If a product isn’t pink and scented, is it even for women? Society’s attempt to force austere language and modesty on femininity often means real information gets muddled. Let’s get beyond flower euphemisms and frilly jargon with the gynecologists at Tryon Medical Partners.
Though their expertise is about all things female, these women’s experts spend a lot of time talking about one thing: vaginas. Because women’s anatomy is far too often considered a taboo topic, gynecologist Dr. Jennie Hauschka says women don’t get all the information they need as young girls and have questions about their bodies into adulthood.
“Too many women don’t feel empowered by their bodies,” Dr. Hauschka says. “Loving yourself and feeling empowered by what your body can do is important.”
Even Dr. Hauschka’s adult patients have common questions. Based on those conversations, here are five vagina facts many women are sometimes surprised to hear.
Your vagina cleans itself.
Douches and feminine wipes? Give them a hard pass, ladies. The vagina is self-cleaning and these products are nothing more than marketing gimmicks.
“Vaginas need a low PH to be self-cleaning and introducing soap increases the PH, making it impossible for the vagina to kill bacteria as it should,” Dr. Hauschka says.
Your pelvic floor is part of your overall core strength.
You may think of them as a myth, but the fact is kegels and similar exercises really can make a difference.
“Your pelvic floor is like a bowl with a lot of overlapping and interconnected muscles that connect with your glutes and abs as part of your core strength,” Dr. Hauschka says. “So really, kegels are a part of doing Pilates or any core strengthening exercises.”
One at-home exercise she recommends is laying on your back, knees bent, and pushing your pelvis up into a bridge. Then pull your pelvic floor in, belly button to spine, hold for five to 10 seconds and release. Doing 10 reps several times a day will help coordinate your pelvic floor.
There is a female G-spot.
Does the female G-spot exist? It does, one-third of the way up the anterior vagina with more blood flow and nerves, corresponding with where the male prostate is. Whether or not sexual pleasure is derived from stimulation of the G-spot is different for every woman.
“Most people don’t get as much pleasure from that as from external stimulation,” Dr. Hauschka says. “Men don’t realize jamming and poking does not stimulate it. The best stimulation occurs with sex or a vibrator.”
Your pubic hair is there for a reason.
“The only reason to shave your pubic hair is if you like the way it looks,” says Dr. Hauschka. “Pubic hair is there to protect sensitive skin, and really, it should be there. Shaving your bikini line is fine but there’s no need to go full Brazilian. There is no benefit.”
In fact, shaving creates small cuts and tears that can get easily infected by bacteria, causing razor burn and skin irritations. A better alternative is using a trimmer to reduce hair without the discomfort of shaving and, if you do shave, use a new razor each time.
Women who are in close proximity really will sync their cycles.
It may have been a joke between your high school basketball team or the women in your dorm, but females in close proximity can sync their period cycles.
“Women who are post-menopausal, when college-age daughters come home, they may find themselves getting a period,” Dr. Hauschka says.
This may not be true for women who are on birth control that can manage or suppress their cycle.
Are there questions about your body that aren’t covered here? Gynecologists act as your trusted advisor in a judgment-free environment to learn, feel empowered and create plans for your well-being that take your unique needs into account. Build a relationship with an expert by making an appointment with a Tryon gynecologist today.