For anyone with a vulva, we have been conditioned to strive for the perfect vulva. So of course we have all at point or another questioned if our vagina and vulva are “normal”. We worry about our smell, if we should shave or not, and even stress over the normal vaginal discharge.
Society and pop culture lives to making fun of vulvas. Anything from mocking them for being smelly and gross to our natural body hair being unwanted. Turn on any TV or go on social media, references to “smelly fish” vaginas, or “roast beef curtains” are the prevalent message. But, your vagina and vulva is normal, and don’t let society tell you otherwise.
Every Labia is different and beautiful
First things first, having hanging labia or anything like it has no indication of how many people you’ve slept with. Your labia does not affect the “tightness” of your vagina, nor does it make you gross to have external hanging labia. Labias are like snowflakes, they’re all different and beautiful in their own way. Labia, just like vaginas, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are dark, some are light, some labia are tucked in, while others dangle out. It does not matter what your labia looks like. Normal is whatever is normal for you. Take a mirror to look at your labia so if something is off, like bumps or the color you’ll have a base to judge it next to. Be familiar with your bits and whatever yours looks like is totally normal.
Lots of people use porn to base their knowledge of anatomy because they haven’t had the chance to see a lot of other naked bodies. This has cause an increase in labiaplasty (a surgery to modify your labia, generally to make it smaller), women now assume that a hidden labia is normal. It is normal, but what’s just as normal is to have a labia that is external. At the end of the day, don’t base your anatomy on anyone else, especially people who are paid to look a certain way. It is not the standard even if it is the most popular point of reference for people.
Your Vagina Smells Fine
Usually the joke is that vaginas smell like fish, however different smells are indicators of something wrong. If a scent comes off “fishy” or foul, that’s your body letting you know something is off. It can be as simple as taking a shower, or something a little more serious, like a vaginal infection (think yeast infection or an STI), any smell, besides your daily smell is there to get your attention and solve the problem. You can smell as fresh as possible with proper hygiene and wearing cotton panties. Proper hygiene is giving your vulva a rinse and not using soap inside of you, especially soap that’s scented. Using perfumed soap can throw off your PH and lead to a infection that can cause a smell.
Your Pubes – Your Choice!
At the end of the day pubic hair is the cause of debate for many people. It is natural and is there for a reason. It is meant as a protective layer to your sensitive bits. But we have come a long way and there are lots of safe hair removal options. So if you like it shaved go ahead! If you want it trimmed do that! All natural, that’s great too. Whatever works for you and makes you feel comfortable is the right choice. My only suggestion is make sure you are removing hair safely and taking care of the skin if you are removing hair.
Daily Discharge is Normal
Discharge is normal. The vagina is basically a self cleaning over, so let it do its thing. There is good bacteria and bad bacteria in there and they have their own balance, so over washing or douching can actually be counter productive. Every vagina has a discharge and that can depend on anything from where you are in your cycle, your recent sexual activities, or even what underwear you wore can affect it. It’s all just the vagina’s natural way of regulating itself. The only time you should be concerned is if your discharge is particularly pungent, or a vibrant color (like yellow or green). If this happens just call your gynecologist. It may be a sign your vagina is trying to call out for help. Better safe than sorry!