The “oyster, lotus flower, kitty kat”-the vagina has a million nicknames, and just as many myths. We’re here to dispel the rumors, and give you the low-down on your lady parts.
1. Your vulva is the outer-visible part of your vagina. The part that look like lips, and goes around your vulva is the labia. Ranging in appearance from plump to thin, everyone’s labia can look a little different. About half of women have one side that’s a little longer than the other, and that’s perfectly normal.
2. You pee from your urethral opening, not your vagina. The hole is right underneath your clitoris, and just above your vagina.
3. Blood clots during your period is normal. So is dark brown blood. During your menstrual cycle, your uterine lining sheds and empties out, sometimes with tissues of blood up to the size of a quarter. The dark color is because it is old menstrual blood being expelled from the body.
4. Don’t douche, vaginas are self-cleaning. Vaginas are great at getting rid of any excess bacteria, and douching can actually push that bad stuff further back inside you.
5. Nothing can get lost in your vagina. Your cervix is located on the back wall of your vagina, and blocks things from going any further. If something gets stuck down there (Like tampons, condoms, or sex toys) try and relax your muscles. Sitting against a flat surface have your partner, or yourself, insert lubed fingers moving them side-to-side feeling for the missing object. If you are having difficulty fishing something out, or it is too painful to remove, don’t be afraid to see a gynecologist! Your doctor has probably seen it all, and will be able to remove the object safely.
6. Do Kegal exercises to stay tight. You can do them at work, school, or while sitting in traffic. Practice squeezing the muscle and holding it for 10 seconds. Do this 10 times in a row, 3 times a day.
7. One common misconception is that vaginal discharge is abnormal. Some women have a clear-like discharge just before their periods, and more of a creamy white discharge after their cycle is complete. If your discharge is chunky, yellowish-green, or accompanied with a bad smell, you should see a gynecologist as it may be a sign of bacteria or an infection.
8. If you have been feeling dry, a lubricant can do the trick! With so many lube options out there, there’s plenty to experiment with. A dry spell could be caused by many different factors including estrogen levels, stress, sexual arousal, and age. If dryness is causing painful sex and you can’t find relief, you should contact your gynecologist.
9. Some women report experiencing ejaculating/”squirting” during sex.
10. Get a routine pap test every 3 years. This test could save your life.
11. The vagina is naturally acidic, with a PH balance of about 4- like tomatoes, wine, and beer. Menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, douching, and seamen are all things that can cause disruption to the natural PH levels in your vagina. This can cause very irritating problems like a yeast infection and BV. Some foods like yogurt and cranberry juice, have the good kind of bacteria that can aid in restoring health PH levels.
12. Pubic hair begins to grow during puberty, and is usually coarser and curlier than the hair on your head. Whether you decide to keep, wax, or shave it is completely up to you! The life expectancy of pubic hair is 3 weeks, the hair on head is 8 years.
13. Your clitoris has more nerve endings that on anywhere else on your body (double the amount in a penis), with at least 8,000 nerve endings. Your clit is also the only human organ that’s there for pure pleasure. That’s right, this sexy little spot is there just to help you achieve an orgasm during sex.
14. Unaroused, your vagina is about 3-4 inches deep. Once you’re aroused, your vagina can stretch to about double that!
15. The Hymen check for virginity can be very misleading because the hymen is a fragile membrane that can break during physical activities before your first sexual encounter. (the ring that bleeds when broken)