In our twenties and thirties, we focus on beauty and grooming like never before. We start to establish skincare and self-care routines that not only help maintain our physical appearance but also are relaxing to follow. However, while being immersed in such routines, we tend to neglect our intimate hygiene often. Vaginal care is just as important as care for the rest of our body. However, we’ve often been fed lies about our vaginas that can interfere with its care. So here are a few of the biggest misconceptions we’ve been told about our vaginas that we need to stop believing in.
1. Only Douching Cleans Your Vagina
The Truth Behind It: To the contrary, vaginal douching with water and soap or any other harsh product in the shower is not recommended at all.
Douching disrupts the regular flora and pH of the vagina and causes irritation and burns and even vaginal infections. While the vagina is self-cleaning, stick to intimate hygiene products to clean down there. To maintain the best vaginal hygiene down there in our everyday lives, we need products that are meant to be used down there. These include a mild vaginal wash to be used in the shower and an intimate hygiene spray. The Hi Life intimate hygiene spray is made using a unique Japanese formula that keeps the ladybits clean and infection-free, and free of foul odour as well when used daily.
2. Vaginas Don’t Change Throughout Our Lives
The Truth Behind It: Just like our bodies, the vagina changes quite a bit over the years.
During pre-puberty, the vagina is small and compact while the labia minora is still developing and may not even be visible. The vaginal tissue is pink with the absence of pubic hair on the skin’s surface. Once puberty hits a person, lubrication and secretions help the vagina grow in size just like the rest of the body. When you become sexually active, the vagina changes once again, as the hymen tissue is disrupted and one can see the bumpy vaginal tissues inside the vaginal opening. The vulva too changes shape quite a bit during pregnancy and afterwards. During pregnancy and after you’ve given birth, the labia might darken as the skin stretches, the perineum is likely to weaken and the vagina becomes more relaxed.
3. The Labia Has To Look A Certain Way To Be Attractive
The Truth Behind It: Labia are like noses and they come in different shapes and sizes.
This is completely normal and healthy, labia are normal in all their shapes, lengths, and sizes. Just like our noses can’t look alike and shouldn’t either, why do we subscribe to a standard of beauty that dictates that the labia should look a certain way. Mainstream films and adult films, at times, disrupt our image of what ‘healthy’ labia looks like therefore giving rise to cosmetic procedures like labiaplasty. There are only a few cases when this surgery is necessary, these include when the labia minora becomes too elongated or enlarged and hangs outside labia majora, and starts to interfere in sexual intercourse causing pain and irritation. However, that’s clearly an exception to the rule.
4. The Vagina Is What Is Visible From The Outside
The Truth Behind It: Vagina is located inside of the pelvis as a body organ.
The visible vaginal opening is located inside the opening of the labia minora. The term used should technically be ‘Vulva’ for the external area visible from the outside. The vulva consists of: the mons pubis, the clitoris, the urethra, the labia minora, the labia majora, and the perineum. On the other hand, it is the vaginal opening that leads to the inside of the vagina.
5. Vaginal Discharge Indicates That Something Is Wrong With You
The Truth Behind It: It is completely healthy to have a vaginal discharge regularly.
The discharge entirely depends on which phase of the monthly menstrual cycle you’re in currently. During the fertile period of the cycle, your vaginal discharge will especially be stringy and fluid to help assist the sperm reach the egg embedded deep inside, and in other phases of the cycle, the vaginal secretion might be thicker in consistency and whiter in colour. It’s completely healthy to have clear, elastic mucous resembling raw egg whites. In fact, the milky white discharge that stains your briefs after a day of wear is totally normal as well. However, if the discharge if more cottage cheese-like, yellow, greyish-green, or brownish, then it’s time to visit a gynaecologist. These discharges usually signal an infection or an underlying medical condition.
6. The Cherry Pops After You Have Sex For The First Time
The Truth Behind It: There’s no ‘cherry’ and there’s no such thing as ‘popping’ after the first sexual intercourse.
This is an outdated slang that shouldn’t be used in regular conversation anymore because it is misleading. While it’s true that there is a possibility that the hymen might tear and bleed out during sex, many women would have already experienced this hymenal tear from gymnastics, wearing tampons, horseback riding, biking, or even dancing for that matter. Sometimes, it stays put and there is no tear at all, which tells us that the hymenal tear is not related to sexual intercourse.
7. Squirting Is Like Peeing
The Truth Behind It: When one pees, urine drains from the bladder into the urethra and one urinates to empty the bladder. Squirting is a whole other ballgame altogether.
Squirting (or female ejaculation) is when secretions from glands around and inside the urethra (otherwise known as the Skene’s glands or Bartholin’s glands) ‘squirt’ and the discharge ‘gushes’ out with an orgasm. Considering, it is followed by an orgasm, it’s not like peeing even if it might have hints of urinary discharge.
8. Women Can Orgasm From Vaginal Stimulation Only
The Truth Behind It: While some women do orgasm from penetrative sex, others prefer clitoral stimulation while there still others who need both stimulations to orgasm. There’s no one way and there’s certainly no right way, it varies across the board.
9. The Vagina Has A Bad Smell
The Truth Behind It: Vaginas don’t have a scented smell like that of perfumes.
All healthy vaginas have a distinct odour that changes across the cycle for a variety of reasons. Factors like the menstrual cycle, sweat and having sex can affect the odour of the vagina. Besides this, sometimes, we do find ourselves in a situation wherein our vagina may smell a little off. There are concrete reasons why the vaginal odour would go funky, these include bacterial infections like thrush or bacterial vaginosis, which is when there is an overgrowth of normally occurring vaginal bacteria. Other factors include not maintaining good vaginal hygiene, another infection called trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or wearing a period pad or a tampon for longer hours. In fact, using public washrooms can also expose you to infection-causing germs. The Hi Life intimate hygiene spray protects your vagina from such germs and wards off any foul-smelling odour.
During your monthly periods, when it’s time to change your pad, if you often feel like it smells funky down there, it could indicate two things. Firstly, maybe you’re wearing your pads for a longer duration than suitable and secondly, maybe it’s time you switch to organic pads. Hi Life’s organic period pads are made of GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton sourced from Texas. These pads are super-absorbent and light to wear. Wearing our pads will make sure you don’t smell anything funky down there especially when you change your pads after a healthy interval of 4-6 hours.