7 Myths About Vaginas That Should Have Been Debunked A Long Freaking Time Ago
Even though vaginas are standard bodily organs, the many misconceptions about them make basically them the organ equivalent to a mythical creature — like a beautiful, graceful unicorn! In fact, believe it or not, many people still don't even know which part of the body is actually the vagina, for crying out loud. Although you could argue that better sexual health education might remedy this, it's always important to remember, at the end of the day, your health is in your hands, and your hands alone. It's up to you to understand that myths about vaginas are just that: myths.
Before you schedule an appointment to talk to your local plastic surgeon about labiaplasty, or contact your dermatologist to freak out about that latest bout of discharge you found in your undies, take a step back. Ask yourself this: How well do I really know my vagina? If your answer is a slight shrug and a flush in the cheeks, then you probably need to block some time off next weekend to get to know what's going on down there. It's 2017, after all. Hillary Clinton did not run for the presidency so that adult women could be confused about the state of their vaginas.
The crazy thing is how widespread most of these misconceptions about vaginas actually are. For example, I only knew two of these myths to be false before researching and creating the actual list. Check out the rest to see which ones have stumped you your whole life. Remember, there's no need to be ashamed if these debunked myths blow your mind right now; it's never too late to learn about your vagina, and after all, knowledge is power, guys.
1. Your Vagina Is The Part You Can See
Your vagina is an internal organ. The external parts you can see are the various parts of the vulva, including the mons pubis, clitoris, urethra, labia minora, labia majora, and the perineum. None of these are actually a part of the vagina itself.
2. It Should Smell A Certain Way
One of the biggest myths about vaginas is that if they smell like anything at all, you should be terrified and/or embarrassed.
Part of adulthood is understanding your body on a more intimate level, and part of sexual health is knowing what your body's "normal" is. You should take the time to know what smells are normal for your own body, and which ones are instead telling you that something is off down there.
3. Discharge Means Something Is Seriously Wrong
Plot twist: Vaginal discharge is usually totally normal. Most clear types of discharge are nothing to freak out over, and can change in thickness depending on whether or not you're ovulating. Some types of white discharge are typically pretty standard, too.
Even brown or bloody discharge is, again, usually nothing to blink twice at. You should only do a double-take if the discharge is yellow, green, or just plain uncomfortable.
4. Your Vagina Is Supposed To Look A Certain Way
Labiaplasty has become increasingly popular in recent years, with women wanting to surgically remove exterior lips down there in the hopes of making their labia look "normal" (whatever that means).
This a total misunderstanding of what "normal" should look and feel like. Labias come in all shapes and sizes, and unless they're causing discomfort, you shouldn't feel any pressure to take surgical action.
5. You Pee Out Of Your Vagina
Your urine comes out of your urethra, which is a totally separate hole from your vagina. This myth originates from the false idea that the whole package down there can be classified as the vagina. Once you learn that the vagina is the internal part, and the rest of it is the vulva, it becomes much easier to recognize how silly it is to think we pee out of our vaginas.
Then again, I feel like health classes could do a much better job of making all of this clear. Or maybe I could've done a much better job paying attention.
6. You Need To Use A Body Wash With pH Balance
For the most part, you should think of your vagina as a self-sustaining system: If you treat it well, it will treat you well in return.
That means your vagina definitely doesn't need a special wash. You don't need to apply any fancy pH washes or creams (unless a doctor medically advises you to do so), because your vagina is already evolutionarily equipped to maintain its own proper pH. (That's the point of the discharge, by the way.)
7. You Can Lose A Tampon Up There
If you're worried about losing a tampon inside of your vagina, you just, well, can't. You just can't. It's in there. Go find it. Life is too short to spend your life worrying about something like this.