16 Things Everyone With A Vagina Should Know About Sex And Health, According To A Gynecologist

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1.

“How do you shave down there without getting razor burns?” —ellabarz

2.

“Why do I get cramps after my period?” —nickolaf


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“Your uterus is a muscle. When it is time to have your period and express out the unused uterine lining that was prepared in case you got pregnant, your uterus squeezes and contracts to make that happen. That is where cramps come from. If they are making it hard to get through your day, you can try a heating pad, warm bath, or ibuprofen to help.”

3.

“My vagina is puffy. I don’t know how to explain it, but I get super uncomfortable wearing bikini bottoms because when I lay down my vag doesn’t lay flat, it kinda has a hump and looks almost like a bulge. Is this normal? Is it something with my pelvis bone or something?” —aliothgreen


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“It’s really hard to say without an exam, so if you are concerned, I would reach out to your doctor so they can weigh in! Keep in mind the labia (or outer lips of the vagina) look different in every woman and some are ‘puffier’ than others — and that is perfectly normal!”

4.

“Is it normal to get blood-colored discharge when you’re not on your period?” —gabsfever


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“Spotting or bloody discharge in between periods can come from a variety of things: infections, polyps (benign growths) on the cervix or in the uterus, fibroids, changes on the cells of your cervix, and more. I would recommend that you see your doctor to rule anything treatable out if it is happening regularly.”

5.

“I am unable to orgasm with my partner or by myself. It’s something I’m very insecure about. I’ve tried everything! Is it possible that I am just not physically able to do it?” —ineedalife1234


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“Anorgasmia, or the inability to have an orgasm, is real and is a problem when it causes distress for you or in your relationships. There are many causes, ranging from mental health concerns to medication interactions, aging, alcohol use, past trauma, being taught sex was dirty, and more. If it is bothering you, your doctor can work to see what might be the cause and can make helpful referrals to a sex therapist or other practitioner who can help you out.”

6.

“If someone with a vagina masturbated once a day (or often enough), would they still need to do pelvic floor exercises/Kegels?” —anonymous_waves


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“Masturbation is great for pleasure, but it doesn’t have any direct relation to pelvic floor muscle health, which is what pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegels) are for. We often recommend those for women experiencing urinary leakage or pelvic organ prolapse.”

7.

“My vaginal canal is really tight (I have not had penetrative sex yet) and can’t fit more than a tampon or one finger without being painful. Is this something that changes once I’ve had penetrative sex, or is there something wrong with me?” —grr469


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“The vagina is essentially a muscular tube that can dilate, or stretch, when needed, like for childbirth or during sex. It’s not like an on/off switch but instead involves hormones. When it comes to sex, appropriate foreplay allows those hormones to be released and the muscles to relax. There is a condition called vaginismus when the pelvic muscles are always tense and sex is not possible or painful because of that, but that is not something I would worry about as you haven’t yet had penetrative sex.”

8.

“I’m 53 years old and in the beginning stages of menopause. My periods are very irregular. I’m not currently sexually active and my last boyfriend had a vasectomy, so getting pregnant wasn’t an issue. I’m attempting to get back into the dating world, but now I’m afraid of getting pregnant. Condoms tend to cause irritation after sex. What are my options?” —susancummingst


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“It’s smart you realize you can still get pregnant! Depending on your interests, you can choose a hormonal (pill, shot, ring, patch, IUD, or implant) or non-hormonal (IUD, diaphragm, condoms). I would recommend you talk to your doctor about your health history and your goals to find the method that fits you best. But remember that condoms are all we have to prevent sexually transmitted infections!”

9.

“Sex is still painful even though I gave birth over a year ago. Is this normal?” —e4bd5571d6


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“That can be common, but it doesn’t mean it’s normal or something you have to grin and bear. It could be related to low estrogen levels and decreased lubrication, which can happen when you are breastfeeding. Other causes might be related to how you healed from your delivery or how your overall health is (sleep deprivation anyone?!). This is definitely a reason to talk with your doctor, because sex shouldn’t hurt!”

10.

“Why am I always wet for no reason?” —sophia_erin


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“It sounds like you are talking about your vaginal discharge. This is entirely normal and is actually a sign that your vagina is healthy, since discharge is your body’s way of getting rid of old cells and keeping bacteria and viruses out. Unless there is an odor, itching, burning, or a change in color (such as green or frothy yellow) then it is considered normal and not a reason for concern.”

11.

“I got an IUD a year and a half ago. I love that I don’t get periods or cramps, but the one downside is that I feel like I am losing my mind. Mood swings, irrational anger, no motivation for anything, no sex drive. My IUD was expensive and took three appointments to get. Is it really affecting my mood? Is it bad I want it out?” —KerriMitchum


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“Most women do not notice any mood side effects from the IUD. Since you put in so much work to get it placed (I admire your persistence!), you might want to consider addressing other things first before removing it. Have other life circumstances changed? You could consider talking with a therapist to work through that first, but certainly know you can have your IUD removed at any time if you are concerned.”

12.

“What are these huge pimples down there and why won’t they go away?” —haleym8


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“Pimples in your groin area can represent cysts, abscesses (aka boils), infected hair follicles, or a condition known as hidratenitis suppurtiva. First, do NOT pop them! You can try soaking in warm baths or hot compresses to help, but if they don’t go away, let your doctor take a look and weigh in.

13.

“Is it OK for my skin to be so dark down there? —haleym8


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The skin of the labia (or outer lips of the vagina) are often darker than the surrounding skin, and that is totally OK.”

14.

“Why can’t I still find my G-spot?” —haleym8


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“You can’t find your G-spot because we don’t even really believe it is a real thing! For women, pleasure comes from their clitoris, which is a collection of nerve endings whose sole purpose is pleasure!”

15.

“I’m 13, when should I start to go to the OB/GYN?? My mom says when I become sexually active, but that can’t be true for everyone.” —CholeR


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“We recommend girls first meet with an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 to 15. This appointment is often a meet and greet, and usually no exam is needed! The purpose is that you have met with one of us BEFORE you have sex so you can make good choices about protecting your body and being fully informed.”

16.

“Can using a vibrator too often decrease sensitivity?” —
lexieee


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“Nope! But it is important to make sure you clean your vibrator after each use to prevent any infections. I’ve got some tips on cleaning and disinfecting here.”

17.

“It takes A LOT for me to get wet down there, so my partner and I keep the lube handy. I didn’t used to be this chronically dry during arousal, and it all started rather abruptly about a year ago, so…is this normal? My gynecologist keeps brushing off the problem.” —e4bd5571d6


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“I think it’s important to dive into this more. Has anything else changed? New medications, infections, other signs of low estrogen levels like irregular periods or hot flashes? Have you started using new soaps or douches that might actually be causing more dryness? How is your relationship overall? Are you still feeling attracted to your partner? Lots of things can be at play and if you are getting the brush-off from your gyno, find a new one.”






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