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For as long as we can remember, the vagina has been spoken about in hushed tones. It has so many names — vulva, fancy bits, coochie, pussy, and more, but rarely is it that women call it ‘vagina’ loud and proud. And if you thought this is just one of those misconceptions, and has no truth, well ladies, sadly it is.
In a 2016 survey, it was found that 65 percent of young women had problems saying ‘vagina’, with many preferring to use other terms, including ‘women’s bits’. Why is it that a vagina, which is truly a symbol of strength, makes you cringe with embarrassment? Because it isn’t supposed to!
Before we get to the many reasons why you need to treat the vagina right, let’s about the origin of the word. It was derived in the late 17th century from the latin word that means ‘sheath’ or ‘scabbard’.
Whatever you call it, we cannot discredit it in any way. Because the vagina (yes, we are going to say it aloud) is vital for human reproduction, and plays an important role in sexual satisfaction. The muscular tube that links to the cervix is also called the ‘birth canal’, and allows the passage of blood and cells in menstruation, introduction of sperm during intercourse, and the delivery of the baby.
So, let’s look at some of the reasons that make vagina a ‘superstar’ in every possible way:
Have you ever realised how your vagina can help you feel sexually aroused? There are various physical and emotional changes that a person goes through when they get sexually aroused, and the vagina responds in different ways to these changes. Sexual response generally has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution, and the vagina reacts differently in each phase.
In the excitement phase, there’s vaginal lubrication and the vaginal walls begin to swell. Moving on to the plateau phase, the vagina continues to swell because of increased blood flow, and the vaginal walls become a dark purple. Moreover, when a woman reaches an orgasm, the muscles of the vagina contract.
We’ve all had several discussions around the G-spot, which when stimulated helps with an orgasm. But have you ever heard of the A-spot? Called the anterior fornix erogenous zone, the A-spot is believed to be located deep inside the vagina. Although it is a recent discovery by Malaysian researcher, Dr Chua Chee Ann, there seems to be a lot of truth to his findings.
In a study, he found that 10–15 minutes of A-spot stimulation led to instant orgasms and vaginal lubrication in 15 percent of women who reported pain and dryness during sexual intercourse.
You may think wiping your vagina with antibacterial wipes or solutions is a good idea, but no it isn’t. That’s because the vagina has good bacteria to keep it healthy. According to a practising obstetrician-gynaecologist in the US and Canada, Dr Jen Gunter, “The vaginal microbiome is like a garden of all different kinds of bacteria that function together to keep the vaginal ecosystem healthy. It is this bacteria that creates a slightly acidic environment, which prevents the entrance of bad bacteria.
The correct pH level of the vagina is 4.5 that allows sperm to swim and survive inside.
And did you know the vagina even self-cleans? Yes ladies, it’s that awesome. Using anything there will only disrupt the balance, so don’t do anything. Let your vagina do its job!
Yes ladies, this is true. Women can engage in vaginal weightlifting to strengthen their pelvic floor. If you do that, then your vaginal muscles will only get stronger, and sex may become better and more pleasurable.
There are also other studies that show vaginal weightlifting can help with stress urinary incontinence, prevents or treats uterine prolapse, and also improves your core after childbirth.
First of all, we are so much in awe of the vagina, because the vaginal opening stretches to make childbirth happen, and then goes back to its normal size. Isn’t that something we should be proud of as women? After all, childbirth is a mean feat in every possible way.
Anyway, when a woman goes through vaginal birth, tears are likely to happen. But guess what? As always, the vagina is always there for you. It self-repairs the tears and usually heal within sex weeks.
So ladies, as you can see, the vagina is the BFF we all need. Because it always has your back!