Treat your vagina right.
Obviously, what's going on downstairs is pretty important to us. That said, it's a rather complicated area. Whether it's odd itches, bumps, bleeding or a smell, you're going to want to know what's going on, and probably unnecessarily freak out before you need to.
The truth is, there's a lot of what seems to be a problem that is actually extremely common and nothing to worry about. That bump is probably an ingrown hair, and your bleeding is probably just a hormonal change (trying a new pill, are you?). Just about everyone gets discharge and that's probably what that smell is related to. And if you are dry or it hurts to have sex, try some lube before going crazy.
Of course, some vaginal health problems are legit something to freak out about. So, with anything, if things don't start to get better or you are really worried, go see your doctor.
At the very least, it'll put your mind at ease — because there's a lot of weird health problems related and caused by stress. Isn't that ironic?
Most of the time this discharge is totally normal.
"The discharge color, quantity and consistency changes based on your menstrual cycle. On hormonal birth control (i.e., pills) the discharge is scant and often a not noticeable. However, when you have regular menstrual cycles, you will notice discharge changing from thin watery, to sticky and stringy and then to thick. You will also notice the color going from white to clear to white. In the absence of itching, a foul odor, or pain, this is normal vaginal discharge!" says Dr. Jaime Knopman, a fertility specialist.
2. A small bump
Whenever we get a bump anywhere on our body, it can be alarming, especially when it’s on our vulva, but it usually isn’t something to worry about.
"You may jump to the worst conclusions, but it often is an ingrown hair or a sebaceous cyst (lesion under the skin), both of which are completely harmless," says Tristan Weedmark of We-Vibe. Be sure to check in with your doctor if it hurts or persists.
Queefing can sometimes be considered as problematic for women who aren't used to hearing the sound of wind coming from the vagina, but there is nothing to worry about.
"Queefing happens when air becomes trapped in the vaginal canal and is forced out consciously or unconsciously creating a loud sound similar to flatulence. Queefing is actually a sign of amazing vaginal tone which means the vagina is healthy," says sexpert Tyomi Morgan.
So next time your vagina decides to sing praises of its muscle definition, just let it rip with no shame.
4. Vaginal dryness
Vaginal dryness is one of the most common issues that face all women no matter size, shape, race, or sexual orientation.
"According to the 2017 SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey, female millennials most often experience a lack of female orgasm (38 percent) and dryness (36 percent)," says Dr. Uchenna “UC” Ossai, pelvic health physical therapist and sex educator.
The truth is that vaginal dryness can be caused by a multitude of factors, including medication, hormonal deficiency (estrogen and thyroid), birth control, psychological factors, relationship factors, history of cancer treatment, and lack of adequate sexual arousal.
"It is a not a failure of your body or womanhood, but merely a reality of being a human person equipped with a vagina. Try experimenting with different types of lubricants, such as water or silicone-based. Consider having a conversation with your gynecologist about any current medications and hormonal birth control that may be impacting your natural lubrication. Don’t shy away from talking to your partner if you a needing to change things up in the bedroom to improve your sexual response," says Ossai.
5. Painful sex
Dyspareunia is pain with vaginal penetrative intercourse. Many women who have this condition complain of pain with either initial or deeper penetration.
"The prevalence of dyspareunia in young women ranges from 14-34 percent. Even though those numbers demonstrate how incredibly common this issue is, it can still be quite isolating. Dyspareunia shares some of the same causes of vaginal dryness, but here are a few outliers specific to this condition: hip and spinal dysfunction, perineal trauma during childbirth, history of pelvic fracture or pain," says Dr. Ossai.
In the meantime, please don’t do Kegels or use any type of crystal eggs in your vagina without proper evaluation from a medical professional. Focus on pleasure vs. penetration during sex and experiment with non-penetrative sexual play.
6. Minor "accidents"
Many women get to a point, either after childbirth or just as they reach their 30s and 40s, where they can’t laugh, sneeze or run without some “surprise” pee.
"The most common reason for this is because, without consistent exercise, the pelvic floor can weaken. This can easily be avoided by keeping up with Kegel exercises. If you’re looking for a high tech solution, check out the Intensity by Pour Moi, which does your Kegels for you automatically using gentle electro stimulation," says Emily Morse, host of the Sex With Emily podcast.
7. Unusual smell
Obviously, sometimes we smell not so fresh. However, it's not a sign there's anything wrong. It could be a matter of what you ate for dinner or what time of the month it's there. Of course, it can also be an infection or even a stuck tampon, so if you don't smell better after a nice shower and some sweet tasting juice, give your doctor a call.