For ages, women have been provided with bizarre, innumerable 'hacks' for their vaginas. These range from using cucumber to clear out the area to slapping yoghurt to cure a yeast infection.
A number of women are also reportedly so afraid of the look and smell of their vagina that it's preventing them from getting a smear test. But not anymore! New York-based gynecologist Alyssa Dweck has finally debunked the myths about vaginas that are potentially dangerous.
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Myth 1: Feminine hygiene products are a must
Perfumed douches, washes, and wipes – instead of being necessary, can actually harm your vagina. "I hope that in my lifetime we can really break the myth that a vagina is a gross place," she said.
These product makers exploit the idea of vaginas being dirty, whereas the vagina is actually self-cleaning. These products put you at a risk of vaginal infection, actually. Mild soap and warm water is enough, as per her.
Myth 2: Yoghurt will cure a yeast infection
Yoghurt containing friendly bacteria and probiotics has spurred the idea that dabbing a little live yoghurt on the vagina could treat a yeast infection. In reality, Dr. Dweck says that the species of lactobacilli in yoghurt are way different than the kind that's good for vaginas.
While unsweetened yoghurt can manage the symptoms, the infection can naturally get better with time, as the vaginal pH improves.
Myth 3: Tampons getting 'lost' inside the body
Dr. Dweck explained that the cervix's opening is too small to allow a tampon to pass through, thereby totally debunking the possibility of getting it 'lost'.
"However, women often will forget to remove a tampon and it can get lost in the sense that they can't get it out," she shared.
Myth 4: Alcohol-soaked tampon gets you drunk
As weird as the concept sounds, netizens claim that it's a common practice among teenagers to avoid alcohol on their breath.
Science has already debunked it by proving that a tampon can't likely hold enough alcohol to get one drunk. In simpler terms, Dr. Dweck says don't try this at home.
Myth 5: Being unable to orgasm from sex is an abnormality
Struggling to achieve a 'vaginal orgasm' is an absolute norm. Plenty of research has also suggested that many women need clitoral stimulation to reach climax.
"The clitoris is not just the one little spot," explains Dr. Dweck. It also has 'legs' which extend down into the labia minora underneath the skin.
Myth 7: Sex loosens the vagina and intact hymen validates 'virginity'
As for sex loosening the vagina, Dr. Dweck said, "Even though the vagina may seem a little tighter in certain instances or looser in certain instances, it is an incredible organ in the sense that it is highly elastic and accommodating."
But childbirth can permanently change the vagina's shape, which can be fixed by pelvic floor muscle exercises too.
For hymens, however, their condition doesn't determine virginity. While it does tear during sex for the first time, heavy physical activity, medical procedures, or tampon use can also cause this. Also, some people are born with no hymen.