Is it normal to have an odor? Can it be tight or loose? Does size matters? What to expect after childbirth? What’s normal and what’s not?
Many questions that need to be given the right answer. There are a lot more misinformation about the vagina than you can imagine. The fact is, many women don’t know much about their vaginas. Read on, you may discover some surprising facts and secrets about your most intimate area.
1. What it looks like? (Anatomy of the vagina in brief)
When we say “vagina” we usually refer to all parts down there. The vagina is actually a muscular tube that stretches from the vulva (which is a visible area) to the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). The main parts of the vulva are the inner and outer lips (labia minora and labia majora), clitoris and perineum.
According to statistics labia minora ranges between 3/4 and 2 1/3 inch in length. A few inches long labia majora might hide labia minora. The clitoris is nested under the clitoral hood just above the opening of the urethra. Its size ranges from 1 to 1 1/4 inches including the clitoral hood. It is permeated with thousands of nerve endings. That’s why it is so sensitive to the touch. The clitoris is the only organ in your body whose purpose is solely to provide you with pleasure.
2. Does size matters?
Length of a vagina is 3 to 4 inches in average. According to statistics the average penis size ranges between 5 and 6 inches when erect. But there is no reason for fear. When aroused the vagina can double its length to accommodate penis of any size. Still many women have pain during penetration. If you have a problem, just go slowly. Take time for foreplay, relax and have fun. Talk to your partner and encourage him to do what feels good to you. Use lubricant if needed. Sex shouldn’t be painful at all.
3. The vagina is self cleaning organ
There is no need to douche because it can cause more harm than good. The vagina produce the fluids needed to cleanse and lubricate itself. Don’t douche, don’t use special cleaners and don’t wash your vagina with soap and water. By doing this you can irritate your vagina and wash away natural flora and beneficial bacteria inside of your vagina. This can cause self induced infections, itching, odor, abnormal discharge and yeast. Bath products “enriched” with fragrances and chemical dyes can irritate your vagina, steer clear of them. All you need is just a mild soap on the outer vulva.
4. Regular exercise provides many benefits
The vagina is like a bicep. Regular sex helps maintaining the sensitive vaginal tissues healthy. If you neglect your vagina for too long its walls can lose elasticity. But no need to worry, usually it is not an issue until menopause. When you reach menopause fragility of the vagina can cause a variety of problems. But of course, there are other things you can do besides sex to stay fit down there. The best way is to do Kegel exercises. By doing these exercises you get lots of benefits. It can help you prevent incontinence and pelvic floor prolapse and maintain elasticity of your vagina. Besides you can have a tighter grip during sex so you can achieve orgasms easier.
5. Vaginal discharge during the cycle
Vaginal discharge varies throughout the cycle, both in amount and in appearance. It varies also from woman to woman. The average discharge ranges between 3/4 up to 2 teaspoons a day during ovulation. Vaginal discharge is normal when it’s clear. It can be cleaner at the time of the ovulation and tends to be creamish and thicker before your menstrual flow. As for smell it tends to be stronger during the cycle. If you have itching or burning or your vaginal discharge appears in unusual color or has an unusual odor see your gynecologist.
6. Myth about abstinence and “revirginization”
There is a myth that if you abstain from sex for a long time your vagina will become tight like a virgin and that will hurt you when you decide to have sex again. This is totally untrue. It wouldn’t change a thing assuming that you are aroused and relaxed before penetration.
7. A lot of sex makes you loose?
False! The vagina is incredibly elastic. Shortly after sexual activity vagina returns to its previous state. No matter how frequently you have sex! It doesn’t change a thing. As your vagina is a muscular tube, regular sex can increase tone of your vaginal muscles which is beneficial in many ways. – see 4. But if you have too much sex in a very short period of time, issues may arise in the form of chafing and irritation which can increase the risk of an infection. There is also an increased risk of urinary tract infection. Peeing after sex can prevent UTI by flushing out bacteria from the urethra.
8. After childbirth things may change significantly
As we mentioned the vagina is incredibly elastic organ. But when you have a vaginal delivery it may stretch you down there. Especially if you pop up more babies. The change will not be apparent (unless you had an episiotomy) but it can leave you feeling a bit loose especially during sex. But don’t worry too much about that. It’s all natural. Kegel exercises can get you back on track.
9. The scent of vagina
Every vagina has its scent and it is normal. There are hundreds of glands below the skin of the labia and clitoral hood that secrete sweat and oils. Their task is to protect your vaginal area from overheating and friction. Your scent may be more noticeable after physical activity, due to increased secretion of the sweat glands, and as a result of increased secretion of glands that lubricate the vagina during sexual intercourse. The vagina is not supposed to smell like a roses in the garden or scented bath. It has its natural scent and it’s good the way it is as long as you don’t have a problem with an infection.
10. There is no way to lose anything in the vagina
You can often hear the myth that things can get lost in the vagina. The truth is, things can’t get lost in there. Although things like a tampon sometimes can slip in, out of your reach, you can fish it out with your fingers while squatting. The vaginal canal is connected with the uterus so a tampon can’t move beyond your vagina. If you still can’t remove it with your fingers make an appointment with your gynecologist who will do it easily and painlessly.