Let’s have a little chat, shall we?
The v**ina is a truly amazing body part. It brings babies into the world, somehow rebounding to do it all over again. It gives us pleasure and is just generally the core of our womanhood (pun 100% intended). So it stands to reason that we as women should all be very familiar with our vaginas. To that end, here are 10 facts every woman should know about her lady parts.
1. Your clitoris is kind of like an iceberg. There’s a lot more going on beneath the surface that you can’t see. The visible gland that can be externally stimulated is accompanied by the corpora cavernosa, two sections of erectile tissue that form an inverted V moving down from the top of the clitoris into the crura, or ‘legs’.
2. Douching isn’t necessary. Women who prefer to douche report feeling cleaner and fresher, but there are problems. The act can lead to vaginal infections (as the douche disturbs the balance of natural bacteria in the v**ina), complications during pregnancy, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and even cervical cancer. Most doctors caution against douching.
3. Vaginas keep themselves clean. Seriously, douching isn’t necessary, as every healthy v**ina ‘cleans’ itself via vaginal discharge. Unless you are experiencing a particularly heavy or oddly smelling discharge, you are fine and perfectly normal. (If, on the other hand, you think something is off with the health of your v**ina, go check in with your OB/GYN.)
4. It’s a physical impossibility to lose anything in your v**ina. An un-dilated cervix (the entrance to the uterus) keeps stray objects from entering your uterus. Yes, a tampon or condom might get up high enough that you can’t reach it on your own, but your doctor will always be able to fish it out (yay for speculums!).
5. Several factors REALLY impact your natural vaginal lubrication. Chief among them is birth control, breastfeeding and menopause. Why, you ask? It all comes down to estrogen levels, which can be effected by, you guessed it, birth control, breastfeeding and menopause. The lower your estrogen levels, the harder it can be for your v**ina to lubricate itself.
6. There is an unfortunate condition called Vulvodynia. This condition, described by ACOG as the “chronic (long-lasting) pain and discomfort of the vulva that is not caused by an infection, skin disease, or cancer”, leads to painful intercourse. The pain can be generalized or localized, and affects about 16% of sexually active women.
8. Condoms will only protect your lady parts from so much. Condoms are great for preventing pregnancy and the transmission of most STDs, but all Herpes and HPV require is skin-to-skin contact. Lesson? Always, always, make sure your partner is clean.
9. Cranberry juice is your best friend. Studies have found that cranberry juice can not only cure but also inhibit UTIs. So, drink up!
10. Women are born with a finite amount of eggs. Unlike men, who can produce sperm until the cows come home, women are born with a set amount of eggs. Every woman is born with roughly one million immature eggs (follicles), and only a portion of them are ovulated over the course of a woman’s life.