Let’s explore a subject matter often whispered about but never really given the attention it truly deserves. Vaginas! Your lady bits, girly parts, your birth canal. There is so much confusion about what’s really going in between your legs and if you’ve endured awkward health class lectures or are guilty of Googling every plausible vaginal symptom, guess what? You’re not alone. Honey, get your research on! The vagina is an important part of your overall health but honestly, it’s often misunderstood. I mean, we could all stand to learn a thing or two about our lady parts. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered with a list of seven amazing facts about your vagina that you need to know.
1. Vagina Odor Happens
So here’s the thing, a slight vaginal odor…that’s totally normal and it may change throughout your menstrual cycle. You might notice a stronger smell right after your period or after having sex- but a condom can help fend off odors. This is usually a temporary thing and probably nothing to worry about. But if catch a whiff of your crotch and it’s smellin’ like perch or sushi… girl, something’s up. Stop what you’re doing and head on over to the clinic for checkup.
By the way, if leggings are a staple in your wardrobe, you might want to switch things up. Girlfriend, it’s time to let your fun box breathe. Tight fitting clothing or non-breathable fabric like polyester trap sweat and bacteria turning your vagina into a Funkytown.
To prevent odors, keep things simple- use soap and water to clean the outside of your vagina, rinse and pat dry before putting on your cotton underwear. Fall back on the douches, sprays, and cleansers, these can cause more problems than their worth.
2. Discharge- Yup, It’s Normal
Ladies, discharge happens and it’s natural. Truthfully, your vagina is a self-cleaning machine. The glands inside your cha cha make a small amount of fluid that’s usually a clear or milky white color and it shouldn’t have an offensive smell. The color and thickness of your discharge will change throughout the month- thicker when you are ovulating, breastfeeding or aroused AF. Any discharge that’s yellow/green, or gray and also has a bad smell; girl, that needs immediate attention from your healthcare provider.
3. Size Matters
Your vagina is made up of tube-like muscles that lead from your cervix (the gatekeeper to your uterus) to the outside of your body. It changes shape to accommodate whatever is going on at the time. Like it expands ever so slightly to hold your menstrual cup but can also enlarge to ensure a whole little human can exit #vaginamagic.
The average vagina is only about 3 inches long (about the size of your MAC lip gloss) but can expand up to 5 or 6 inches when you are sexually aroused. Obviously, not all love tunnels are the same. A 2005 study found that sizes of a vagina ranged from 6.86 cm (about 2 inches) to as big as 14.81 cm (almost 6 inches).
4. Vagina pHunk
Can I let you in on a little secret? Second, to only to your intestines, your vagina contains more bacteria than anywhere else in your body #mindblown. The “good” bacteria in your vajayjay helps to balance your pH and it even produces its own natural antibiotic to prevent harmful bacteria from entering. Any disruption of this delicate bacteria balance can lead to inflammation and classic infection symptoms like itching, burning, unpleasant odor, or unusual discharge. Argggh!
5. I Wanna Feel you
Truth be told, only the first 2 or 3 inches of your vagina has any feeling. The other ⅔ of your vagina is actually less sensitive, which is why you can put a tampon in and essentially forget about it for the rest of the day.
6. Pumpkin What?
Not all vaginas are the same. Shocker huh? You may be the proud owner of a conical, parallel side, heart, slug, or pumpkin seed shaped vag. A study conducted in 2000, found that 40 percent of African American women had a pumpkin seed shaped vagina. This was more than the Caucasians or Hispanics women in the study. Researchers also found that Hispanic women had vaginas’ that were longer in the back and shorter in the front, while Caucasian women had vaginal openings that were much larger than those of African American women in the study. This some sexual positions, tampons, or toys may be comfortable for one woman, but cause pain to another.
7. The Big “O”
So let’s talk about orgasm. If reaching your peak through clitoral stimulation is a regular on your rotation, you may want to try something new. Studies have found that orgasms that are achieved through penile-vaginal intercourse are associated with greater satisfaction with your own sex life, your mental health, your relationships with both partners and friends, and life in general Chileee! You may have to try out a couple of different sex positions to get it just right but hey, that’s just part of the fun. You’ll thank me later.
Vaginas are fun, intriguing and LITERALLY the most amazing part of your body. Having a better understanding of its working can help you keep your girly parts healthy while correcting spotting any potential problems.
So tell me where do you look for information about your reproductive health?