the vocal chords is the largest nerve we own, called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is primarily a sensory nerve. It picks up on signals and responds accordingly.
The diaphragm that sits under your lungs puts pressure on this lovely nerve as we breath in and out. The way we breathe (or don’t breathe) affects the pressure from the diaphragm. When we breath naturally and calmly, adding in our voice for good measure, the vagus nerve is happy and sends beautiful messages throughout body. Those messages say “Relax, balance, and melt away anxiety.”
When we don’t have those nice messages, we have the opposite reaction - tension. Our bodies aren’t nice to us when we are tense. They harden and eventually begin to curb our oxygen exchange. That makes us feel really tired. The more the cascade of tension happens, the more the vagus nerve stops getting those pulses and stops sending nice messages to us. No communication between all these parts is problematic.
That’s why, in labor, we focus on low groaning noises, and in sex, those low noises come naturally. Anytime we are in discomfort or fear takes hold, our bodies tighten because of the adrenaline release. Think of scary movies or anytime you have cried out for help. Is it low and balanced or high and shrilly? Becoming conscious of your different sounds and their affects on the body can be beneficial to all parts of your life, especially sex and birth.
As midwives, when we hear high pitched screeching we usually encourage you to be bring it back downtown. Moaning and humming are perfect sounds. Those high noises are associated with tense pelvic muscles. Babies don’t ease down through tension. They slide down with relaxation. Open throat, open vagina. So, bring that voice down and relax your bottom.
If you want to go total science geek for a second, low vibratory sounds stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to decreases both your pulse and blood pressure. This is also why we encourage those low groaning noises instead of high-pitched sounds. I realize I am a Steve Urkel here (any Family Matters fans?), but with all the benefits we really should take notice of the awesome team the two Vs make. So, go team Vagina and Vocal cords.
Put the V in Team!