When it comes to asking questions about our va-jay-jays, few of us are keen to pipe up while lying with our feet in stirrups. That's why Dr. Lissa Rankin, an OB/GYN and founder of OwningPink.com, wrote her brand-new book What's Up Down There? Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist if She Was Your Best Friend.
She wanted to address questions women would probably only ask their OB/GYNs if they could hang out with them outside of the uptight, sterile doctor-patient environment. (You know, like at a neighborhood cafe, sipping a latte, wearing yoga pants.) As it turns out, most of us would rather have a Vagina Dialogue than a Monologue.
But, in case you're feeling shy, Lissa's got a few answers to tide you over before you invite your doc to spinning class. Here, five things that she knows about your vagina that you probably don't -- but really should.
1. Your inner labia can hang longer than your outer labia.
This is totally 100 percent normal. Some women have inner labia (or labia minora, the two thinner "inside" flaps) that are enclosed within the lips of the outer labia (or labia majora, the "outside" part that is usually covered with pubic hair). Meanwhile, some women have inner labia that stick out and hang beyond the outer labia. It's nothing to be self-conscious about! As far as your gyno, your significant other, and you should be concerned -- you're beautiful either way.
2. Most lady gardens rarely resemble the kind featured in Playboy.
Three words: Airbrushing. Photoshop. And yes, even surgery. Gynos know that women do not look like the women you see in porn. Bunnies may have pink, fleshy labia, but in real life, your doc sees dark discoloration. Porn stars also never have longer labia, or cellulite, moles, belly fat, thick thighs, or surgical scars. But guess what? Most of us do.
3. Your vagina can have teeth.
I really thought this was a sexist myth that depicted the age-old fear that guys can be swallowed and belittled by a woman. The truth: Lissa says it's actually possible -- but really rare. Basically, dermoid cysts, which usually crop up on the ovary, may contain hair, brain, thyroid, skin, and even teeth. When a dermoid cyst on the ovary ruptures, teeth migrate to the vagina. Rest assured, they're totally harmless and don't bite.
4. Your vagina can secrete 1/4 of a teaspoon of discharge in 8 hours.
In other words, even if you think you feel like your va-jay-jay is like a "friggin' faucet," it's probably totally normal. You may make more or less discharge depending on where you are in your cycle. For instance, ovulation equals more discharge.
5. Pubic hair acts as a "pheromone carpet."
That's right -- it's not just there to be annoying and get waxed off! The hair actually traps the pheromones secreted by the apocrine (sweat) glands. In turn, the sexy chemicals lure potential mates to the "promised land."
Are you comfortable asking your gyno about what's up down there?
Image via Amazon.com