We recently learned that a tragic 65% of women are uncomfortable using the words vagina and vulva. Ladies, it’s time to get comfortable and speak up about our vaginas and their wellbeing. To lead the way, here are six real women talking about vaginal health on-camera. From yeast infections, to UTIs, and menstrual cups, here’s what they had to say.
Q&A with Real Women Talking About Vaginal Health
How comfortable are you talking about vaginal health?
“I feel pretty comfortable talking about my vaginal health with most people like my friends, or my mom. Obviously, the least comfortable place I would say is here at my work.” – Tiffany
“I feel pretty comfortable talking about vaginal health. It’s something that I talk about often with my friends, roommates, and even my mom.” – Brianna
“I guess it’s not who… It’s more the situation. I don’t usually just bring it up but if it’s out there I’m happy to talk about it.” – Amy
“I love talking about the vajayjay! Does anyone else call it that? The flower? My special place? No, but seriously, I could talk about it with anyone, anytime.” – Vanessa
What PMS symptoms do you experience?
“Currently, I’m pregnant so I haven’t been getting those PMS symptoms. When I did it was a real intense craving for chocolate and then I would get really bad cramps the first day of my period.” – Sarah
“I experience a lot of bloating. Also, really, really bad cramping to the point where I’m on the floor in the fetal position crying and sweating and in a lot of pain.” – Tiffany
“I’ve heard I get a little cranky. I definitely like chocolate. Nothing too severe but I do take Moody Bird.” – Amy
“Well, as you get older your PMS symptoms actually lessen. So all I get are cramps and I become very indecisive and I crave chocolate. I don’t know if that’s normal though. I feel like that’s me every other day.” – Vanessa
Do you prefer tampons, pads, or menstrual cups?
“I prefer tampons during the day and I sleep with pads at night.” – Brianna
“I prefer period underwear which is absorbent so you are decreasing the amount of waste you have because you’re not changing a pad and a tampon all the time. The menstrual cup thing I can’t do.” – Sarah
“Tampons were my sanitary device of choice for many years but I have since switched to a menstrual cup. They can be a little intimidating to get started with but I like the sustainability of it. When I’m wearing one, I don’t even notice it or think about it all day.” – Zena
“I prefer tampons. I don’t have a problem with pads. But, I want to try cups because I feel like people really like them these days.” – Tiffany
“It all depends on the situation. I just want to be covered.” – Amy
“Tampons are more convenient. You just have to mess with them every four to six hours. Pads are in your face. Since menstrual cups are so new I feel like I should get on board. I’m sure all the millennials are doing it. Are they?” – Vanessa
What do you know about vaginal pH?
“I know that it’s supposed to be in between 4 and 4.5 or something?” – Tiffany
“I don’t know much about vaginal pH except that you’re supposed to have more of an acidic pH according to things my doctor has told me before.” – Brianna
“Less than I should but I feel like it should be acidic? Actually, I just know that because Sarah said it. I really don’t know anything!” – Amy
“I know a lot about the vaginal pH. Ideally, we want it to be on the more acidic side. If you’re doing any pH testing we want that number to be lower versus higher. I just tested my vaginal pH and it is 4.0 which is good. Anything above five is when it’s not as acidic as it should be and you’re more open to different types of bacterial infections.” – Sarah
Have you ever had a yeast infection, bV, or A UTI?
“Oh my lord. I’ve had all of these. I once had a yeast infection, a UTI, and my period all at the same time! The nurse that I called just said ‘Oh honey, I’m so sorry.'” – Zena
“I was told that I got [yeast infections] as a child but I’m not sure.” – Amy
“I have had a UTI. I have had a yeast infection. I’ve never had bacterial vaginosis that I’m aware of…” – Sarah
“So, heads up, guys. When you have sex, you have to go pee afterward otherwise you’ll get a UTI. Doctors even say that. It’s a thing! What is it… It’s new fluids going into your urethra and you got to pee ’em out. Otherwise, you will get a UTI and it’s very uncomfortable. Yeast infections I haven’t had since I was a teenager. Thank God. BV I haven’t had since my 20’s… But those UTIs!” – Vanessa
On Unwieldy home remedies
“When it comes to vaginal imbalances, the first thing you do when something feels off is a Google search. Then you dig up a plethora of weird suggestions. I’ve talked about all of these with my gynecologist and she does not recommend any of them. Also, they’re always very messy. Every vaginal home remedy is the messiest sounding thing.” – Zena
“I used to have a girlfriend that lived in Topanga and when she got a yeast infection she would dip a tampon in yogurt and then stick it in there.” – Sarah
“I’ve heard apple cider vinegar can be good for yeast infections?” – Tiffany
“I’ve heard putting garlic up your vagina is one but I would personally never do any at-home remedies. I go to the doctor.” – Brianna
“No one should be sticking anything up there. There’s less than, like, three things that should go up there, honestly.” – Vanessa
Why talking about vaginal health is so important
“As women, we need to be educated about our vaginas. It’s not talked about enough and we need to know what’s going on down there.” – Sarah
“We should talk about vaginal health with each other because something that you’re experiencing, your girlfriend might be experiencing. It’s good to know that it’s normal and things that are happening down there are okay. BV is normal. Smells are normal. Things coming out and dyeing your underwear? Normal. It’s all normal.” – Vanessa
To learn more about vaginal health from the experts, check out this q&a with a holistic gynecologist or read about how probiotics can support a healthy vaginal microbiome.