It seemed like yesterday when my husband and I were laughing at the episode of Orange is the New Black where Sophia explained the anatomy of a vagina to several Litchfield Prison inmates.
Long story short, they didn't know what the heck was in there. Unfortunately, they're not alone, because many women don't know what's in their love boxes, and have never, ever taken a peek under the hood.
The sad part is that there are women who would let someone slide a dong, a tongue, a toy, and sometimes vegetables, in their love cave without ever knowing what's going on downstairs. Also, it's an election year, and people who don't even have vaginas are trying to make laws about them. So yeah, you should care about what's in there.
Despite popular belief, there is no calm, warm ocean inside your love box. So here's a short owner's manual for your lady parts. After reading this article, I hope you can muster up the courage to bend over a mirror and take a look at your no-no bits, because YOLO (and it's yours).
- It's supposed to look like a deflated tube. You read that correctly. The outside of your vagina looks like a deflated tube that's 2 to 4 inches long, and ¾ of an inch wide. It connects the outer sex organs with the cervix and uterus (where the blood flows, and the baby grows).
- It's supposed to be multicolored and oddly shaped on the outside of the hood. All vaginas aren't pink, depending on your race. Your labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening can range in colors from pink to a deep reddish brown. Also, a nurse told me that the labia comes in different shapes and sizes, and has zero to do with vaginal tightness. If you thought this, you're wrong.
- The whole package is called the vulva. All of your external love box organs is called the the vulva. It consists of the outer lips (Labia Majora), the inner lips (Labia Minora), and the clitoris. You're supposed to have one of each. But if you have more than one of each, then you should call your doctor, or get into porn. Or both.
- You have a hole for peeing, and two other holes for “other stuff." You have a urethra (where your urine flows), a vaginal opening (where the penis/toys/veggies and tampon goes), and further down toward your booty is your anus (where you poo). Either way, you should know which is which.
- Bacteria grows in there. If you can go five hours without having to clean that thing out, or rinsing your panties after lusting over one of our #xomen, then you're a rare woman, and we salute you. But for the rest of us, it's a paradise for good bacteria, and that's normal. The good bacteria keeps your lady parts in check, so you don't get an infection.
- You're supposed to have discharge. Yes, your vagina is built to have stuff come out of it, and that's normal. Dr. Oz says,
If discharge is clear or milky white, that's normal. It can also look very pale yellow when it's dried. If you are seeing grey, green, yellow, pink or red, that's not. Blood-tinged mucous may be a sign of pregnancy.
- It cleans itself. My good friend, who is a lesbian, once told me that the best way to make sure you had a squeaky clean vagina was to stick a whole bar of soap in your box. After I gave her the side eye and told my doctor (who was horrified), he quickly dispelled that rumor. Turns out, vaginas are self-cleaning. According to WebMD:
If anything, you just need a mild soap or shampoo on your pubic hair and the outer vulva. Avoid rubbing with a washcloth. Don't douche or use other special cleaning products for your vagina. These can ruin the normal balance of bacteria and cause problems.
- It's best to shave it. Back in the 70s, it was cool to have a hairy bush. But with advancements in medicine, gynos today usually suggest that you “trim the hedges." By "trim the hedges," I mean keep the hair low, because doctors don't suggest you go completely bare down stairs. But if you have a partner who is old school, and likes the 1970s look, go for what you know. Just don't be surprised when your gyno shakes his or her head at you.
- Give it a rest. Some women love to use their vaginas a lot, and that's cool if that's your thing. But you should also make time to give that monkey a rest. Too much sex can lead to a urinary tract infection (which is super painful), or a sexually transmitted infection. Hopefully, the horror stories associated with urinary tract infections will be enough to convince you to put that thing on ice every now and then.
- Take your vagina to the gym. A good workout can help tighten up your box, and it can also keep your “fluids" regular during sex. Here are some tips on how to get your Kegel exercises on.
- A dude hung like a horse won't ruin it. But it probably won't stop him from trying, and it probably won't stop you from letting him. Your vagina returns back to all its glory in size after sex, so relax.
- It's not supposed to taste or smell like cupcakes and ice cream. It's supposed to taste and smell like a vagina, no matter what your partner tells you. Stop letting them gas you up, and take Dr. Shelly's advice:
A healthy vagina ranges in taste from salty to tart to sour, depending on your cycle, diet, and lifestyle habits. Your vagina sweats just like your armpits. Have you ever eaten a meal heavy with garlic and noticed that your skin reeked of a garlic-y smell for a few days afterwards? Your diet can also affect your vaginal secretions.
If you want to avoid your vaginal secretions tasting bitter, avoid coffee, excessive amounts of sugar, red meat, most dairy products, cigarettes, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
If you want your vaginal secretions to taste sweeter, eat more leafy green vegetables, black beans, yogurt, fruits (especially strawberries, watermelon and pineapples), cardamom, mint, cranberry juice, cinnamon, and lots of water.
Related Post: How To Taste Sweeter Down There
But it's not supposed to smell like fish. No matter how many times your gay bff calls you “fish," it's not supposed to smell like it. Mayo Clinic says:
It's normal for your vagina to have a slight odor. But, a strong vaginal odor — for instance, a "fishy" smell — might be abnormal and could indicate a problem.An abnormal vaginal odor is usually associated with other vaginal signs and symptoms such as itching, burning, irritation or discharge.
- It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Asking your doctor or a trained professional about your lady parts is nothing to be embarrassed about. If someone makes you feel embarrassed about a part of your body that belongs to you, then you should consider the source, and the run away from that person as far as you can.
Your vagina is your own, and it's the only one you have. So take care of it, drink plenty of water, and treat it like the awesome prize that it is.