I believe it is important for every woman (and even every man) to have clear knowledge about their own and their partner’s genitalia. I want to start with the vagina. So many people get uncomfortable talking about their naughty bits, so I am here to talk about it out and in the open. Being educated about our body is important for us to be able to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
First, we need to learn what the hell it is and what it does. Unlike gentlemen, who have the benefit of seeing “everything they got,” because their junk is on the outside of the body – women’s parts are a little more hidden and internal. So, let’s get a better understanding of the structure of the vagina.
Anatomy (Structure) & Physiology (Function)
Vulva: external organs that may be visible in the perineal (genital) area
Mons pubis: rounded portion of the vulva where sexual hair grows, hair starts forming at puberty
Labia aka “the lips”
Labia majora: the outer lips made of adipose (fat) tissue, vary in size for every female
Labia minora: the inner lips made of cutaneous (skin) tissue that lies inside the labia
majora; surrounds the vaginal vestibule (vaginal opening and urethra) and the clitoris
Before we continue I want to denote that there are 3 different openings down there plus the clitoris (an additional bump ha). Yes, 3 holes!! First, there is the clitoris from which we can get sexual pleasure, then comes the urethral opening from which we urinate, then comes the vaginal opening that leads to the uterus and from where a baby pops out, and finally your anus, from which you poop. You would be surprised how many women don’t actually know these details of their own physical anatomy.
Clitoris: erectile structure that is connected to the labia minora; this is the structure that would have developed into a penis in the womb if we were to be male rather female
Urethra: opening below the clitoris that is connected to urinary bladder; this is from where we pee
Vaginal opening: is normally protected by the hymen at the entrance, a thin membrane that breaks at the start of menstruation or with sexual activity (aka popping the cherry); this is also where the penis inserts during intercourse
Uterus: female reproductive organ that lies within the pelvis between the bladder and the rectum; it is the walls of the uterus that “shed” when we are menstruating (aka have that time of the month)
Cervix: the lower part of the uterus; separates the body of the uterus from the vaginal opening (this is what dilates when women is trying to pass a baby through her vaginal canal during childbirth)
Perineum: area between the vaginal opening and the anus (aka the gooch)
Anus: your butthole 😛
Reasons for hair down there
Hair prevents bacteria and germs from entering through the vagina. It also helps lessen friction during body movement; particularly when bumping uglies as some would say. Pubic hair helps regulate temperature and to trap those sexual pheromones that attract a sexy mate. These days it is common practice to shave or wax pubic hair. While there is nothing wrong with this practice (won’t be life-threatening), it may be important to consider the benefits of leaving a little hair down there.
Don’t use soap down there
Our vagina maintains a specific acidic level (pH around 4.0 on average) to help protect against infections. High acidic environments are detrimental to harmful bacteria. Using soap can upset this pH balance and wash away the good flora (healthy bacteria) that help to protect the vagina. So, to regularly clean down there, just rinse with warm water.
A doctor explained to me that if feeling irritated in and around the vaginal opening, such as itching, you can use an all-natural remedy to help reset pH balance. Using a 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water solution with a q-tip to swab the vaginal opening can help reset the acidity levels. Just know, too much vinegar in the solution will burn like a mofo. If the irritation persists, I suggest going to see your gynecologist.
Vitamin E oil
This oil is an unscented option to help soothe irritation on the on the labia, clitoris, and outer part of the vaginal opening. The idea is that you should never be putting moisturizers inside your vagina because it can upset the natural microflora and pH levels.
Probiotics are your best friend
Probiotics are a dietary supplement that contains live bacteria that adds to the (good) microflora in our body; helping to fight infections. Certain dairy products, such as yogurt, are loaded with probiotics (good bacteria). It is good practice to eat a yogurt every day to help maintain this healthy balance. Or you could take an over the counter probiotic supplement.
Be able to recognize irritations
Irritations may appear as itching, burning, pain, odor, abnormal discharge – meaning any characteristics different than the normal discharge women experience.
Cotton or commando
Cotton is a breathable material, allowing for airflow and less irritation to the vagina. Wearing cotton panties can help lessen irritations to your down there area. A doctor once told me it is actually best to sleep commando to allow for airflow and time for the vagina to reset (pH level, etc.) each evening while we sleep. And if I do say so myself, the sleeping commando can be quite liberating.
Catch 22 of tampons
This feminine product is convenient but can also be irritating. Ideally, it is best to use non-scented types to help limit introducing unnatural chemicals to the vagina. Research is also starting to show that tampons may carry cancer-causing agents. I am not sure how true this is but it is something to consider since it is not a natural product we are inserting up there. I am currently pursuing a new option called the menstrual cup for when I am bleeding. I will let you know how it goes.
Make sure you (and/or) your partner wash your hands before getting intimate. Dirty hands down there can introduce unwanted bacteria to the genital area. Washing your hands before playing is just another healthy/protective method to practice on a regular basis.
Always pee after sex
Urinating after sex helps to expel any bacteria that may have found it’s way to the urethral opening during intercourse. Bacteria can then travel up the urethra to the bladder; causing all sorts of health problems. Trust me, urinary tract infections are extremely painful and detrimental to your sexual well being. Make this another common practice every time you finish doing the dirty.
Sexually transmitted infections, also commonly known as STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are infections affecting the genitals and internal reproductive system. if you are having sex, full on intercourse or not, you should get regularly checked for STIs. Any irritations down there can be a sign of an STI. And letting an STI go untreated for an extended period of time can lead to detrimental health issues with your reproductive system – such as sterility (the inability to have children).
You CANNOT get pregnant by giving a blowjob, receiving head yourself, being fingered, having anal sex, or dry humping. You CAN get pregnant when a penis enters your vagina whether you are menstruating or not.. So be smart, wear protection, use birth control, especially if you are trying not to have a baby.
Regular PAPs & check ups
A PAP smear is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. This is when you go to the doctor’s office, put your feet in stirrups, and small cell sample is taken from the cervix. Women, in particular, are prone to cervical cancer due to having higher levels of estrogen in our system. at the onset of menstruation or any sexual activity hormones such as estrogen fluctuate. So with your first period or the start of sexual activity, women should be conscientious of their reproductive health and get yourself checked out. This may help prevent life-threatening diseases that occur via the reproductive system – such as infections and cancer.
I don’t know about you, but I take my vagina to be a very sacred part of my body. I hope to someday have children of my own and I won’t be able to do that if I don’t keep things healthy and happy down there. In the meantime, I like to partake in fun and healthy sexual experiences and do not want to do so at the expense of my health. So, be smart and take care of your vagina in order to enjoy all that it has to offer you.
¡Viva la vulva!