Vaginas play important roles in our lives – they allow us to become mothers, they provide us with orgasmic pleasure and every month they make us miserable, at least for a little while. Still, there’s so much we don’t know about them – and even more things we think we know, but are actually not true. Here are some of the most popular vagina myths…
1. You can lose a tampon in your vagina
Tampon cannot get lost in your vagina simply because it has nowhere to go! The tampon is too big to go through the cervix and end up in the womb and the only other way to go is out. However, it can happen that the tampon gets pushed a little bit further inside and you have trouble finding the string that is connected to it.
If this happens to you, the first step is not to panic. Your tampon is not lost in the depths of the insides, it’s just slightly out of your reach. It is important to remove it as soon as possible, though, so that you prevent any possible infection. Try to crouch and squeeze your vaginal muscles – similar to doing Kegel’s exercises – in order to push the tampon out. It may help if you held a mirror in front of you so that you can see if a string or the tampon itself show up. Use your fingers (no need to mention that your hands should be clean) to locate the tampon and get a hold of it. If this doesn’t work, see your gynaecologist who will be able to remove the tampon without much trouble.
2. Your vagina doesn’t need to be washed since it cleans itself
Only part of this vagina myth is false. Vagina really is a self-cleaning organ. It produces secretions that help all the debris, microorganisms, etc. leave the body and this way it prevents possible infections. However, this delicate cleaning system can often be overwhelmed with the work that lies ahead of it, especially if there’s a misbalance in the physiological flora. That is why our vaginas every so often need some help.
It’s very important to know that bad hygiene is worse than no hygiene at all. By using inappropriate products in your hygiene regime, you can disrupt the pH balance or vaginal flora and cause intimate discomforts. That’s why you should only use products designed especially for the intimate region. Never, ever use soap! Normal soaps and shower gels can disrupt the natural flora and pH value and cause discomfort. A good vaginal hygiene product does not contain any soap, perfume or preservatives, should be mild, safe and not cause irritation.
Make sure to maintain good intimate hygiene before, after and during intercourse and avoid wearing tight underwear or skinny jeans for prolonged periods of time. You probably already know that your underwear should be made of natural materials so that the skin can “breathe”.
3. Plenty of vaginal discharge means an infection
This is not necessarily the case. The amount, consistency and the smell of discharge are very individual. Also, the amount of discharge may vary during your menstrual cycle and it usually increases during ovulation period and just before the menstrual bleeding.
However, if the amount, colour, consistency or smell change suddenly, this may be a sign that something’s going on and you should see your GP if the symptoms persist.
4. Vagina can remain stretched out after birth of from too much sex
Giving birth will cause your vagina to stretch, but as the time goes by your vagina will go back to its pre-baby size. What may happen, though, is that your muscles feel a little bit weak and this can give you a feeling as if your vagina is stretched out. Start doing your Kegel’s exercises today and fear not about this myth.
5. Shaving pubes is more hygienic than going au-naturel
Actually, shaving can cause quite a havoc to our natural protection down there. Apart from a very probable itching, irritation and burning sensation that can be very uncomfortable in the intimate area, removing all your pubic hair leaves your vulva and vagina exposed to microbes from the outside There is nothing to “soak up” your discharge, so you might end up feeling constantly wet, which is likely to cause additional problems on the already irritated skin. And if you try to remedy it by wearing panty-liners… well, remember what we said about breathable underwear? There you go.
The most hygienic way to maintain your pubic hair is trimming. If this is not to your liking, try to leave at least a strip of hair around the labia.