Some Things About Vaginas (My Own Monologue)
A few thoughts on vaginas. I see the word “vagina” batted about a good bit, and not just in my professional journals. Ehem. I see a fair number of vaginas on WordPress, frequently in the name of humor and or just plain old shock value. I agree, the word “vagina” is hilarious. Especially given its frequent overuse. It is, however, frequently used incorrectly, and we must set the record straight.
The vagina is the INSIDE of the lady parts. The part you can stick a finger in. The OUTSIDE part, actually, is called a VULVA. Another hilarious and somewhat disgusting word. I just think the world should know, the outside part (the furry part) is not a vagina, it is a VULVA. (Also referred to as the Bearded Clam). I think people frequently confuse vulva with vagina. If I can see it without sticking a speculum in it, it is a vulva.
The vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. There is no need to overwash it or flush it out with unfortunate commercial cleaning products. Left to its own devices, it will clean out anything that is left in it. Provided that that something is not stuck. Stuck requires special care. A trip to your gynecologist may be in order if something is STUCK. Most commonly STUCK things are condoms and tampons. These can be retrieved without a great deal of difficulty. The sooner the better. The longer something is stuck, the worse it will stink. Stuck things can clear an entire exam room for the day if left in too long.
Vaginas have an interesting nerve supply. The lower third (toward the outside) of the vagina is well supplied with sensory nerves. The upper two-thirds, however, have a limited number of sensory nerves. That is why, when inserted deeply enough, we are not really aware of inserted objects such as tampons, or contraceptive rings.
Vaginas are very effective at drug delivery. Many drugs are designed to be administered per vagina. The mucous membranes and wrinkly surface insure a thin, extensive surface area for drugs to dissolve. Some odd people have tried taking drug administration to extremes, such as douching with whiskey to induce drunkenness or applying cocaine. I’m not saying these things don’t work. I’m saying they aren’t a very good idea. At all.
Sometimes people insert items into the vagina for titillation. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes things get STUCK. Refer back to paragraph three. I suggest against pointy things, and things such as empty bottles that can create suction. Suction equals STUCK. I have retrieved some interesting things from vaginas over the years. A frozen fish. A razor blade. Staples. A wedding ring (not belonging to the patient’s husband).
I am all in favor of vaginas having personalities. I have been greatly amused over the years by tales of a vagina’s urges and quests. I have read great blog posts about vaginas with minds of their own. Frozen vaginas. Antisocial vaginas. Vaginas protecting uteruses. Women hardly ever attribute personalities to their uteruses. Possibly because uteruses are sterile. They should contain no bacteria. Vaginas, on the other hand, are TEEMING with bacteria. There is no way to sterilize them. Don’t try. Like the colon, there are friendly bacteria that you WANT to have in there. Don’t kill them off with household cleaning products.
There is no such thing as a vaginal rejuvenation procedure. Ignore anyone trying to sell you one. They are snake oil salesmen. Lasers and vaginas were not made to go together. There is nothing you can do with a laser to improve on a vagina. It is true some vaginas become a bit saggy with overuse, particularly in the form of birthing large babies. You can tack up things that are sagging, but I would not call that a rejuvenation procedure. Sometimes gravity works on vaginas so much that they turn inside out like a sock. This typically does require some kind of surgery, if you don’t want that to drive you crazy.
Just wanted to set the record straight though. Frequently patients call to complain of something like “a bump on my vagina.” They are referring to their vulva, actually. You can’t have anything ON a vagina, just in it. Unless it is inside out. So by all means, be on a first name basis with your vagina. Name your vagina. Have conversations with your vagina. Just remember, it is the part on the inside.