A few weeks ago, I attended the "Reproduktiv Hälsa" (Reproductive Health) conference that is held every other year for midwives in Sweden. It was like being flooded by a tsunami of PUSSYTIVE energy, as everyone there is working for the same thing - women's wellbeing. More than 500 midwives attended two amazing days of the latest research, interesting talks and thought-provoking debates on everything from women's genitals to pregnancy, birth and sexual health. I myself handed out pink "Stay Pussytive" goodiebags and had many exciting conversations. One of these conversations was about myths about the vagina that still linger. In our time, there are actually several vagina myths that continue to circulate, despite increased access to information and education. I thought it was time to bust at least three of them ❤
MYTH #1 - THE GENITAL AREA SHOULD BE ODORLESS
It is a common misconception that a vagina should be completely odorless and that any kind of natural odor is a sign of poor hygiene or an infection. The truth is that the vagina has a natural odor that varies from person to person and can be influenced by factors such as diet and hormones. A strong or unusual odor can be a sign of an infection, but a mild odor is normal. The myth that vaginas should be completely odorless is a common and potentially harmful misconception that affects many women's confidence and sexual health. Let's dive a little deeper into this topic:
🌺Natural vaginal scent
Your vagina is a complex body part that has its own unique smell, and the natural smell varies from person to person. This smell is usually mild and can be reminiscent of a combination of sour and sweet. The smell depends on several factors, including hormonal balance, diet, age and genes.
🌺Why does the vagina smell at all?
The natural smell is part of the vagina's self-cleaning process. Your vagina has its own bacterial flora that helps to keep it clean and healthy. This flora produces lactic acid, which creates an acidic environment that prevents harmful bacteria and infections. This natural smell is a result of the acidic environment and the substances secreted by the vaginal mucosa.
A mild, constant vaginal odor is considered normal and healthy. It is important to understand that a certain odor is not necessarily a sign of poor hygiene or an infection. However, an unpleasant fishy smell can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis, which is a common vaginal infection.
🌺Negative consequences of the myth that the vagina should be odorless
- Women may feel insecure and ashamed of their natural body odor, which can affect their confidence and sexual self-esteem.
- It can create an unnecessary fear of being intimate with someone for fear of smelling 'wrong'.
- Women may try to hide or mask their natural odor with various products, which can lead to an imbalance in the vaginal microflora and increase the risk of infections.
MYTH #2 - THE SIZE AND LOOK OF THE VAGINA IS IMPORTANT.
Some women believe that the size or appearance of their own vagina is important for sexual pleasure or their partner's pleasure. The size and appearance of the vagina itself varies from person to person and has absolutely no direct correlation with sexual satisfaction. The myth that the size and appearance of the vagina is crucial to sexual pleasure or partner satisfaction is a misconception that affects many women's confidence and sexual self-esteem.
🌺Why this myth is not true
- Like all body parts, the size and appearance of the vagina naturally varies from person to person. This variation is normal and part of human diversity. There is no "ideal" size or shape of the vagina.
- The vagina is a flexible and adaptable part of the body. It can both expand and contract. The size of the vagina is not at all relevant to sexual pleasure.
- Sexual pleasure is about many factors, including emotions, communication and sensitivity, and not just about the physical properties of the vagina. Open and honest communication between sexual partners, trust and intimacy play a much bigger role in achieving sexual satisfaction ❤
Get inspired by the blog post about sex, lust & pleasure here!
🌺Negative consequences of the myth that the size and appearance of the vagina are important
- Many women may feel insecure about their bodies and have negative feelings about their sexuality if they believe that their vagina does not "measure up" to the alleged standards.
- This myth can create a sense of pressure and performance anxiety around sex, which can reduce desire and sexual pleasure.
- If this myth is present in a relationship, it can prevent open and honest communication about sexual satisfaction, which can be harmful to both partners.
MYTH #3 - VAGINAL INFECTIONS ARE A RESULT OF UNPROTECTED SEX
It is a misconception that vaginal infections occur if a woman has had unprotected sex or many sexual partners. Infections can occur for a variety of reasons, including an imbalance in the vaginal microflora or other factors unrelated to sexual habits. The myth that vaginal infections are the result of unsafe sex or some form of promiscuous behavior is therefore a misconception that needs to be clarified and dispelled. It is therefore important to understand that the causes of vaginal infections are diverse and can have many different causes:
🌺Vaginal microflora and pH balance
The vagina has a delicate balance of bacteria and yeasts that make up its microflora. If this balance is disturbed, it can lead to an overgrowth of certain bacteria or fungi, which in turn can cause an infection. This can happen for many reasons, including hormonal changes, antibiotic treatment or stress, and is not directly related to sexual behavior.
Read the blog about vaginal flora here!
🌺Weak immune system
A compromised immune system can increase the risk of vaginal infections. This may be due to diseases, medical treatment or other factors unrelated to sexual activity.
Any contact with allergens or chemicals can cause irritation and infections in the vagina. This can include the use of certain products, such as perfumed intimate cleansers, which can cause allergic reactions.
DEMYSTIFYING THE VAGINA
Understanding the nature of vaginal scent and debunking the myth that the genital area must be completely odorless is important to promote a healthy view of women's bodies and sexual health. Being aware of what is normal and what is not can also help women to take care of their intimate health and feel confident about their bodies without falling victim to harmful misconceptions. The appearance of your vagina doesn't matter to you or your partner either. In fact, it doesn't. What's more, most people value honesty, trust and intimacy with a partner more than stereotypical body norms, and the whole point of sexual experiences is to be able to enjoy them without unnecessary worry or stress. By raising awareness, we can help demystify the vagina and promote a more realistic and positive view of women's bodies and sexuality. Your vagina is amazing just the way it is - just like you ❤
Take care of yourself & Stay Pussytive ❤
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