Facts About the Vagina They Don’t Teach You In School

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“Hey Mum! I had some questions about Vaginal hygiene. I…”

“Shh! Polite girls don’t speak of it out loud!”, the mother reprimanded.

“Ok but pubic hair…”

“Quiet girl!"

“Excuse me miss, could you teach us more about the vagina?”

The only response - a roomful of giggles and perhaps a stern look from the teacher.

While the general lack of sex education in schools is appalling, the stigmatized scraps of it which are provided are even more infuriating. This taboo and stigmatization around certain parts of human anatomy have led to a society wherein derogatory and slang terms like “c*nt”. “p*ssy” et cetera have become commonplace, whereas words like “vagina” are hushed and called impolitely. It’s baffling that people are somehow conditioned to be embarrassed enough about a body part to not talk about it.

This hush around vaginas has conveniently kept vagina-owners deprived of enough information about vaginal hygiene, vaginal care, vaginal infections, and other facts related to the vagina.

A pathetic attempt at compensation for this general lack of regard for vaginas often comes in the form of an awkward and not so helpful session at school held with a roomful of giggling teenagers. 

Well, we are here to tell you facts about your vaginas you didn’t learn in school. Clearly, fitting all of them is beyond the scope of this blog. However, here are 7 facts about the vagina you must know.

 

1. Your vagina is self-cleaning.

Yes, you read that right. No, you don’t actually need to buy all those fancy yet bogus products to “clean your vagina”. Not only is it completely unnecessary, it disturbs your pH down there (especially if it's a scented product). Your vagina (internal portion - the canal) and vulva (external portion - labia, clitoris, vaginal opening) produce a variety of fluids important for your overall health. These fluids take care of cleansing and lubricating the vagina. 

In order to clean the vulva, all you need to do is gently clean the vulva lips and the area surrounding it with warm water. You can use a mild, unscented soap if deemed necessary. Never put any product inside the vagina i.e. the canal. Douches and hard soap can disturb the vaginal pH balance and do more harm than good. 

 

2. Your clitoris is only the tip of an iceberg.

Clitoris is the pleasure hub of your body. Practically, it is an organ solely dedicated towards your pleasure. The pea-sized nub you see on the outside is not the entire clitoris. It is actually shaped like a four-pronged wishbone which extends beneath the surface. Funny, you’d think it's pretty hard to miss but you’d be surprised at the cold shoulder it receives. 

 

3. Hymen being intact is not a certificate of virginity.

We’ll say this loud and clear - VIRGINITY IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT. IT'S NOT A REAL THING.

The hymen is a thin, fleshy tissue located at the opening of the vagina. Wrongly, it has been treated as a certificate of virginity. An example of the same is the “two finger test” used for female recruits in the Indonesian army. This humiliating practice was stopped only recently (August 2021).  Hymen can be stretched open the first time you have vaginal sex. However, that’s not always the case. It can also be stretched open during other activities like riding a bike, doing sports, inserting something in your vagina (tampon, cup, sex toy). In fact some people are born with very little hymenal tissue, making it seem like they don't have a hymen at all, while some people might have naturally stretched hymens. Bottomline is - your hymen does not indicate whether you are sexually active or not.

 

4. Most people can't orgasm from vaginal penetration alone.   

Our good, old friend clitoris plays a major role here. According to a study by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, about 37% women from the sample required clitoral stimulation to orgasm as opposed to the 18% women who reported that only vaginal penetration was enough to orgasm. An additional 36% indicated that while clitoral stimulation may not be needed, their orgasms feel better if the clitoris is stimulated during intercourse. Hence, it’s time to start acknowledging the obvious function of good, old clitoris and educating your partner about making good use of it. 

5. Each vagina has a distinct smell.

Every vagina has its own delicately balanced ecosystem. The good bacteria present in our vaginas are responsible for its natural odor. Vaginal odor is usually unnoticed but you may pick up its scent when you are on your period or maybe after sexual intercourse. It is normal and healthy for your vagina to have an odor. However, if this odor becomes too strong and unusual or especially if it’s accompanied by burning or itching, then you should consult your doctor immediately. The scent down there is not only from the bacteria, but is influenced by the combination of your bacteria down there, your food intake, and your other health and hygiene habits, hence is unique to each person. This is also the reason why it most likely won’t smell floral down there and nor should it. Do not burden your vagina with fragranced products to force a scent, it will only leave you extremely susceptible to yeast infections!

 

6. You can get ‘wet’ without being sexually aroused.

This is known as  arousal non-concordance. This is when you feel moist down there, commonly known as being ‘wet’ while not being sexually aroused. There are chances that the wetness you experience down there could be watery-like substance not fluids caused by sexual arousal. It could be vaginal sweat, lubrication, urine et cetera. Vaginal wetness is not a confirmation of arousal and should never be mistaken for consent. Consent must always be clear and vocalized. 

 

7. Vaginal discharge is normal.

Vaginal discharge is a normal occurrence. It is regulated by hormones like estrogen. Usually it may increase with sexual arousal or in the middle of menstrual cycle. The color, consistency and amount of vaginal discharge may vary depending on where the person is in their menstrual cycle. Different colors of discharge could mean different things. Some might be normal, while others might demand a visit to the doctor. 

These were some facts about the vagina that every vagina-owner must know. It’s time to break the stigma around vaginas and to educate ourselves as much as possible in order to take better care of our vaginas and to accept it as it is. 

 

SOQO’s role!

SOQO works relentlessly towards breaking the stigma and stereotypes around taboo topics, and towards disseminating knowledge and spreading awareness. Along with that, it also offers you a leakproof, high-waist underwear which is made of sustainable bamboo fabric. Its highly absorbent, moisture wicking surface absorbs sweat, blood,  discharge and any other leaks thus keeping you moist free down there. This saves you from harbouring bad bacteria and thus causing potential infections down there. It also rids you from any icky feeling. Its breathable material keeps you extremely comfortable. It is perfectly suited for the sensitive skin down there. 

Head to our product page to buy SOQO’s underwear at the earliest!

 

Citations:

https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/vagina-vulva-facts#7.-The-A-spot:-Possible-pleasure-center?

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/sex/virginity

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/sex/virginity

https://www.embracesexualwellness.com/esw-blog/arousalnonconcordance

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0092623X.2017.1346530

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-clean-your-vagina#what-to-avoid

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