From the extreme stories of vagina dentata to the idea that the uterus moves through the body, history has always been scattered with some wild myths about female sexuality and the vagina. For some reason, a lot of myths and misconceptions about the vagina linger despite both social and medical advancements for women. Because these falsities might cause self-esteem issues, biases and misunderstanding about feminine body among children or could keep some women from understanding proper vaginal care, it is important for women to educate themselves about their bodies. Regardless of the reason for the existence of all sorts of legends about the vagina, the five fables below remain rather popular, and must be demystified.
Your Labia Should Have a Certain Appearance
There seems to be a common myth that the appearance of a woman’s labia is somehow related to her sexual experience. Some people suggest that larger, more prominent labia are related to promiscuity. This is not true at all. Every woman’s vagina is different; similarly to how faces and fingerprints are different. The size and appearance of labia is determined by genetics, and there is never a reason to be embarrassed of your natural appearance. Now, whenever you hear someone make a snide remark about vaginal appearance, just recognize that this person is ill-informed on the topic, and educate them about female anatomy. It is important because many oblivious statements can be emotionally harming to certain women who feel self-conscious about their genitalia, and this must be remedied! The female body, regardless of its differences, should be cherished and embraced.
Promiscuity Causes Vaginal Looseness
Another widely spread myth is that more sexual activity will make a woman’s vagina loose. This is not the case for various reasons. The vagina is very elastic and is made to stretch for both childbirth and sexual intercourse. After childbirth, the vagina returns to its natural size within approximately 6-10 weeks. Although your vagina will not become loose from an increase in sexual intercourse, you could face incontinence issues if you do not properly care for your pelvic floor. An easy solution to keep your pelvic floor muscles tight toned is performing a variety of easy exercises in your spare time.
Having Children Permanently Changes Everything About Your Vagina
As mentioned above, your vagina is an elastic organ. Thus, after childbirth your vagina will most likely return to normal. Depending on your childbirth experience there may be some differences, but most often, childbirth will not ruin your vagina. However, it is important that some differences to your vagina may be noticeable during pregnancy. For example, your labia may become enlarged or the color of your labia may change because of extra blood flow. After proper recovery from childbirth, pelvic floor exercises will help regain strength in your vagina and pelvic region faster.
Discharge Means Something Is Wrong
Most women experience some form of vaginal discharge, so there is usually no reason to be embarrassed or to worry. Vaginal discharge occurs for a variety of reasons. For one, vaginas are self-cleaning organs, and discharge is part of that process. Another reason for discharge could be hormonal changes that happen during your cycle. Some women may have more discharge and some may have less, but it is rather standard and you should not be ashamed. Importantly, if you notice a sudden increase in discharge or an unusually strong odor, you should speak to a medical professional.
Pubic Hair is Gross
That is so personal and anyone who thinks that way should be told to mind their own business! Having pubic hair is not dirty or gross, and contrarily to some beliefs, it does not nurture bacteria. Like any body parts, it must simply be cleaned (the same way you would clean a shaven or waxed vagina) regularly. In fact, some doctors suggest that women should not shave/wax their pubic hair, because there are some health risks associated with that practice. On the other hand, some women report an increase in sensation during sex when shaved/waxed, so if you chose to do so, there is also no problem. But do it carefully to avoid cuts and injuries.
Thus, while these myths are bogus, many still believe them. It is through education and open communication that we can combat these inane misbeliefs. The human body is very complex and differs from one person to another, so any claims such as “yours is different, you’re not normal” or “this is not what is considered normal”, must be ignored. Rather if you have questions or if you are unsure about something you heard in relation to your feminine parts, ask a doctor.