Sex & Sex Education 

Your vagina is perfectly normal

Graham Holloway Jan 23 2020

Your vagina is perfectly normal

A healthy vagina should taste just like that – a healthy vagina. The vaginal PH is between 3.5 and 4.5 (although it can change during the menstrual cycle) [1] so the vagina is fairly acidic in its taste. This idea that the vagina constantly needs cleaning has been driven largely due to the fact we live in a male dominated society that, for an incredibly long time, has decided that normal vaginal tastes and smells were unnatural and dirty. Due to this mindset, many companies these days push products meant to change the vagina’s natural smell and taste. Truth be told though; the vagina requires very little cleaning and how much cleaning you do is up to your discretion as the vagina is more than capable of cleaning itself [1] and this cleaning is evident by a mild white or yellowish discharge [2] but, much like the PH balance, discharge has been known to change during the menstrual cycle [3]. The idea that the vaginas natural smell and taste are unnatural and dirty can have nega

A healthy vagina should taste just like that – a healthy vagina. The vaginal PH is between 3.5 and 4.5 (although it can change during the menstrual cycle) [1] so the vagina is fairly acidic in its taste.

This idea that the vagina constantly needs cleaning has been driven largely due to the fact we live in a male dominated society that, for an incredibly long time, has decided that normal vaginal tastes and smells were unnatural and dirty. Due to this mindset, many companies these days push products meant to change the vagina’s natural smell and taste.

Truth be told though; the vagina requires very little cleaning and how much cleaning you do is up to your discretion as the vagina is more than capable of cleaning itself [1] and this cleaning is evident by a mild white or yellowish discharge [2] but, much like the PH balance, discharge has been known to change during the menstrual cycle [3].

The idea that the vaginas natural smell and taste are unnatural and dirty can have negative consequences, not just from the idea itself but from the marketing companies that perpetuate the idea that there is something wrong with your genitals and that it needs to be fixed. Many of these consequences are psychological in nature. Someone with a vagina might think they are gross and dirty, and, as a result, shy away from relationships, intimacy, or their partners may be unwilling to provide oral sex. Douching is also not recommended as it can change the PH balance of the vagina.

A healthy vagina has a balance of good and bad bacteria that creates the acidic environment, which in turn protects the vagina from infection and irritation [4] At the end of the day, vagina’s are not supposed to taste and smell like flowers or fruit, they are supposed to taste and smell exactly as they are but, if you are worried, talking to a doctor is always the best option. 

References:

  • 1 - Gunter, J. (2019). The Vagina Bible (P. 93). Random House Canada.
  • 2 - Rathus, S., Nevid, J., Fichner-Rathus, L, A., McKay (2015). Human Sexuality in a World of Diversity (5th Canadian ed, P. 63). Toronto: Pearson.
  • 3 – Planned Parenthood (2020). What is the Cervical Mucus Method?: Cycle, Stages & Chart. Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/fertility-awareness/whats-cervical-mucus-method-fams.
  • 4 – Office on Women’s Health (2019) Retrieved from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching



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