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Vaginal Health

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Monday, November 8th, 2021
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This is unarguably the main organ that clearly declares a human as a female- THE VAGINA. The vagina is an important part of the female reproductive organ.

Before moving on with vagina care, let me clearly explain the difference between the vagina and the vulva. For a long time, I personally assumed the vagina is the whole organ down there; I thought everything I see and touch is the vagina. Well, it is not.

What I see and touch on the outside is the Vulva. It comprises the labia minora and Majora, the glans clitoris, the opening of the urethra and surrounding tissues. Whereas, the vagina is the connecting tube or canal between the vulva and the cervix. This canal is where blood flows from during your period and also serves as the birth canal. The cervix on the other hand is the lower portion of the uterus

I know the vagina is not seen by everyone; well that’s why it’s the private part but just as you would feel disturbed over a little pimple on your face, changes noticed in the vaginal area should cause you to worry as well.

Cleaning: because the vagina and the vulva produce a number of fluids daily, one major concern by women is whether or not they should wash their vagina. To be candid, you shouldn’t. The nature of the vagina makes it self-cleaning meaning it does not require to be cleaned by a special cleaning agent.

Many people feel better cleaning the vulva area because it helps them feel cleaner and more confident but when you do, ensure you clean the vulva lips gently with clean water and if you must use soap make sure it’s very mild and unscented one to avoid irritation. However, going beyond this to clean the vagina using products can cause a change in the vaginal pH level and ultimately irritation.

Asides from avoiding harsh soaps and cleaners for the area, you could try;

  • Keeping the vaginal area as dry and fresh as possible by frequently changing your underwear,
  • When you are cleaning, wipe from front to back so you do not take up bacteria from the anal region to the vagina.
  • Use of condom as a preventive method for STI and pregnancy.
  • Urinating after sex is also advisable.

It’s one thing to clean and maintain a daily cleaning routine, it’s another thing to know when something is not wrong. Many women do not know if and when their vagina needs attention with many not even knowing how to check it. By paying attention to certain changes in your body, you should be concerned just as with the pimple on your face when you see these;

  • A change in vaginal odour, an unpleasant odour, or a fishy odour. This often is a sign of vaginal infections.
  • White or yellow discharge. Normal vaginal discharge is often colourless
  • Discharge with a thick or chunky texture
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Pain when urinating.

Apart from the day-to-day observations you do, it is also important to visit a gynaecologist regularly. One drawback of African women is that they rarely visit doctors till issues get out of hand. These symptoms may be signs of several conditions that could be easily nibbed in the bud if promptly attended to.

Photo Credit: Google images

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