28 Things People Wish They'd Learned About Their Vaginas Sooner
Pee after sex, people.
3. "All vulvas are different."
"It’s those differences that make all vulvas beautiful! The labia majora (outer lips) length can be up to around 12 cm. The labia minora (inner lips) length can be up to roughly 10 cm. The labia itself can be thicker or thinner, darker or lighter, and sometimes longer on one side. Some people have wide vaginal openings and others have small. The clitoris can be big or small, and it may stick out or be tucked away under the clitoral hood. Vulvas come in a whole rainbow of skin colors. Additionally, the vulva can have a wide range of textures with varying amounts of pubic hair. There is no such thing as a 'normal' looking vulva. Vaginas and vulvas are just as unique as faces, which is what makes them so incredible!"
5. "Do not use scented products to clean or mask the odor of your private bits."
10. "Discharge is normal."
14. "Periods aren't supposed to feel like they're truly killing you."
16. "Your pubic hair is there as a defense against bacteria and infections."
"Choosing to remove it or keep it is absolutely your call and you can and will have a healthy environment down there either way, but if you do remove it all, make sure you keep your bits extra safe by wearing clean, cotton underwear, peeing after sex, and changing out of sweaty clothes as soon as you can. Do these things if you have a bush too; it's just especially worth remembering if you have no pubic hair."
18. "It's important to know what actually happens during a miscarriage."
"The bleeding can last for weeks, the amount of blood and tissue passed can vary (tissue can be the size of a tennis ball), and there are different ways it can happen. There should be so much more education surrounding what happens before it’s actually happening."
19. "Pee after sex."
20. "Everyone's vagina is different."
"For instance, I had a hymen so thick it had to be surgically removed. That's totally normal! It happens to lots of people and isn't a big deal, but the media and society made it such a taboo to talk about my inability to use tampons or to masturbate that I didn't find out until I had an ovarian cyst and my doctor couldn't get an internal ultrasound inside me. It's super important to be open and honest with your doctors!"
26. "Penetrative sex shouldn't hurt and sometimes isn't possible."
"Around one third of people with vaginas will experience a form of pelvic floor dysfunction in their lifetime, which can make sex feel painful or impossible. I finally saw a pelvic floor physical therapist and that helped so much, but it's still something I am working through."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.