Updated: Jun 28, 2020
Vaginas: You can't live with them, you can't live without them. But you still haven't taken an honest look at your own. Take a look at the most intimate part of your body, and become it's best friend. Go ahead, we won't judge you.
Ever wonder about your vagina? It seems like society has created some kind of taboo when it comes to women really getting to know their vaginas. It started early, when we were told to keep our legs together when wearing a dress, or that masturbating was only something boys did. So we were never officially introduced to our vaginas; whether that meant looking at them, exploring them, learning how to pleasure them. Over time, we may have given this power away unknowingly. And somewhere down the road, our partners may have come to know the most intimate part of our body better than we do. So don't be afraid, take a look at the most beautiful part of your body, get to know how it looks, interacts, changes throughout the month. Our vaginas are quite literally the portal to life, so with a little time, allow respect and devotion to grow. You and your vagina are beautiful. For the second edition of the "Let's Talk About" series we will breakdown how the vagina changes throughout the month, and throughout the female life cycle. Happy exploring!
What is a vagina? Let's start with the basics. A vagina is the tube connecting the cervix to the vulva, meaning it connects your uterus to the Great Outdoors (portal of life, remember?) The vagina is made up of walls that are lubricated (the same way your mouth or throat is). These walls are made up of muscles, tissues, collagen, etc. In the same way your mouth and throat release fluid, the walls of your vagina secrete fluids to keep the vagina properly hydrated. When you are sexually aroused these fluids increase (more on that later...) The vagina has many states. When the vagina is not aroused, it rests at a relaxed state. During a relaxed state, the walls of the vagina collapse inwards, creating The vagina is said to hold an "H" or a "W" shape, neither is better that the other, vagina's just relax in different ways. Just like one of your friends may paint to relax, and the other may read. The walls of the vagina are made up of folds, this is what makes the vagina expandable when delivering a baby. But these folds also help protect the vagina from allowing anything that should not be entering from the outside world, into the body. How the vagina changes during your menstrual cycle. Cool fact: the vagina changes as hormones change throughout the menstrual cycle. Around ovulation, when estrogen levels are high, vaginal tissue becomes thicker and fuller, while the cervix gets softer. This is because the body is preparing for the potential fertilized egg to attach itself to the uterine lining. Following ovulation, estrogen levels will decrease leading up to your period. This decrease in estrogen will lead to a thinner vaginal wall. A thinner vaginal wall means higher risk of inflammation and discomfort. Your vagina is also more acidic at this time in your cycle, which may lead to other kinds of physically uncomfortable sensations (think a subtle itch, you can't quite scratch). The cervix will become soft again to help blood flow outwards during menstruation. How the vagina changes throughout pregnancy. First note: the vagina becomes more vulnerable to any kind of infection when you become pregnant. This is because the vagina's pH levels are all over the place around this magical time. As a result, your vagina will release more discharge to keep things that shouldn't be moving upwards, move outwards. This change in pH is likely to also make your vagina feel itchier than usual (yay!). The good news is, in order to help the mini-you grow, the vagina will swell and become fuller due to an increase in blood flow, this may make you more easily aroused and increse your sex-drive. How vagina changes during menopause. The decrease in estrogen levels that characterize the start of menopause, lead the vaginal walls to become thinner. As they become thinner, they slowly lose their expandable nature. This leads the vagina to become more rigid, and as the walls thin, the vagina releases less fluid, leading to a drier environment. Some menopausal women swear by maca root powder to keep their vaginas lubricated, but be sure to reach out to a health care provider or nutritionist before introducing any supplements into your diet.
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