There is a common misconception out there that it is necessary for women to regularly clean their vagina (the inside of their genital anatomy) by using soap or other products. However, the reality is that this can do more harm than good, and the body has its own mechanism to keep the vagina clean.
The vaginal discharge that is often considered annoying and even unsanitary, is part of the vagina’s mechanism for keeping the vagina clean. It flushes out dirt and pathogens. The vagina also contains good bacteria called lactobacilli which keep the PH balance (i.e. the acidity / alkalinity balance) on the more acidic side. This makes it difficult for harmful pathogens to multiply.
Using soaps and other cleaning products can irritate the tissue in the vagina and affect the delicate PH balance, creating conditions for bad bacteria and pathogens to multiply.
That being said, it is a good idea to clean the vulva (the outside genital area) regularly, and this should be done using plain water and a cloth. If you absolutely have to use soap, use unscented soap and be careful to ensure that it does not enter the vaginal canal. Glycerin soap is ideal for this.
It is also not a good idea to douche the vagina, as this may also result in a PH imbalance and may affect the good bacteria. Even douches and products which claim to maintain the PH balance are usually more harmful than beneficial, and should be avoided.
Another reason to let the vagina do its own thing in terms of cleaning itself, is that cleaning the vagina make you more vulnerable to contracting a STD. The lactobacilli provide a level of protection against STDs, and this protection is compromised by doing anything which affects the lactobacilli.
At the end of the day, remember that your body is smarter than you think, and your body has its own mechanisms to keep the vagina clean and healthy.
I am a healthy 26 year old female with white pubic hair. When I first noticed it I freaked out! I am blonde and I have no white or gray hair on my head, only down there. My husband is my high school sweetheart and we have been together since I was 17. I am mortified to tell him about this and have decided to trim and shave my pubic hair as much as I can without looking like a 8 year old girl. Is this normal? What can I do to fix this?
You are not alone. Many women experience graying of their pubic hair during their lives, which can begin anytime from their teenage years to their older years.
There are many factors which can cause this.
Genetics is the main cause among many women. A diet lacking in vitamin B or protein can cause also premature graying on the body, so you could try taking vitamin B supplements and increasing your protein intake. Another possible cause is stress and anxiety, so minimizing your stress level may help to slow down the development of gray / white pubic hair.
Many women who experience graying of their pubic hair are completely healthy, and it is generally not something to be concerned about from a health perspective.
How common are long labia? I feel like everyone I read about feels alone and as if they were the only one with the issue, and I am just wondering how common it is.
Some studies have shown that approximately 50% of all women have labia minora (inner lips) which protrude from their labia majora (outer lips) to some extent. It is not at all unusual to have labia minora which protrude an inch or more out of the labia majora.
I’m not sure what you consider “long labia” but the best answer I can give to your question, is that labia minora that protrude from the labia majora are very common.
I’m 23 years old. I stopped shaving last year I hated the ingrown hairs and itching. I am looking for an alternative, but I am afraid of the pain of waxing. I have used Veet on my legs in the past. Is it safe to use Veet on my vagina?
The short answer to this question is no. Veet and other hair removal creams such as Nair contain chemicals that dissolve the hair, and should not be used on sensitive areas such as the vulva as it can result in damage to sensitive skin.
Veet can safely be used by most people on the bikini line, but care should be taken to ensure that it does not come into contact with the sensitive inner areas such as the labia minora, clitoral hood and vaginal entrance.
It is also a good idea to test the skin on the bikini line for sensitivity to Veet. To do this, first apply only a small amount of Veet to a small area for a few minutes, and then assess whether there has been any adverse reaction to it.
I want to get laser hair removal on my vagina but I have heard that it can be very sore. Can I use numbing cream on my vagina?
The skin in the vulva area is very delicate, and laser hair removal can be very painful, especially for those with a low pain threshold.
There are a number of topical anesthetic creams which are sold over the counter without a prescription, and can be used to numb the area before undergoing a session. They should generally be applied 15 – 30 minutes before the session, and they result in temporary numbness in the area, usually not lasting more than an hour.
Check with your local drugstore for topical anesthetic creams that are safe for use in sensitive areas like the vulva. It is also a good idea to read the package insert for details about side-effects and sensitivity commonly experienced with the product.
Many women who shave or wax their vulvas suffer with ingrown hair. We have put together a quick guide on how to get rid of ingrown hairs on the labia.
Before you get started, make sure you have the following essential items close at hand:
Tweezers and a needle or pin. Burn the edge with a flame to sterilise it
A mild disinfectant
The first step, once you have collected these items, is to take a warm shower or bath. This will help to open the hair follicles, which will make it easier to extract the ingrown hair. After the shower or bath, dry the skin in the area.
Once you have done so, the next step will be to remove the hair which is curled up under your skin. Don’t wait too long after drying the area, as the follicles must still be open when you remove the hair.
To remove the hair, gently break the skin at the top of the raised area with the sterilised needle or pin, locate the hair with the sharp point of the needle or pin, and slide the needle or pin underneath the hair to pull it to the surface of the skin.
Once enough of the hair is exposed to grab hold of it with the tweezers, use the tweezers to firmly but slowly pull it out. Wipe the area clean with the tissue paper, and apply the mild disinfectant to the area.
