It’s natural to be curious about the human body. Especially your own! It’s your responsibility to take care of your proverbial temple, yet few women feel confident enough to discuss pelvic health issues openly. While there can be a balance (unique to each woman’s preference) between discretion and transparency, we took to the net and pulled the most common questions women have about their vaginas and posted them below. Kick your feet up and read all about it! Perhaps you’ve discussed some of these topics before???
Do all vaginas smell? The truth is that even when not concerned with any specific odors related to illness or infection, your vagina has its own “fleshy”, musky aroma that you should become familiar with so you know when you are balanced below the belt. Your vagina may smell different during times of your cycle and during ovulation as well. And, of course, you can expect a scent if you have infections as well.
Are my labia too big or “messy”? From the lips to the opening of the vagina, all women are shaped and sized differently. The layers of lips, called “labia” are the inner and outer folds of the vulva, at either side of the vagina. They can be large, small, thick, thin, uneven or symmetrical. You can see how much we all differ, yet have a similar overall look at the Labia Library online. (Required 18 and up)
Is discharge normal? Volume, scent and viscosity of discharge can vary greatly even in just one woman from cycle-to-cycle and dependent upon lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, sexual activity and stress! It can range from a creamy white paste to transparent to yellowish or green when infection is present. To learn more about vaginal discharge, visit our recent blog here.
Can a partner feel if I am “loose” or “tight”? Vaginal variation that has been caused by too much promiscuity or babies is a total misconception. Women cannot get “loose”. That isn’t how muscles work. This myth has no basis in scientific fact. Women can however, have different muscle strength which can be used during and between sexual sessions called kegels, which can directly contribute to the seemingly “tight” feeling when penetrated.
What if I haven’t had an orgasm? Orgasm problems are the second most reported sexual problem, according to an article in Annual Review of Sex Research. You could be the nearly 7 percent of women who experience orgasmic disorder, where you do not climax despite high sexual arousal. This also may show up as not having orgasm unless clitoral stimulation is involved. Sex therapy and personal pleasure time can help relieve this. Talk to your doctor about possible options for you.
Is my period normal? It should go without saying but let us share again here that every woman can have her own “normal” cycles that are typical for her, while still differing from her peers’ periods. There is an overall theme if you will for terms that denote a “heavy”, “light” or “normal” period. We discuss them further in our blog: Is my period normal, too heavy or too light?
While some of the above questions may be cycling through your mind, remember that there are myriad ways to inquire, research, and educate yourself without feeling shame. You local OB office, a close friend and, of course, the internet serve as great places to get a feel for what everyone else is saying behind the scenes about what is “behind the seams”.