How To Keep a Healthy Vagina
A healthy vagina smells like a rose
Perhaps a rose on a table with a selection of Mediterranean cheeses, olive oil, virgin, of course, and something piquant, a bowl of Kalamata black olives. Keeping a healthy vagina means keeping healthy – exercise, a sensible diet, un vaso de vino de la felicidad (a glass of wine to make you happy), and regular sex, every day if possible.
Contrary to the hype from the marketing men (men!), your vagina is self-cleaning. A healthy vagina doesn’t need costly douches and pine-smelling wipes, just a hot shower, a bar of soap and a finger wash.
According to Dr Suzy Elneil at Wellbeing of Women, a consultant urogynaecologist at University College Hospital, London, vaginal discharge is natural and not ‘always a bad sign’. “There is a myth that copious clear or white discharge is associated with sexually transmitted infections. Changes in the amount of discharge can be 100% hormonal – in other words, linked to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.”
The character and amount of discharge varies throughout the menstrual cycle. Around the time of ovulation, when your ovary releases an egg, discharge usually thickens and grows stretchy like the sticky stuff in a raw egg. The smell is not unpleasant and, as for the feeling of moistness, this is a sign of being healthy and normal.
Porn merchants show shaved girls with their shiny slot like a money box. They would like to convince men that pubic hair is smelly, unnecessary and unhealthy. Not true. The opposite is true. In fact, when it comes to human odours, men should pay more attention to their own hormonal smells if they wish to lose themselves in the warm shell of the female vagina.
The healthy vagina for beginners
For those men, and there are lots, unaware of the female landscape, here’s the healthy vagina for beginners. The vagina is a tunnel of muscle that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vagina. The exterior decoration, called the vulva, consists of the labia majora and labia minora, big lips and small lips – although, to make it confusing, sometimes the smaller inner lips are bigger than the outer lips. The vagina contains the urethra (for pee-pee), a hard-to-find sense receiver called the G-spot, and the clitoris, the altar in the palace of divine pleasure.
Below the vaginal opening is something called the Bartholin glands. When aroused, they moisten, easing penetration before sex, and leaking in your panties if arousal transpires from unexpected or extraneous stimulation (like the good looking sweaty guy at the gym). Before we leave the genital scenery behind us, between the vulva and the anus is the perineum, a largely neglected pleasure point that enjoys the occasional visit.
The pubic mount, or mons, or mound of Venus, sprouts hair at puberty, slender silken threads or thick wiry carpets. Like riddles and secrets, there’s no telling what you are going to find. But hirsute or short-back-and sides, and contrary to urban myth and porn peddlers: pruning the fuzz IS NOT healthier, but actually increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infection.
Shaving leaves invisible nicks and cuts in the skin. Bikini waxes inflame the follicles – opening still more breaches for infection. Removing pubic hair removes the cushion between you and your partner, increasing friction and, you got it, pushing up the chances of contagion and STDs.
What’s the best way to keep a healthy vagina? Leave it in peace. Avoid perfumed soaps, gels, douches and antiseptics, not only are they potential irritants, they can cause the natural bacteria to go out of balance, resulting in thrush. Shave if you want to, not because he (or she) wants you to, and enjoy sex when you can get it.
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