Having a vagina is one of those things that, as we have discussed many times before, can be a little challenging. Don’t get me wrong, we love vaginas–being a vagina-owner is, in many ways, a privilege–but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its own set of responsibilities. It’s challenging to deal with what’s coming out of it, it’s challenging to deal with anything that may be going into it, and it’s especially challenging to figure out what the heck is even going on with it most of the time.
And, of course, it is possible that many of these challenges could be arising from one thing–that you don’t actually know the facts when it comes to your vagina. If not, it’s okay! Most people don’t. Still, it’s important to know what’s going on down there, like, in general, so you can know if something that is specifically happening to you is not something that should be considered “general.” You know? So, check out these weird vagina myths that, whether you have a vagina or not, you probably believe in some way:
Your "Cherry" Pops The First Time You Have SexMost people with vaginas are taught that they have a "cherry" that "pops" (i.e. bleeds and causes pain) the first time they have sex and officially marks the transition out of virgin-dom. "Cherry," in most cases, means the "hymen," which is a thin layer of membrane that lays across the vaginal canal. In some cases, it can tear and bleed much like the way it's purported to. But chances are good that you've already broken your hymen through some sort of activity like bike riding, horse riding, or even walking. Basically? You might bleed and feel some pain during your first time having sex, and you might not, but you definitely don't have a switch inside your vagina that signals when you've gone from "virgin" to "not virgin." Image source: Getty
Having Lots Of Sex Makes You "Loose"This is a pretty common myth--you know, if you have a ton of sex, your vagina loosens up, so everyone you hook up with will know exactly how many people you've been with. This is not true! Pretty much any doctor you ask will tell you that your vagina does not change shape based on how much or how little sex you've had. (Or, for that matter, how big or small your partner's penis is.) Vaginas expand during sex and return to their normal size afterwards, so "looseness" (or lack thereof) is only an indicator of your vagina's natural size. Nothing else. Image source: Getty
Having Too Much Discharge Is UnhealthyI'm not quite sure how this one got started, but over the past couple of months, I've been seeing a lot of people (on the internet) talk about how a lack of vaginal discharge signals their good health and vaginal purity. This, obviously, is not true. Discharge is necessary and helps clean your vagina and keep it healthy. You're not weird if you have it. End of story. Of course, if you have discharge that is accompanied by other troublesome symptoms like itching or pain down there, you should get it checked out, but, in most cases, discharge is totally normal and healthy. And, for what it's worth, if you don't have any discharge (and you've already had a period) you should probably go see a doctor, too. Image source: Getty
You Can Lose Things In Your VaginaOr You know, like, a rogue tampon or a condom. While it is possible that a foreign object might technically get lodged up your vaginal canal to an extent which you need some medical assistance to help fish it out, nothing can technically get lost up there. This is because the cervix (which is at the back of your vagina) is so small that it can only pass urine and semen, unless you're giving birth. Because of this, nothing can ever really get "lost" in your vagina. So, if you lose something in there, don't give up on finding it--if you dig hard enough, it'll be sure to turn up. Image source: Getty
Your Vagina Will Never Be The Same After Giving BirthChances are good that you aren't thinking, like, that much about your post-partum vagina. But, just in case you are, you should know that giving birth won't totally wreck your vagina as you think it might--most vaginas retiain their shape and size after giving birth. And, if it does make a difference, it'll be pretty marginal. So, like, don't go and have a child because of this, but don't think that things will never be the same in the event that you do decide to have kids one day. Image source: Getty
You Need To Clean Your VaginaNope! Your vagina cleans itself thanks to the discharge it excretes throughout the day, so you don't need to use any soaps, cleansers, or douches (especially douches) to clean it. If you feel a little funky, you can rinse it with some warm water, but, for the most part, you should just leave it alone. Image source: Getty
Everything Comes Out Of The VaginaLike, pee, period blood, and discharge all enter and exit from the same hole. Not so! Period blood and discharge both come from the vagina, but pee does not. That comes out of the urethra, which is a tiny tube that expels liquid from the body and sits right between your vagina and clitoris. So, it's close to your vagina, proximity-wise, but it isn't the same thing as your vagina. If you're confused, you can spend some time looking at a vagina diagram, which should help you figure out where everything is and isn't. Image source: Getty
Were you surprised by any of these facts? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!