6 Facts You Don't Know About Your Vagina but Should
From ovulation to the mysterious “G-Spot,” a new book decodes the female organ.
If you're already giggling as you read this, you're probably not alone. It's one thing we're often too embarrassed to talk about, except maybe with our gynecologist and closest friends. But now, a new book called V is for Vagina unabashedly uncovers all there is to know about the almighty vajayjay. We talked with one of the book's authors, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, to find out six things you don't know about your vagina... but should!
You Don't Need to Douche
The vagina is self-cleaning so resist the urge to douche. "The truth is our bodies naturally possess a delicate balance of yeast and bacteria aimed at keeping our vaginas in tip-top condition," Dr. Dweck says. "In fact, too much cleaning and seemingly ‘helpful' hygiene products can actually cause itching and irritation by disrupting our natural balance of bacteria." That said, any odors or discharge coming from your vagina is directly related to your lifestyle, weight, and diet. Remember, some vaginal discharge is normal; foul odor, copious discharge, or persistent itching or irritation should prompt a visit to the gyno.
Your Lady Parts are Truly Forgiving
If you've ever doubted for one itsy-bitsy second whether your vagina was truly wondrous, consider how it seemingly ‘bounces back' after giving birth. "The vagina has an incredibly rich blood supply which promotes rapid healing, even after injury or childbirth," Dr. Dweck says.
Your Vagina Reveals the Best Time to Conceive
For women who are trying to get pregnant, charting your cycle and when ovulation will occur is easy-if you know what ‘signs' to look for. "If you have a regular 28-day cycle, with day one being the first day of your period, you'll usually ovulate on or around day 14," Dr. Dweck says. "Just before ovulation, more cervical mucus is produced and a clear, slippery, and stretchy vaginal discharge (think raw egg white) is obvious." Plus, your sex drive may soar at this time. Voila! The vagina lets you know when it's time to attempt-or prevent-pregnancy.
Is that Normal? Your Vagina Usually Clues You In
In most cases, the vagina will provide early clues to vaginal infection. "A small amount of clear or cloudy fluid passing each day is likely normal, but the vagina signals infection with symptoms such as copious discharge, foul odor, itching, burning, or abnormal bleeding." However Dr. Dweck still advises routine screenings, as some sexually transmitted diseases don't cause any symptoms.
Your Nether Regions Need Strength Training Too
Need more reasons to do those Kegels (the method of repeatedly contracting and relaxing pelvic muscles)? "The muscles of the vagina and pelvic floor are incredibly strong and powerful. Vaginal tone can weaken after childbirth, with age, or due to genetic factors. The good news is that when done regularly, Kegel exercises can tone these muscles and may help with symptoms of urinary incontinence and make for better sex too!"
Your Vagina is Home to the "G-Spot"
The G-spot is an erogenous zone touted to be inside the vagina and reportedly associated with an intense vaginal orgasm. "The G-spot can be found by inserting your index finger into the vagina with palm facing upward and making a "come here" motion with it," Dr. Dweck says. "It may take some practice to connect with your G-spot. but it's so worth it."