If you’re insecure about anything having to do with your vagina, chances are you don’t feel like you can work through those feelings with many people in your life.
Although some friendships and relationships come with the freedom to discuss all things vagina-related, unfortunately, many don’t—and sometimes it can feel strange even bringing up your concerns with your doctor. But that’s precisely what your doctor is there for: to either reassure you that things are fine, or come up with a treatment plan if they’re not.
Here we discuss some of the most common vagina-related worries patients have that are actually nothing to worry about.
Worries about labia minora are one of the most common concerns doctors encounter.
“You can blame all this on the fact that women started removing their pubic hairs and now realise that their labia don’t quite look the same as other people’s. Porn also comes into play with this as does body “fashions’ which come and go. So do what feels right for you, there is no wrong in having pubic hair or removing some of it.
You can equate it with your ears and breasts—no two of anything on your body are ever the exact same, just like no two snowflakes are the same.
The only sign that your labia may actually be too long is if they stick out of underwear and bathing suits, cause swelling and pain when biking, swimming, running, or otherwise being active, or even get dragged into the vagina during sex.
Labia that are a different colour than the rest of your vulva.
It’s all normal and fine, although sudden redness or inflammation can point to some sort of irritation or infection, in which case you should see your doctor.
Discharge that changes throughout the month.
Throughout the month, your discharge might change from an egg-white consistency to a slightly thicker output. This is based on a variety of factors, like where you are in your cycle, birth control, sexual activity, and diet.
Chances are your discharge is nothing to worry about unless it takes on a form you’ve never experienced before.
Discharge that suddenly seems cottage cheese-like can point to a yeast infection, while discharge that turns green or yellow with a strange odor can hint at something like bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia.
These signs are especially worth noting when accompanied by irritation, itching, or burning. If you’re experiencing any of that, go see your doctor.
Getting random lumps and bumps.
Don’t automatically freak out if you get a bump down below. Various glands, like sweat glands and Bartholin’s glands, are located around your vagina, and sometimes they can get blocked, causing cysts that may or may not be painful.
There are also other causes like razor burn, which you can get on the labia majora if you shave there, and ingrown hairs, which can crop up in the folds between your legs and vaginal area and on the mons pubis, that mound of skin above the clitoris.
The vagina is so similar to the face in that you can get ‘acne,’ but it tends to go away and is nothing to worry about. Of course, some kind of genital bumps are a sign of conditions like herpes or HPV.
If the bumps hurt, appear in clusters, blister, or are worrying you for any other reason, see your doctor.
Having a vagina that doesn’t smell like a bed of roses.
Vaginas are supposed to smell like vaginas, not like you are walking through an English garden. Your personal scent is individual but as long as it’s not reminiscent of anything rotting, fishy, or otherwise foul (all potential signs of something like bacterial vaginosis or an STD), you’re good.
Doctors always recommend against using products designed to make your vagina smell different—they can be irritating and throw off the pH of your vagina, potentially leading to infection. If you think something’s up down there, see your doctor for advice.
Stuff in your period blood.
As it turns out, seeing clots in your period blood is completely normal, just like the rest of the stuff on this list.
These clots basically happen when blood is coming out more quickly than your body’s anticoagulants, or anti-clotting substances, can keep up with. This is more likely to happen when your period is heavy.
While clotting during your period is normal, what’s not normal is dealing with a period so heavy that you’re soaking through a heavy flow pad or tampon (or more) each hour. That is excessive bleeding, and it’s definitely time to seek medical attention.
Needing or wanting lube during sex.
Thanks to a series of incredibly cool biological mechanisms, your vagina will typically make its own natural lubrication when you’re turned on. But sometimes you need a little help, whether because you’re not as lubricated as you like, because you’re about to have a quickie and really do not have the time for your vagina to get with the program, because your vagina is undergoing age-related changes that can induce dryness, or because you just like really slippery sex. In any case, go for the lube without shame.
Basic rule is keep your Vagina happy and healthy.
Article by Zahra Barnes from Self.com