The number of women deciding to go under the knife and opt for female gentical cosmetic surgery (aka a labiaplasty – getting cosmetic surgery on your vagina) has soared in recent years, which kind of sucks.
That means there's a lot of gals out there worrying about whether their vaginas look 'normal' – but we're here to let you know that all those things you probably think are weird about your lady parts actually AREN'T weird at all.
Stressing about the shape, size, nooks and crannies of your labia? Well STOP RIGHT NOW, thank you very much, and check out all the stuff below that you might not be too sure about, which is in fact totally normal for your body. Hooray.
1. My labia are too long/too flappy/too dark/lopsided/not right.
Right, first thing's first - all vaginas and that general area of the bod are unique to each woman. There are two sets of lips or labia - the outer and inner - and guess what? They vary HUGELY between every female human being on the planet. There's no such thing as a 'normal' vagina, and don't let ridiculous porn sway how you see yourself.
There's a massive variation between appearances of vaginas. Some will be 'innies', some will be 'outies', but sometimes if the labia/flappy bits/lips are longer or darker or slightly more stretchy, girls worry. As we've already said, they're ALL different and ALL fine - oh, and they're very rarely the same size as each other, either.
2. It's not a pretty, rosy pink colour.
Ugh, yet more aesthetic worries that we're all living with thanks to porn. It's FINE if yours isn't the perfect shade of rosy, girly pink. The vaginal rainbow covers a huge range of colours from pale pink, to purpley red, to brown. There's no 'normal' colour yours should be, and it's completely dependent on your general skin tone. Vajayjays can also darken a little as you get older and your hormones change, which is perfectly normal.
If your vagina becomes much redder than normal, especially just on one side, it could be a sign of infection, so just make sure you're familiar with how it normally looks.
3. My discharge has some issues going on.
Another thing that can vary massively amongst women is vaginal discharge. Everyone has vaginal discharge of some variety and it changes throughout your life cycle. In general, a normal discharge can be clear or white and, whilst it does have a fairly distinctive smell down thurrr, it isn't totally offensive.
It's mostly a change which you need to keep an eye out for, rather than its day to day presence in your knicks. If it suddenly changes consistency or smell, it might be an indication of thrush or an STD, which needs to get checked out. Worrying about anything? Don't feel you can't talk to your doctor, they see a bajllion vaginas every week and yours ain't anything special to 'em. No offence.
4. There's too much pubic hair all over the place.
What you choose to do with your pubic hair is TOTALLY up to you. If you wanna whip it all off and go bare, you do you. If you wanna leave it completely alone and go natural, you do you. It's all down to personal preference - there is no such thing as 'normal'.
Shaving, waxing and laser treatments are all available to you if you want to do something about tidying them up, but that's only for your own cosmetic reasons and has nothing to do with health or hygiene benefits. However, if it grows up to your navel or down your thighs then it may be a sign that your hormones are a bit imbalanced, which is worth seeing a doctor about.
5. I think it's saggy/too wide/too small/I'm not tight enough.
Nuh uh honey - remember every vagina is different so there's no such thing as 'too big' or 'too small'. It depends on your bones, your anatomy, your figure and your connective tissue.
Oh, and just to dispel another myth while we're here, there is no way anyone can tell how many people you've had sex with by the size of your vagina. Having a lax vagina does not mean you've been having loads of sex, and there are several explanations for it. For example, if you're heavier in weight then you can put pressure on your pelvic floor which then relaxes your muscles.
The chances are you're definitely not old enough to be worrying about sagging, but pelvic floor exercises can help exercise the muscles, improve sexual function and generally build their strength. POWER VAGINA.
6. Something down there is itchy.
If you're constantly itchy down below, then it could be a sign of thrush, especially if it's also accompanied by a milky discharge. You can treat it with creams and tablets over the counter, or you can see a doc.
If your discharge hasn't changed but you're still scratching all the time, it could just be a skin irritation caused by cheap underwear, washing power, body washes or bad hair removal. Try switching up your products a bit and treating your magical vagina a bit more carefully before you panic.
7. There's lumps and bumps around it.
Loads of girls panic when a bump or abscess pops up on your vagina, but it's not necessarily an STI or anything serious. Bartholin's cysts and abscesses are caused by Bartholin glands at the posterior entrance of the vagina and, when they get blocked, a cyst can form and grow to a quite significant size. Yeah, not much fun, but real easy to sort once you pluck up the courage to tell you doctor.
If we're talking little red bumps, then they're probably ingrown hairs caused by dodgy shaving techniques. Think about swapping your hair removal methods or the shape of knickers you wear over the skin if it's leaving you with shaving rash.
8. I think it smells.
All vaginas have a natural smell - but let's be honest, it shouldn't be TOO strong or an offensive odour. There's loads of causes for a sudden change in the way your vagina smells, but it's worth checking with a GP in case of bacterial infection or an STI.
You should make sure to give your vajayjay a quick daily wash with water. Special soaps and gels are out there for you to use, but they can sometimes they unbalance conditions in the vagina and lead to problems so just be a bit careful. After having sex, it's a good idea to use plain water and have a wee to wash out germs that might cause infections.
9. Sex really hurts, or I'm sore afterwards.
·Well errr... it depends on what you're doing during sex tbh. If you're left feeling sore during or after sex, then it might be worth trying out a lubricant, or latex-free condoms as sometimes it could be down to an allergy. It might be best to consult your GP or a sexual health clinic on this one, or just take a bit easier when you're getting daaaahhwwnnn. Steady on, pal.
10. There's some blood between periods.
Random spotting can be a sign of hormonal imbalance caused by your birth control, and you might want to consider changing methods if you're finding the spotting to be persistent. However, if the bleeding comes after sex and is accompanied by a discharge, it could be a sign of an STD. Other causes might be an infection or pregnancy so, if problems persist, get it checked.