Some things are just a given. Bachelor in Paradise continues to monopolise our lives. Prince George gets cuter and cuter. The Hemsworths are genetically blessed. Vaginas should not be talked about.
Somewhere along the way, vaginas got taken off the table as an acceptable conversation topic — becoming taboo, forgotten or worse, replaced with a ridiculous euphemism — despite playing a pretty vital role in our existence.
We get it. It can feel confronting to start a conversation about vaginas — admittedly less so after childbirth when you lose count of the number of people poking, prodding and inspecting your cervix — but ultimately it's just another body part. And a pretty fascinating and impressive one at that.
In a bid to strip away the shyness, we asked sex therapist and relationship counsellor Giverny Lewis to weigh in on common vaginal problems. Truthfully. Without shame. Because what's shameful about being a woman? Not. A. Damn. Thing.
Why is my vagina feeling itchy?
"First things first, you're not alone; 40 percent of Australian women who suffer from vaginal itching experience it at least once a month," says Giverny. "There are so many reasons why it can happen: antibiotics, hormonal changes and diet can all be triggers. Activewear and tight or synthetic clothes also have a lot to answer for — your vagina needs to breathe so leave the exercise gear for yoga and avoid tight undies where possible."
Why is my vagina feeling dry and what can I do?
"Again, many women experience this," says Giverny. "I'm not talking Sahara Desert levels, just a general lack of regular rain. It can kick in at any age, even in your twenties, and can be brought on by stress, hormones or some medications."
"If it's causing problems with sex and intimacy, you could talk to a sex therapist and also try Vagisil ProHydrate Plus Internal Hydrating Gel. It has a gradual moisture-release formula, which feels like your natural moisture, making intimacy more comfortable," she says.
Why does my vagina smell?
"Every woman is unique and so is the natural fragrance of her vagina," says Giverny. "It does have a natural aroma, however after sex, exercise, during your period or if you're suffering from incontinence, sometimes that odour can change."
"My advice? Be prepared. If it's that time of month or you're on the move, there are products that can help you feel a bit fresher and more confident," she says. Try Vagisil Fresh Plus Intimate Wash, which offers all-day odour prevention. "If it's an unusual and strong change in scent, see your doctor because there could be something else going on," she says.
Brought to you by Vagisil. Shameless about vaginal health.