Vaginas are pretty amazing when you think about it. They are the pathway to bring new life into the world and bring us pleasure during sex. And unlike those dishes that you’ve been meaning to wash all week, they can even clean themselves. But, despite our parents, sex-ed teachers and gynaecologists’ best efforts, the inner (and outer) workings of female genitalia remain mysterious to almost all of us. We have a rough idea of what must come out and what can go in. Like the penis, for example, things are pretty straightforward. There is one entrance hole and the rest is part of the natural way of life. But believe it or not, there’s a lot more that goes on down there…
So we researched some of the most common vagina myths and hopefully, with the research, we have done, we will be able to clear up, some of the myths surrounding vaginas and by the end of this read you’ll be a lot more clued up about your little friend down below.
Myth #1: Your lady flower can get stretched out and never return.
Let’s be honest, this is one of the biggest fears of both women and men. But, let’s be real, yes, there are some cases like after multiple natural births or after suffering an injury, in which the vaginal opening can become less tight than before. But for the most part, childbirth and having sex certainly won’t make you “loose” as some like to call it. Vaginas are not only designed to open up to accommodate surprisingly large objects, from well-endowed penises to a baby’s head, but they’re also highly elastic. In other words, they’re pros at returning back to their natural state.
Myth #2: Your vagina naturally smells.
Professionals have said that it’s normal for the vagina to have some slight odour and that odour can vary depending on the time of the month, or if you have just had sex or even if you’ve been sweating a lot. There are distinct causes of abnormal vaginal odours, the most common cause being bacterial vaginosis. This happens when there is an overgrowth of the bacteria your vagina naturally produces. Other causes could also be because of bad hygiene, an STI, or a retained tampon. So if you find your vag smelling a little stronger than usual, it would be a good idea to book an appointment with your gynaecologist for an examination, just to be safe.
Myth #3: Your tampon can go missing “up there.”
Many women still don’t realize that your lady parts are like a cul-de-sac, with your cervix stopping anything from making its way into your uterus. Rest assured, a tampon isn’t going to get lost in the unknown. The reason people may think it can get lost is because of the many folds of tissue in your vagina. So a tampon may be hidden in said folds If you’ve inserted a tampon and can’t get hold of the string or the tampon itself to get it out, head to your gyno right away. He or she can insert a speculum to remove the tampon.
Myth #4: Douching is the only real way to get your vagina clean.
This is, in fact, the opposite of true, and most professionals do not recommend douching at all. They say that douching can disrupt the normal flora and pH of the vagina and cause irritation and burns. Cleaning with a gentle soap is usually sufficient, but if you feel the need for a deep clean, take a bath (without bubbles, because even bubbles can be irritating too). So, seriously, avoid the douche!
Myth #5: Discharge means there’s a problem
Ladies fret not! Discharge is perfectly normal and is your vagina’s way of staying clean. Discharge is the shedding of the cells of the vagina. All woman have it. Some have a tiny bit and don’t even notice it in their panties, while others produce more and may need to change their underwear throughout the day. The average and “normal” amount is about a tablespoon. But, if you notice your discharge is green, milky grey, frothy, or has a cottage cheese-like consistency then those signs usually point to a vaginal infection that needs to be evaluated by a professional.
Myth #6: Your “cherry pops” after you have sex.
First of all, there is literally nothing that “pops” or anything that can “pop” when you have sex for the first time. But the hymen or the band of tissue in the back part of the vagina often will tear and bleed during the first time you have intercourse. But many women will have a hymenal tear from gymnastics, tampons, horseback riding, biking, or dancing. So even when a hymen does tear, it’s not always the first-time-sex-related thing.
Myth #7: Your labia should look like everyone else’s.
FALSE! Think of the labia like a nose. (No, we’re not being weird.) They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all of which are normal, despite the rise in labiaplasty (A form of cosmetic surgery to alter the shape of the labia.) Most plastic surgeons will support patients by reassuring them that their labia is normal. However, there are some medical scenarios where surgery may be necessary. When the labia minora becomes very elongated and enlarged and hangs outside the outer labia. How to pick this up? You will feel some irritation and pain during sex. But the fact of the matter is, there is no “normal” way for your labia to look.
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