Are You Normal 'down There'?
Regardless of the specific question, when a women has any concerns of what's going on "down there" we tense up and keep our mouths shut. The scarier and more embarrassing our concerns, the more probable the need that we should consult our doctors! SheKnows took some of your most pressing questions to the experts -- and some of their answers may surprise you!
I have been experiencing a very embarrassing vaginal odor and itch for quite some time now. It seems like I have tried everything from washing repeatedly with soap to douching and just can't seem to make it go away. Please help!
Many women experience this problem; you are not alone, reassures Dr. Machelle M. Seibel, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Massachusetts. It could be that your vaginal pH is off. The healthy vagina maintains a pH of approximately 4.5. The body accomplishes this through a delicate ecosystem that is extremely effective in reducing odor, itch, discomfort and sometimes even infection. Many factors, like frequent sex, menstruation, contraceptives even douching can increase vaginal pH. A great over-the-counter product to try is RepHresh Vaginal Gel. It is clinically proven to maintain a healthy vaginal ph for 3 days each application. Getting rid of feminine odor or any discomfort couldn't be easier.
Is it normal to have never had an orgasm?
A woman confessed to me that she was afraid to ask her doctor a question that she had been hiding from her husband for years, shares Dr. Tammy Nelson, a psychotherapist and author. She pretended with her girlfriends, that she could relate when they talked about their sex lives. But inside, she couldn't understand what all the fuss was - about orgasms! She "wasn't sure," but she "didn't think she'd ever had one." I assured her that if she didn't think she'd had one, then she probably hadn't. And that it made sense that she was afraid to ask her gyno about orgasms. She said, "How do you ask your doc if you've ever had an orgasm before? I'm a grown woman. I'm 34. Surely everyone has had one by this time. There must be something wrong with me."
It is true that 80% of women fake an orgasm. This makes it hard to have a conversation with your partner about creating an orgasm because woman have been misleading. On average it takes anywhere from 7 to 20 minutes for a woman to have an orgasm of direct clitoral stimulation. If a woman has never had an orgasm, she might not know this, and her partner might not either. When a women is scared about talking to her doctor about her concerns it is hard to tell if there is a physical block or just lack of education or experience.
Are my labia normal-sized?
These questions fall under the "Am I normal?" category which many women are afraid to ask their doctor, relates Dr. Nelson. The answer to these questions is usually yes, you are normal. Most women have normal vulvas, and normal labia, and normal vaginas. Although there can be sexually transmitted disease and trauma to the genitals that may make the labia and vulva somewhat misshapen, it is highly unusual, and women should know that the average vagina and vulva is not symmetrical.
More embarrassing health Q&A on the next page...