As a woman, there are countless rumors you might hear about the vagina — from hygiene standards, incorrect anatomy, and other myths. Here are five common myths about the vagina, debunked.
The Vagina Is Also For Urinating
For a long time, the myth circulated that women urinate from their vaginas; this is actually false. There are two openings in the vaginal region: one is the vaginal opening, which is an entryway for sexual penetration and an outlet for birthing a child. This opening is located toward the bottom of the vaginal region, and above it is the urethra (roughly in the center of the region). This is a much smaller opening that’s directly connected to the ureters, which transport urine out of the body.
Vaginas Are Inherently Dirty
It’s commonly believed that vaginas are dirty and/or unsanitary, and that’s simply not the case. Vaginas are actually self-cleaning organs! The inside of the vagina has an entire ecosystem of healthy bacteria that keeps the organ slightly acidic. As a result, your vagina is able to kill bad bacteria and flush it out by excreting discharge. This self-sustaining cleaning system keeps the vagina very balanced and sanitary! The vulva (on the outside) isn’t self-cleaning though, so it should still be cleaned any time you shower.
You Need Lots of Cleaning Products For Your Vagina
Since the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, you don’t need expensive cleaning products to maintain it. In fact, soaps, douches and other cleaning materials with strong chemicals or fragrances may actually throw off the delicate balance of bacteria and acidity in your vagina, which can make you more susceptible to infections, general discomfort and more. You don’t need to put soap or water inside your vaginal entrance; a bit of warm, soapy water on the vulva and external parts of the vagina should be enough to keep you clean and healthy.
There’s Nowhere to Get Free Pregnancy Tests
Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of places to get free pregnancy tests. There are plenty of free clinics and pregnancy care centers across the country, and many of them accept walk-ins and scheduled appointments alike. You can also visit your local health department or find a Planned Parenthood near you for pregnancy tests, prenatal care, access to additional medical support and more. If you’re unable to obtain free pregnancy tests, dollar store pregnancy tests yield about the same accuracy as the urine tests performed by doctors, but you may receive an inaccurate result if you test too early.
Your Period Is Always the Same
Your period probably won’t be the same every month. Stress, anxiety, hormones, changes in weight and other factors can make your period early or late, and your flow might be a little different when it arrives. If you have missed a period you can seek out free pregnancy testing in Illinois to find out if the cause of your missed period is pregnancy. It might even be darker or lighter in color! If you experience significant changes severe pain or new symptoms, you should contact your doctor right away.
Every vagina is different, and that’s okay! As long as you strive to stay healthy, your vagina is as normal as can be.