She's Your Best Friend (some truths about your vagina)
"She's my best friend. She's a real bad bitch." Those are some of the lyrics to Doja Cat & Saweetie's summer hit Best Friend. We often think of our best friend as another person. But the real MVP is our vagina's. They are there with us through thick and then and bear the weight of responsibility for our pleasure and our pain. The sad truth is that we don't really know a lot about her. The medical community Does Not spend a lot of time on women's health and they tend to generalize our issues. We live in a western medicine culture that dismisses the knowledge and medicines of other cultures, especially in regards to women's health. I am going to share a few things that I have learned along the way that have led me to a more loving, healthy relationship with my vagina.
#1 - Sex with multiple partners stretches out the vagina and makes the walls of the vagina loose or collapse. False
The truth is having sex with multiple partners is equivalent to having sex multiple times with the same partner. However, if you are having rough or hard sex where the penis is pushing against the bladder or the movements are unusually forceful that will cause you some discomfort and possible harm in the long run. The myth is told as a way to shame women who are more sexually liberated into fitting into the mold society has constructed for women and is not based on facts.
#2 - The vagina is self-cleaning and does not need to be washed. False
This is a bit more complicated that it comes off and doctors do not do a very good job of explaining this in the detail that it deserves. It is true a healthy vagina does work to push all of the toxins and things that don't belong in there. It is also true that you should not insert soapy substances inside of the vaginal canal in an effort to clean it. You should clean the vulva and external vaginal areas with a mild soap or clear water. Because our bodies are all different sometimes the vagina can't pull everything down that needs to come out. Sometimes the cervix sits a little high or low, or you suffer from PCOS which causes cysts on your ovaries that fall off randomly. While in a perfect world these things would come out during your menstrual cycle, it gets complicated if you have irregular cycles or no cycles at all.
How do you resolve such an issue? The thing that has best helped me was the Yoni Steam and this one is controversial because most people don't fully understand what it is. The yoni steam is a Eastern medicine practice where certain herbs that all have their individual benefits are placed in water and heated to create a steam. Women then sit over the steaming herbs. That steam helps the vaginal muscles pull harder and the steam also enters the vagina and reaches certain organs and help stimulate blood flow and circulation. The overall process makes for a healthier vagina. I had my first steam at a Korean Spa and it was a game changer for me as my chronic bacterial vaginosis started dissipating. Douching, contradictory to popular opinion is a no no, unless you are using a completely herbal solution of lukewarm clear water.
3. Yoni Steams burn your vagina. False
As with any practice you do have to be careful when getting a yoni steam. If you are in a spa they should provide a fan and lower the temp if you request it. My first steam the Korean attendant lifted to skirt and fanned and turned the burner off on the pot of steeping herbs. If you are performing the steam at home in a sitz bath be sure not to fill the basin to the top. Make it comfortable for yourself.
4. If your vagina smells there is something wrong. False
Every vagina has a scent. They are not scentless. However, there are certain smells that are indicative of a problem. If you encounter a fishy smell or a smell that is much stronger than normal, call and make an appointment to see your doctor. Your vagina is telling you that she needs a little help. Being scentless in your vaginal area. Your scent may be faint, but it is still there. Don't fall into the trap of guilting yourself for your vagina being a vagina.
Now that we have dispelled a few myths here are a few tips to help keep your vagina happy and well. Be careful of using certain soaps and body washes in that area. I was an avid Dove fan only to find out that Dove was throwing my entire Ph balance off. Do not be afraid of your vagina. She is your best friend. Get acquainted with what she looks like, feels like and smells like. Knowing your body is the best way to know when something is off. Wear cotton lined panties, preferably all cotton panties if possible. I know. I know. They are not sexy, but when your vagina sweats bacteria is created and unless you have our Sweet Kitty spray, you are setting yourself up for a good old fashion yeast infection. And last, but surely not least, don't let anyone disrespect your vagina. You have the right to control how your sexual partners interact with your vagina ( no dirty hands, fingers, no painful pounding). Treat your best friend like a real best friend.