Every woman is unique, with her individual thoughts, personality, body shape, and vagina.
While we encourage women to embrace their uniqueness, it’s important to know when something isn’t quite right down there.
Your vagina is an elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. The vagina connects the uterus to the outside world. The vulva and labia form the entrance, and the cervix of the uterus protrudes into the vagina, forming the interior end.
Here are the five main ways vagina, vulva, and labia may differ, and when it might be a cause for concern.
5 Ways Your Vagina Is Unique
It’s perfectly normal for a vagina to have an aroma, this will likely change throughout your menstrual cycle and may smell metallic at certain times of the month. Your vagina may smell different for a short period after intercourse or exercise. Odor can also be affected by wearing tight-fitting underwear in a fabric that doesn’t breathe. Wearing 100% cotton underwear is recommended.
All women will experience changes in odor, but a strong or unusual odor, such as a ‘fishy’ smell may be a sign of an infection. You should not attempt to mask this with douches or sprays. Your vagina cleanses itself naturally and keeps a healthy pH balance while keeping unhealthy bacteria at bay.
To keep your vaginal odor healthy be sure to practice good hygiene and wash with a mild soap and water, including before and after intercourse and exercise.
If your vaginal odor doesn’t go away or is combined with discharge or other unusual symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider and get it checked out.
Women come in all shapes and sizes and the vagina is no different. Every woman looks and feels different on the outside and inside, starting with the vaginal entrance, the vulva, and labia. It is normal to have different sized clitoris and labia – it’s also common and normal to look unsymmetrical.
Like your skin tone, vaginal color is different from one woman to the next and can range from pink to brown. It is not unusual for your vaginal area to be a different color than the rest of your skin. If your vaginal color changes, it could be due to pregnancy.
When talking about your vagina size, you may be referring to vaginal length. Vaginal length will vary slightly between women, but is around 3-4 inches long and can expand when aroused.
The vagina is surrounded by muscle and ‘tightness’ may be affected by decreased muscle tone caused by increased age or childbirth. If you are noticing a difference in tightness that is causing incontinence, or want to prevent it, you can try Kegel exercises. Regular general exercise, including working your core will also help maintain muscle tightness.
Changes in vaginal texture is often a sign that something isn’t quite right. If you remove your pubic hair by waxing or shaving, it is not unusual to get bumpy ingrown hairs or razor burn. However, you should see your doctor about any unusual bumps or blisters which do not go away to ensure that they are not caused by herpes or genital warts.
Vaginal dryness, which often causes itchiness, can be a symptom of menopause and there are treatments available to relieve this. If you experience prolonged vaginal dryness and are not nearing menopause, you should see your doctor.
Additional resources on vaginal health:
Speak to your doctor about any unusual vaginal changes. Call Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com.