Women don’t really like to talk about their most intimate areas. Therefore there is a lot of half-knowledge and uncertainty.
Perhaps it is because there is not a single beautiful word and therefore overall we lack the words to talk about this wonderful organ – vagina, that just sounds medical, not very loving. But it is certainly also due to the shame. In a world where there is hardly any taboo anymore, we often don’t even talk to our best friend about gynecological problems.
Stress also affects the vagina
The kids are in trouble at school or the boss is after you. There are these stressful phases in life when we worry about our health. For example about our heart – but not about the vagina. But we should. Study shows that stress is the main cause of recurring fungal infections. Stress triggers a domino effect in the abdomen. It drives up cortisol levels, which means that the protective lactic acid bacteria in the vagina, which fight fungi, perish In order to get rid of pathogens, the vagina then produces more discharge. If you want to protect the vagina from stress: Insert a lactic acid capsule (e.g. “Gynophilus”) twice a week to preserve the healthy vaginal flora.
Discharge is completely normal
Patients repeatedly complain that they have a discharge. It is not only normal but extremely important. Every woman produces around a teaspoon full of the white to slightly yellow secretion every day, which smells slightly sour and cleanses the vagina internally. In addition, its acidic pH ensures that pathogens are rendered harmless. But be careful: if it’s color or smell changes, you should see a doctor – this indicates an infection.
Not everything that itches is a fungus
According to studies, almost every woman becomes acquainted with a vaginal fungus at least once in a lifetime. That’s why many think of it right away when itching. In principle, that’s not wrong either, but there are many other reasons for it. Sometimes the skin only itches because hair is growing back, sometimes because the vagina is dry or because bacteria have spread. Sometimes a sexually transmitted disease such as herpes or chlamydia also becomes noticeable in this way. If the itching keeps appearing in spurts, the autoimmune disease lichen sclerosis, in which the body attacks its own skin, could be behind it. Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood: Therefore speak to your gynecologist about it if you repeatedly suffer from itching, advises the doctor.
Shaving isn’t healthier
It may look cleaner – it is not healthier. Around every third woman is now completely shaved. Shaving always results in micro-injuries that germs can penetrate and inflame the skin. To prevent this, you should disinfect the area after shaving with a mild antiseptic for the genital area (e.g. “Octenisept”). According to the expert, it is healthier to remove hair with wax or sugar paste. By the way, pubic hair is not entirely useless: it absorbs the scent of the sex pheromones. Attractants with which we unconsciously signal our desire for sex.
No two are alike
Do I actually look normal downstairs? Since women have shaved more, they are increasingly concerned about the appearance of their vulva, said the gynecologist. That is why she emphasizes that it is completely normal for the inner labia to protrude through the outer one. Or when one lip is longer or wider than the other. Very few women have a symmetrical vulva. Only in rare cases are the Venus lips so big that women experience pain when cycling, for example: Instead of suffering in silence, you should confide in your gynecologist. He can recommend an intimate surgeon who can solve the problem surgically. In such cases, the health insurers will then reimburse the costs.
Too much washing only hurts
You don’t have to – or should rather – do too much under any circumstances: Washing once a day is enough. Intimate sprays or douches are even counterproductive. There is a risk that the pH value in the vagina will rise and pathogens will have an easy time of it. If you are sensitive and have frequent infections, you should only treat yourself with baby soaps, an intimate shower gel, or wash with pure water only. Then, especially now in summer, dry every skin fold well – otherwise, fungi will grow quickly.
Training for more pleasure
A strong vagina intensifies sex and orgasms. The key to this is a well-trained pelvic floor that surrounds the vagina. Colorful, tampon-like weights that you have to hold with your muscle are particularly good for training. Wearing it for 20 minutes twice a day is ideal.
Dry phases occur
From hormonal changes, for example during pregnancy or breastfeeding, to the wrong pill, to diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes: There can be many reasons why the vagina is too dry. Diseases that constrict the blood vessels have a negative effect. Because moisture is only created when there is good blood circulation. Important in dry phases: Care for the intimate region daily with a moisturizing fat cream (eg “Vagisan Moist Cream”). After menopause, three out of five women become acquainted with vulvovaginal atrophy. One speaks of this when, as a result of the hormone deficit, the vaginal mucous membrane becomes thinner, more sensitive to pain, and drier, which can cause the vagina to shrink. Almost nobody talks about this topic, although many women really suffer from it. This can be prevented by inserting lactic acid suppositories (e.g. “Vagisan lactic acid”) twice a week from menopause and treating the vaginal entrance with a prescription, estrogen-containing cream. Recently it has even been possible to reverse the symptoms – often completely: The ‘Mona-Lisa Touch’ laser renews the vaginal mucosa in three outpatient and almost painless sessions by stimulating the local metabolism and collagen production (costs: 900 to 1200 Euro). Atrophy is then no longer an issue. Then sex is fun again. B. “Vagisan lactic acid”) and cares for the vaginal entrance with a prescription, estrogen-containing cream.
Pain during sex shouldn’t be
Sex is painful for every tenth woman, the professional association of gynecologists has found. Most women suffer in silence and only trust their gynecologist when the partnership is already suffering. The pain can have many different causes: not only lack of moisture, but also the wrong pill, fungus, or bacterial infections (e.g. with chlamydia). Depending on the diagnosis, the gynecologist can then prescribe hormone preparations, a fungicide, or antibiotics. Sometimes there is no physical cause for the pain, but a psychological one: With ‘dyspareunia’, which occurs quite often, the body says ‘no’ to sex. Here the gynecologist advises you to find out the reason with the help of psychotherapy – so that sex becomes so beautiful again.
What does the vagina do during sex?
Small cause, big effect: a masculine scent or a sensual touch are often enough for a physical reaction. With us women, the blood rushes towards the vagina. There it ensures that the moisture diffuses through the mucous membrane into the vagina. Then the uterus straightens up, the vagina becomes up to twice as long and more elastic. Finally, the labia and clitoris swell to further increase the woman’s pleasure. During orgasm, the vagina and uterus contract with the aim of absorbing the ejaculate. Injuries rarely occur: if you have had intense sexual intercourse and are dry, small tears and abrasions can occur on the vagina and labia, which usually heal on their own within a few days.
The clitoris: only apparently small
The outside of the clitoris is only the size of a pea, but inside it has two up to nine centimeters long erectile tissue next to the vagina. No human organ consists of as many nerve fibers as the clitoris; 8000 nerve endings meet in its glans. As a new study has now shown, these nerves stretch a wide network up to the nipples.
How does childbirth change the vagina?
It is hard to imagine what the vagina can do during childbirth: it enlarges ten times and then contracts again immediately. The firmer the connective tissue and the pelvic floor are before delivery, the faster it can be done. After a few months with regular pelvic floor training, everything is back to normal. This postnatal exercise is also important for those who have given birth by cesarean section: the weight of the baby in the stomach alone weakens the pelvic floor, which keeps the vagina in shape.