Healthy Vaginal Facts Every Woman Should Know
Our society is fascinated with the female body, but you would be surprised with how much misinformation we have about the vagina. This article contains facts about the vagina that every woman should know. Read on to find out more!
1. Women do not urinate out of the vagina. There are three holes and other structures that comprise the vagina. Looking at it from front to back, the first hole is the urethra, the second and third holes are the vagina and anus respectively. You would be surprised how many people do not know this.
2. The vagina is the second part of the body that contains the most bacteria. The bacteria that maintains vaginal health is called lactobacilli. They produce acid that keeps the vaginal pH acidic or less than 4.5. They also contain natural antibodies which reduce or kill harmful bacteria that might enter the vagina. When there is an increase in the vaginal pH, the amount and quality of the lactobacilli decreases, resulting to infections like candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis.
3. The vagina cleans itself naturally through its secretions. The secretions appear as a discharge – the quality and amount varies with different women, even with the same woman at different phases of the menstrual cycle.
4. Douching disrupts the balance of bacteria in the vagina, changing the normal vaginal pH. As mentioned earlier, any change in the normal bacterial composition of the vagina might lead to infections. Douching can also lead to the spread of bacteria further up into the genital tract, especially if there is already an existing vaginal infection.
5. It is normal for the vagina to have an odour, as well as its secretions. The odour changes, depending on the different phases of the menstrual cycle. In order to keep the vagina healthy, washing with water and plain bath soap is recommended. If the vaginal odour is unpleasant, do not cover it up with wipes, antiseptics or perfumed soaps. The most common cause of an abnormal vaginal discharge is bacterial vaginosis. This infection has a fishy odour. If you experience this, a consultation with your doctor is highly advisable.
6. Intercourse should not be painful for women. However, there are some women who still experience painful intercourse. If you are one of those women, consult with Dr. Fay Weisberg immediately. Some women are too embarrassed to say anything, but you should not be suffering in silence.