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Seven things you really should know about your vagina.

Half the population has one – and the other half are probably wondering what goes on down there. Do you really know everything you need to know about your vagina? While most would like to think they know exactly what’s going on down there, many women are actually fairly unfamiliar with their private parts. So...
Time: 16:07     Date: 16.05.2018
US Living News: Seven things you really should know about your vagina. NY Post 24 - US News

Do you really know everything you need to know about your vagina?

While most would like to think they know exactly what’s going on down there, many women are actually fairly unfamiliar with their private parts.

So unfamiliar that 41 percent have never checked their lady garden, according to new research from Canesten.

And some 51 percent can’t label each of their bits properly, while a worrying 44 percent wouldn’t be able to tell if there were any abnormal changes down there.

Yet almost half of women surveyed were concerned about their intimate health, so here’s seven thing your gynecologist says you need to know about your vagina.

1. One size doesn’t fit all iStockphoto

All vaginas are different shapes, sizes and colors – there’s no such thing as normal.

“I would encourage all women to look at their vulva and intimate area regularly with a mirror, this is important for women to get to know their intimate area,” said gynecologist Tania Adib.

“They need to start seeing it as normal, which will help support them in identifying any health changes to the intimate area.”

“Women examine their breasts once a month, so an intimate area check should be built into this.”

“There is a lot of porn out there, which can make women think that they should conform to this ‘ideal’ vaginal look, and conform to what men think they should look like.”

“Women should feel comfortable with their intimate area, no matter what it looks like, it is an amazing organ and women should never be embarrassed of it.”

2. Discharge is healthy

It may gross you out, but discharge is actually your vagina’s way of keeping itself clean.

“Discharge provides an important function,” Adib said.

“Glands in the vagina produce normal secretion including discharge, which helps to cleanse the vagina, get rid of bad bacteria and any dead cells; it provides natural lubrication.”

“Discharge keeps the vagina clean and helps prevent infection.”

“It varies depending on your monthly cycle. It’s usually thicker during your fertile times, when you’re ovulating.”

“Discharge can vary between thin and sticky to thicker with an elastic texture. However, if you find yourself feeling itchy and there is a curd-like consistency to the discharge, it could indicate there is a yeast infection, so you’ll need to get tested.”

3. Suds off

You clean every other part of your body with soap in the shower, so why not your vagina?

The truth is, you actually don’t need to over clean down there because it does it all by itself.

Adib added: “One of the worst pieces of advice that is often shared between women is to douche.”

“However, this is possibly one of the worst things that women can do.”

“Douching can wash away all the good bacteria within the vagina and remove healthy secretions.”

“Perfumes and scented soaps on and around the vagina can be very irritating.”

“Women should wash their intimate area with either water or an unperfumed, specialist wash which helps maintain a natural pH and supports a healthy balance of microflora.”

“It is also very important to properly dry before dressing again, as bacteria thrive in moist environments.”

4. Sex shouldn’t hurt iStockphoto

There are times, every now and then, that a woman may experience pain during sex.

But if it’s happening all the time it’s not normal.

“Sex shouldn’t hurt – but it may hurt for a variety of reasons, including dryness caused by the menopause or oral contraceptives, or infection, such as thrush or STIs,” Adib said.

“A condition called vaginismus, which is caused by a negative association with sex, can make women close up, triggering pain when penetration is attempted.”

“This can be treated with specialist counseling. However, there are other physical causes for pain during sex.”

“These can include over-sensitive nerves at the base of the vagina, surgery such as an episiotomy (surgical cut) during childbirth, abrasions to the vagina.”

5. Thrush happens

Most women experience thrush at some point in their life.

Thush is a common yeast infection that can be uncomfortable and itchy but is usually relatively easy to treat.

“Normally 75 percent of women will experience thrush in their lifetime and it is likely that 50 percent will get it again at some point in their lives,” Adib said.

“We only consider thrush recurrent if a woman has four or more episodes in the same year.”

“However, of course, the instances of women getting thrush more than once in their lifetime is very common.”

“There are some women that are just incredibly prone to getting thrush and find it very difficult to treat.”

“This can often be down to their immune system, which can be affected by a number of factors such as pre-existing conditions to other illnesses caused by stress.”

6. On the nose iStockphoto

A slight smell down there is totally normal, but it shouldn’t be off-putting.

And if it comes with unusual discharge you should speak to a doctor because you may have an infection.

“Your own vagina’s smell could be dependent on your body chemistry and your diet can influence it too – you might notice a change after eating strong foods, such as spices, onions or asparagus,” Adib said.

“Typically, there could be a slightly acidic aroma (think vinegar).”

“If it smells off-putting, you should book an appointment with a docto.”

7. It bounces back

You’ve probably heard a little rumor that too much sex will make your vagina loose.

Well, that’s simply not true.

“Despite various myths, sexual intercourse will not loosen the vagina,” Adib added.

“As for childbirth, for young women (late teens and twenties) who give birth, there may be some looseness in the first few months straight after delivery, but things should return to normal within six months.”

“However, giving birth many times can make the elastin less likely to recover.”

“Likewise, aging causes the elastic quality of the vagina to become less efficient.”

“Kegel exercises can improve tone in many cases.”

“If you feel looseness is still an issue, you should discuss options with your gynecologist – there are treatments which can help firm and tone the vaginal walls.”

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