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Here's Some Advice On Your Vagina That You Probably Didn't Learn In School

"PAY ATTENTION TO ME" — your vulva (probably).

Hey there cyber besties, it's me again — Hameda. Today I'm here to talk about vaginas.

@itshameda / BuzzFeed / Via Instagram: @itshameda

I was recently reminded of how little we talk about vaginal health and how stigmatised the subject of our cooch is.

TV Land

Shout-out to Canesten, who paired up with Abbie Chatfield to create a free, online workshop that explores the topic of our ~intimate health~ with a focus on thrush in particular. 

First and foremost, whatever you call your vagina — vagine, pussy, foof, vag or even vajay-jay — it's super important that you get to know yours intimately. Yes, this means gazing lovingly at it through a mirror, but also touching it (with clean hands), so that you understand the ins-and-outs.

Netflix

Before we get into this, what we mean when we say "vagina" is actually incorrect. Your vagina is the tube that runs from your opening to your uterus. The exterior area surrounding that opening is actually your "vulva". All vulvas are unique, so yours might not look like any that you've ever seen before — which is why you should take some time out to get to know it. Basically, when you know you'd be able to pick your vagine out of a line-up, you're good to go. 

Unfortunately in my high-school experience, sex ed didn't really teach us much about the female anatomy beyond some top-line biological terms, so I've gathered up some tips for our gumbo-pots that I thought were really interesting and important.

Amazon Prime Video

I'm not a doctor or an expert in anyone's vulva but my own, so be sure to do your own research, read all the books and watch all the videos to find out more! 

1. Vaginas clean themselves — so you shouldn't be douching. Ever.

Comedy Central

Alright, so tell me why I thought I had to clean my vulva and vagina with SOAP as a child?! I literally have vivid memories of the excruciating pain I faced when I used a bar of soap to wash myself down there because nobody thought to tell me not to do that. Thankfully, I learned my lesson, but good god was it a hard one. 

Everyone's honey-pot smells different and that can't be altered with soaps and perfumes (so please don't try) — however, eating pineapple in the afternoon can do wonders. If you were wondering what you should be using to wash your vajay, warm water and mild soap are your best bet. And stick to the OUTSIDE, please and thank you. 

2. In fact, you should be carefully considering everything that you're allowing into your ~secret garden~. This includes lube and sex toys.

CBC

It's super easy to forget how delicate the pH balance is in and around your vagina, so don't go around slapping anything that's slippery down there to get the job done. Stick with water-based lubricants and always, always, always make sure your sex toys are clean before you use them. 

3. Antibiotics can also mess with the pH of your vagina, so get those probiotics in your system to balance things out.

Bravo

Look, I know — it sucks having to think about this when all you're trying to do is get better. But trust me, the smarter you are about treatment, whether that's gorging on some yoghurt or taking supplements, the happier your cooch will be. 

4. Speaking of keeping the balance where your vagine is involved, always pee after you have sex, or stick anything in or around your vagina.

SNL

UTIs are not only the absolute worst, but they're maddening to get rid of, so get your ass out of bed and pee when you're all done. Your urethra (pee-hole) is super close to your vaginal opening, which means bacteria might decide to hop on a party bus and head on up to your bladder. This includes oral sex, because, you guessed it, your clit is also super close to your urethra. Flush those fuckers out when you go for a wee and the chances of getting a UTI lessen significantly. 

5. Wear breathable underwear — not the shoddy plastic stuff that costs you two bucks a-piece. And sleep naked, if that's an option for you.

Miramax

Doing either, or both of these will allow your fanny to get some quality air time, which will keep moisture from building up. If you don't do this and let your vag hang out in swamp-like environments, bacteria can grow and lead to some uncomfy situations — like bacterial vaginosis and thrush

6. Wipe from front to back. Let me repeat that. Front to back.

Paramount Pictures

Listen, it's usually the simplest of things that trip us up when it comes to taking care of our foofs — and wiping is most certainly one of them. After all, it can certainly feel easier to wipe from back to front, right? Since there's a lot less reaching involved. But it is wrong — and it'll mess with things that have no business being messed with. Wiping from front to back ensures that your butt bacteria stays where it belongs, rather than getting all jammed up in your jam pot. 

7. I've said it before and I'll say it again — get to know your princess pooch.

CBC

Spending quality time with your muff will ensure that you know what it usually smells like, how it looks and what your discharge is like on a regular basis. So when something is off, you'll know it immediately. The sooner you can address a potential infection, the sooner you can have it treated, which is super important. 

8. On that note, discharge is completely normal, so stop being a weirdo about it @ everyone.

ABC

If you've been on TikTok for the past couple of years, and specifically on a side of TikTok that this appeared on, you'll have noticed that men were horrified to discover that our vaginal discharge sometimes discolours, or "bleaches" our underwear. This is because the natural pH of your coochie is acidic — so when it interacts with the dye in the fabric of your undies, it can stain. 

9. And finally, go to your damn doctor regularly and make sure you ask a bunch of questions.

Fox

Look, I'm not going to lie to you and say that I'm not absolutely terrified of going to the gyno (we can thank the patriarchy for the medieval looking tools that have deterred me), but our sexual organs are so important and special — it's really a disservice to them not to ensure they're staying healthy and happy. Talk to your GP about your vag if you've got any concerns and just get over yourself and make a damn appointment with your OB/GYN. I believe in you. I know you can do it. 

Alright folks, those are all my tips and fun facts. If you have any advice based on personal experiences, please share your story in the comments below!

Just make sure you're being kind and considerate to yourself and others when you do. 

If you've got a question about a problem, have a thought you can't seem to resolve, or want another opinion on a scenario in your life, you can DM me about it on Instagram (@itshameda) or Twitter (@hamedanafiz) to be featured in Help Me Hameda, our advice column.

You can also drop in questions and submissions in the comments for consideration — if that's something you're comfortable with.

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