Apply more disinfectant once or twice a day for the next couple of days, until the skin heals – the key here is to keep the area clean to avoid infection or bacterial getting into the broken skin. You don’t want other infections in the area which can be even more unpleasant than the ingrown hair that you had before.
Once the skin in the area has healed fully, make sure that you exfoliate it regularly to avoid the ingrown hair coming back (but be gentle, as the area is delicate and can be sensitive).
I am often contacted by women who complain that “my inner vagina lips get in the way during sex” or “my labia get caught during sex”.
It is a common problem experienced by women who have labia minora that protrude from their labia majora, and it can often be a source of great anxiety and discomfort which prevents women from enjoying sex. It is, however, an issue that usually has a straightforward solution.
Check out this useful video by Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross of www.dodsonandross.com, two women who run a site packed with useful information about sex and masturbation. It contains some excellent tips on solving the problem:
As you can see from my pics, when I wear yoga pants and other tight clothing, I have a very obvious cameltoe. It is very embarassing, and I often feel as if everybody around me is noticing it. Do you have any tips on how to hide cameltoe?
Here are a few tips which might help:
Wear the right clothing size. Cameltoe is often caused by clothing that doesn’t fit properly, and when pants are too tight in the crotch area, this often causes cameltoe.
Wear other fabrics. Stretchy clothing such as spandex (which is often used in workout clothing) is one of the major culprits for causing cameltoe. You can also wear workout clothing that is lined in the crotch area.
Wear darker colours. White and light-coloured clothing often makes cameltoe more obvious. Dark colours, while also being slimming, help when it comes to concealing that cameltoe.
Avoid going commando. Wearing supportive panties often helps to avoid or minimise the appearance of cameltoe.
Wear pants with a lower waist. As a general rule, a higher waist means a higher chance of cameltoe being visible.
Wear a pantyliner. This works on a similar principle to wearing lined clothing.
Let me know if you find these tips useful!
If anyone out there has any other great tips and life-hacks on how to hide cameltoe, please let me know and I will share them on here!
As you can see I have an extreme case of fordyce spots. Please let me know how to get rid of fordyce spots on my labia minora.
Fordyce spots are a natural occurrence as a result of Fordyce sebum (oil) getting trapped in the sebaceous gland. They are harmless but are often a concern from a cosmetic perspective. What many people don’t know is that about 70% to 80% of people have fordyce spots to differing extents somewhere on their bodies.
Generally, it is not recommended that medical or surgical steps be taken to get rid of fordyce spots as they are harlmess, and most “treatments” for them do more harm than good.
Some tips and natural remedies which can help to alleviate or reduce the prominence of fordyce spots include:
Maintaining good hygiene down there and use antibacterial soap, especially if you use essential oils.
Wearing loose-fitting underwear, preferably made from breathable stretch-material (to avoid sweating in your genital region).
Coconut oil (which acts as a moisturiser and reduces fordyce spots which are exacerbated by dehydration).
Increasing your daily vitamin intake – oranges and broccoli (the widely hated vegetable among children!) is reported to cause a reduction in fordyce spots.
Tea tree oil (which acts as a natural antiseptic that prevents bacterial growth and relieves the inflamed skin).
Turmeric powder (which has antiseptic and antibacterial properties) – 1/4 teaspoon combined with apple cider vinegar can be applied to inflamed skin.
Have a cold oatmeal bath (which reduces itching, redness and skin inflammation).
Jojoba oil (which also has antibacterial properties and acts as a moisturizer).
Aloe vera gel (which has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties) – either cut the stalk of the aloe plant and apply the gel to the skin, or buy aloe vera gel from a health store and apply it.
Let me know if any of these tips and remedies help!
So I’ve got a question. I want to start keeping my pubic hair groomed. Should I shave or wax my vagina? I have some friends who prefer to wax, but I know it can be very expensive and I’ve heard that it can be painful. What is the best way to go?
Both shaving and waxing have their advantages and disadvantages, and at the end of the day, it is a matter of personal choice. I personally prefer waxing.
Here are some of the pros and cons of each hair removal method:
Waxing – the pro’s:
Waxing needs to be done less frequently than shaving, as the re-growth usually takes a few weeks to come back.
Waxing generally gives you a smoother feel than shaving.
The re-growth usually gets thinner after a while.
You don’t have to deal with razor cuts or nicks.
Waxing – the cons:
Waxing can be quite a painful experience, especially in the sensitive area between the outer labia and the inner labia.
You have to let the hair grow back to a certain length before it can be waxed again.
Waxing can be quite expensive (when done professionally at a salon).
Waxing can cause ingrown hairs.
You might get wax burns or scarring (although this is less likely if you have a good aesthetician).
Shaving – the pro’s:
Shaving is much cheaper than waxing, and unlike waxing, can easily be done at home.
You do not have to allow the hair to grow out to a certain length before shaving again (unlike with waxing).
If shaving is done properly, ingrown hairs can be avoided.
Shaving – the cons:
Shaving often leaves black / visible stubble.
The re-growth appears within one to three days, and can be spiky and uncomfortable.
The re-growth does not get thinner over time.
If you are not careful, you might get nicks and cuts from shaving.