Vaginal Health: Infections And The Low-Down On Your 'Lady Flower'
Ladies, do you really know what happens when you get a tingly sensation down there?
Dr. Alyssa Dweck, gynecologist and co-author of "V is for Vagina," a guide on everything one needs to know about vajayjays, says the word vagina itself is still labelled "gross." And if that last sentence made you cringe a bit, you're not alone.
"The 'VJ' is still a somewhat taboo subject. I challenge you to hear the word 'vagina' on television, ever," she says.
What Dweck finds even more disappointing are findings from the Association of Reproductive Professionals that states only 49 per cent of women have performed a self-examination on their vaginas, and 24 per cent have not looked at their vaginas in a year or longer.
It's still important for women to know what's going on in their bodies -- this way, any changes in or around the vagina won't seem so foreign. Having a trusted medical professional's number in your phone is also a good idea.
"It's best for a young woman to get acquainted with and establish a relationship with a gyno, so if there is an issue, it won't feel threatening or frightening," Dweck explains.
A healthy vagina is naturally acidic and contains rich quantities of bacteria that help fend off infections and maintain a normal pH level, according to Everyday Health. Small amounts of discharge are a normal way the vagina cleanses itself, just as saliva is produced to help clean our mouths.
Dweck says education on our lady parts is key, and the conversation should start at home.
"Young girls are naturally curious and I find that if I initiate conversation in my office about condoms, oral sex, risk taking behaviours including multiple partners, substance abuse, online relationships and the like, it is well received and advice heeded," she says.
Here are the most common infections to look out for when it comes to keeping your lady parts healthy.