The vagina is such an amazing body part; it does so much in such a small space. There truly is nothing else like it.
There are approximately 3.52 billion vaginas in the world, yet there's so much confusion about them. That's why I'd like to dispel some common myths about this incredible live-giver.
1. "The vagina gets "loose" after having children."
This one gets me every time I hear it. Saying a vagina gets "loose" after you have kids is like saying you can lose weight after going to the gym once! Yes, women push gigantic human creatures out of their vaginas. Yes, that space has to expand greatly to accommodate human baby heads, but those muscles are designed to expand. Yes, the vagina hurts after expansion like that, but it heals. It goes back to the way it was before children almost immediately.
For the record, I'm not a doctor, just a mom who has pushed out four gigantic babies and knows firsthand what her vagina looked and felt like before and after children.
The muscles in the vagina do go back to normal after childbirth. As a matter of fact, they can get stronger whenever a woman chooses to do "Kegel" exercises. Super easy to do, you can do them just about anywhere and nobody will even know. Just squeeze your vagina muscles together. If you're unfamiliar with it, you could start by trying to stop your pee mid-flow. This will help you to feel and control your muscles.
2. "Vaginas smell bad."
I grew up with this paranoia, and I wasted so much time and anxiety on something that just wasn't true. I even spoke to my gynecologist about this. It wasn't until I met my husband (at the age of 19) that I truly began to understand that vaginas don't actually smell like anything other than vaginas. Sweating can create odors, but that's normal; men get stinky too.
Vaginas, like all body parts, don't need extra help from chemically laden garbage products. You don't need feminine deodorant spray, itching spray, lotion, powder, douches and other special chemical moneymakers for the big companies. If you eat a balanced diet, exercise, shower, and have protected sex, that vagina will look, feel and smell like heaven.
Of course, if your vagina truly smells bad, you should see a doctor, as this could be the symptom of a medical issue.
3. "Vagina is a bad word."
Why do we consider being called a rude word for a woman's body part the ultimate insult? The vagina rocks. Without vaginas, the human race would cease to exist.
4. "Vaginas need lubrication from a bottle."
There are some cases medically when it's needed, but typically when a healthy, sexually active woman is turned on, her body will produce the lubricant needed to allow penetration.
Open and honest conversation about sex, although potentially uncomfortable, is the only way to truly guarantee to get what you need out of a sexual relationship. If your partner is doing what you like and how you like it, lubrication will happen.
5. "The vagina has an expiration date."
Maybe it's not just the vagina, but the whole woman package gets more confident with age, making sex explosively fabulous. Something clicked for me after child number one. I was nervous for my vagina to have something go inside after a rather large child came out of it just six weeks earlier. To my surprise, it not only didn't hurt, but it felt pretty fabulous.
In all fairness, I am dedicated to my kegel exercises. I always have been. My vagina muscles are strong and solid. I'm not sure if that contributes to fabulous sex, but I don't think it hurts.
Six weeks post-baby, I felt confident in my new body. Baby flab, milk-filled breasts and all. I knew that my husband had seen me at my "worst" and was still completely attracted to me and in love with both me and our new baby. Confidence is really conducive to great sex. Once you get over yourself and sit back and enjoy each other, there's nothing quite like it.
6. "Vaginas are weird and should remain a mystery."
No, no, no! To know it is to love it! I've known what my vagina looks like since I was a young child. My daughter will probably do the same. I knew what it looked and felt like before I had kids, and I know what it looks and feels like now, after four kids. It's awesome! It's strong, healthy and doesn't smell. It's self-lubricating, and I don't consider it an insult to be called anything vagina related.
So embrace that beautiful gift you have and really get to know it! You only get the one vagina you're born with; treat it with the respect it deserves.
Photo Credit: Getty Images