One of the things I’m committed to doing here on PeachTalk is spreading general women’s health information. Many women don’t know the basic anatomy of their vagina, and vulva (the clitoris, labia majora, minora, and vestibule comprise the vulva!) nor their reproductive systems involving the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix (cervix is part of the uterus!). If you feel like you don’t know your body very well, please take the time to read this older post where I talk more in depth, and provide links to further information. One of the best things we can do is to educate ourselves so that we can be empowered to make better health decisions.
How many of you take a moment to check the inside of your vagina when you do a check of your vulva? *If you’re not checking your vulva please start ASAP it is as important as breast checks!* I honestly didn’t check the inside of my vagina much until after being diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction, and learning how to use dilators. EVERY person with a vulva and vagina should be checking it from time to time. Why? Everything from an infection to cancer may be detected early if we have good awareness of our bodies, and do regular checks. Once we learn what is normal for us (what colour our tissues normally are, what our labia look like, the texture of the tissue etc.) we can more readily spot any changes that might occur.
So what would I look for in my vagina? Did you know that if you gently insert a finger into your vagina, and feel around you’ll notice it feels bumpy and/or like waves/ridges? In a quote from GoAskAlice she says, “These folds, ridges, and bumps, known as vaginal rugae, are more prominent during the reproductive years, which allows the vaginal canal to expand, making the vaginal lining less likely to tear during childbirth as well as sex. These rugae are similar to the ridges you feel when your tongue touches the roof of your mouth. Generally, the only time the vaginal canal is relatively smooth in texture is before puberty and after menopause.”
Once you know what these bumps/ridges/waves feel like for you, you can identify if there are any changes. For example, maybe during a check you notice there is a new large lump that needs to be checked out. Lumps and bumps in the vagina are usually not a cause for concern, and are just part of the “natural landscape” but the more we get to know our bodies, the more aware we will be when there are changes. #KnowYourPeach #KnowYourAnatomy #KnowledgeIsPower XO