The vagina truly is a remarkable part of the female anatomy. Aside from its ability to bring pleasure to both men and women alike, it also plays a huge role in bringing new life into this world.
And then, after the physically intense task of giving birth is complete, the vagina has the unbelievable ability to completely repair itself. But the amazing facts don’t end there. Read on for even more things you may not know about your vagina.
Read on to learn even more surprising stuff about the vagina.
20. Yearly Pelvic Exams May Not Be A “Must”
Routine pelvic exams may not be a requirement for healthy women who aren’t experiencing any unusual symptoms.
The American College of Physicians recommends against routine pelvic exams, while The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still recommends yearly exams.
To play it safe, always check with your primary care physician to receive a personalized recommendation.
19. There’s More Than Just The Vagina Down There
The term “vagina” seems to be a catch-all for female genitalia, but in reality, that term only refers to a specific muscular canal.
The rest of the external reproductive system is called the vulva, with this including the labia majora, labia minora, and clitoris.
18. Tight Like A Tiger
As the subheading suggests, there are actually exercises you can do to tighten things up down there.
You can’t actually work out the vagina itself, but you can strengthen the pelvic muscles, which ultimately leads to increased vaginal blood flow and more powerful orgasms.
17. Forget The Douche
Your vagina is fully capable of cleaning itself, at least on the inside. Despite the bountiful products on the market for cleaning or “freshening up” the vagina, all you really need is soap and water.
Have you ever been told horror stories about what childbirth does to a vagina? The next slide reveals what really happens to the vagina after childbirth…
16. Your Vagina Will Survive Childbirth (And Large Penises)
In contrast with some of the horror stories you may have heard, your vagina will most likely survive the childbirth process and snap right back to its old self.
According to Dr. Hutcherson, “The vagina has the capacity to stretch beyond imagination, and it’s the only organ in the human body that has this capacity to stretch like that but then snap back into shape.”
15. There’s Stuff Living Down There…
We mentioned before that douching isn’t necessary to keep your vagina clean.
And in fact, it can actually be harmful to use. According to Dr. Dweck, “There’s a very delicate balance, a significant ecosystem of yeast and bacteria that are supposed to be there and stay in balance.”
Douching messes with this balance and could even lead to harmful bacteria replacing the healthy bacteria that currently live in your vagina.
14. (Un)Fun Fact: Women Get More STDs Then Men
Unfortunately, because the vagina has thinner lining than the tough exterior of the penis, a big downside to having female genitalia is that you’re more at risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease.
Keep in mind that skin-to-skin contact, not just semen, is enough to cause the transfer of harmful bacteria.
13. As If We Needed Another Reason To Dislike Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP magazine made the vaginal steam and “vajacial” famous, but these specialized lady-region spa treatments can actually be quite harmful, potentially resulting in infections or—gulp—burns. Save your trip to the spa for any other part of your body.
Is there some ideal standard that all vaginas should live up to in terms of how they look? Find out in the next slide.
12. Everyone Is A Unique Snowflake
As with pretty much every other part of our bodies, there is no default preset that defines what your vagina should look like.
Everything from the clitoris to the thickness and length of your labia and even the color can vary significantly from woman to woman.
11. If You Want To Smell Flowers, Go To Your Garden
It’s perfectly fine for there to be a bit of odor in a normal, healthy vagina.
Everyone’s personal scent is unique and can change depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Of course, any odor that is noticeably foul warrants a visit to your doctor to make sure there isn’t an infection present.
10. It’s Not Supposed To Hurt
The Indiana Express
Sex is an area of life where you should never have to just grin and bear it. If it does hurt, don’t just forgo sex or suffer through the pain.
In addition to trying out different positions, you can also take advantage of lube or prescription medicine that impacts estrogen levels. And as always, pay a visit to your gynecologist just to make sure there’s nothing more serious going on down there.
9. Let It Breathe
We talked about bacteria earlier, and while your vagina naturally has healthy bacteria present, harmful bacteria and yeast can begin to develop in a moist, warm environment.
What does that mean for you? Try to wear underwear and clothing that gives ample airflow to your nether regions, and consider wearing only cotton panties, which are more breathable than alternatives.
The next slide reveals how sex benefits the vagina, aside from just feeling damn good!
8. Sex Is Good For You, Just In Case You Were Wondering
In addition to more obvious benefits like calorie burning and stress reduction (oh, and just feeling great), sex is also specifically beneficial for the vagina.
Dr. Hutcherson says, “Sex keeps the vagina alive and lubricated, especially as women get older and estrogen goes down.”
7. Your Very Own Built-In Fertility Testing Kit
Forget the fancy test kits. Your vagina gives you all the information you need to determine whether or not you’re primed for baby making.
Taking your body temperature is one way to determine if you’re fertile, as is paying attention to your cervical mucus.
6. Don’t Suffer From Dryness
If things aren’t as moist down there as they used to be, fear not. Low estrogen is often the main culprit behind vaginal dryness, but there are plenty of options available to treat this condition. Solutions include vaginal moisturizers for day-to-day moisture maintenance, and lubricants when you’re about to get frisky.
Feeling a bit itchy down there? Do you need to worry about a potential yeast infection? Find the answer on the next slide…
5. Feeling Itchy Down There? Don’t Assume It’s A Yeast Infection
According to Dr. Hutcherson, “There are a lot of things that can cause an itch that aren’t a yeast infection.”
Some of the other possible causes include irritation from shaving, chafing from clothing, or a chemical product that’s causing a reaction with your vulva.
4. You Can’t Just Stick Anything In There
Tampons and penises are fine, but don’t just go around sticking random items in your vagina.
Although they may seem harmless enough, stuff like whipped cream, honey, sugar, or other sticky foods can be a recipe for disaster. They mess with the bacterial environment and can cause an overgrowth of yeast.
3. Yogurt Won’t Fix A Yeast Infection
Apparently, some natural medicine fans have been touting the benefits of eating yogurt—and even applying it to your lady bits when it comes to preventing or curing yeast infections.
Unfortunately, these benefits have never been proven to exist, although some women have found that it can feel quite soothing. But again, the risk of the sugar in the yogurt actually causing a yeast infection is always present, so proceed with caution.
We’ve all probably wondered at one point or another what happens if you push a tampon too far. You might be surprised to discover what actually happens…
2. It’s Not A Black Hole
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you push your tampon in a bit too far, you can rest easy knowing that there’s only so far any object inserted in your vagina can go. An object inserted in your vagina won’t wind up disappearing somewhere in your body.
In the worst-case scenario, it’ll get lodged way back against the back wall of the vagina and be tough to get out, in which case you’d need to pay your gynecologist a visit.
1. It’s Not Open For Business 24/7
Although you might think your vagina is always open and exposed to the outside world, this actually isn’t the case. According to Dr. Hutcherson, “The walls are collapsed on each other. You’re not walking around with a gaping hole in your body.”