How To Navigate Your Vaginal Health With Confidence

December 8, 2023

There is so much information out there in relation to vaginal health.  Let’s not forget the plethora of feminine hygiene products out there to make vaginal health even more confusing.  The thing is it really doesn’t need to be that complicated.  Here we help simplify things and hopefully, it will help you to feel more confident about your vaginal health.

Overview Of The Vagina

The vagina is a resilient and muscular canal that stands as a crucial component of your reproductive anatomy. It is often referred to as a catch-all term for the reproductive organs associated with being assigned female at birth (AFAB), it’s important to recognize that the vagina is just one integral organ within a female’s reproductive and sexual health.

Functioning as a vital element of your external genitals, or vulva, the vagina plays a pivotal role in facilitating sexual pleasure. Beyond its role in external anatomy, the vagina is also a key player in a female’s internal reproductive system, playing a central role in the processes that make both pregnancy and childbirth possible. It is a multi-faceted organ, seamlessly bridging external and internal aspects of your reproductive and sexual well-being.

What Is The Vagina Made Of

The intricate composition of a vagina encompasses various types of tissues and cells, orchestrating the secretion of fluids essential for maintaining moisture, elasticity, and overall health of the vaginal walls. These cells exhibit heightened sensitivity to the hormone estrogen, with the body naturally producing more estrogen during reproductive years compared to the menopausal phase.

The decrease in estrogen levels post-menopause can lead to the thinning and drying of vaginal walls. Combating this natural occurrence, over-the-counter lubricants, and estrogen-replacement therapy emerge as valuable aids, effectively addressing and alleviating the discomfort associated with vaginal dryness in the post-menopausal phase.

The Role The Vagina Plays In The Reproductive System

The vagina allows females to experience pleasure during sexual intercourse.  It also channels blood outside the body during a menstrual period.  As mentioned previously the vagina plays a role in pregnancy as well as in childbirth.  In childbirth, the vagina is also referred to as the birth canal.

Sexual Pleasure

The vaginal walls contain nerve endings that allow a female to experience pleasure during sex.  When aroused the vagina expands and becomes lubricated to prevent painful friction.  


Each month a female sheds their uterus lining (endometrium) during a menstrual cycle unless they have become pregnant.  The lining exits through the vagina as menstrual blood.  At this point, a tampon, menstrual cup, or panty liner (pad) can be used to manage the blood flow.


During sexual intercourse (when the penis enters the vagina), sperm may get released into the vaginal canal when ejaculation from the penis occurs.  The sperm will need to pass through the vagina into the uterus and fallopian tubes to reach the egg (ovum) in order to fertilize it.


During childbirth, the baby travels from the uterus and through the vagina (birth canal).  The vaginal opening is where the baby exits the female’s body.  

What Is Considered “Normal”?

Some women can be self-conscious about the way they look or smell when referring to the genital area.  Keep in mind that genitals can look different and be perfectly healthy, “normal”.  Also, during a woman’s cycle, their vaginal odor can vary.  However, if you notice an unfamiliar odor or unpleasant odor – schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.  

Simple Ways You Can Protect Your Vaginal Health

Practice Safe Sex

Use barrier methods like condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Maintain Good Hygiene

Clean the external genital area gently with mild, fragrance-free soap and water.

Avoid douching, as it can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water to support overall bodily functions, including vaginal health.

Choose Breathable Fabrics

Opt for cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing to promote ventilation and reduce moisture.

Balanced Diet

Eat a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support overall well-being, including vaginal health.

Regular Exercise

Engage in physical activity to enhance blood circulation, which can positively impact vaginal health.

Kegel Exercises

Strengthen pelvic floor muscles through regular Kegel exercises to support bladder control and overall vaginal tone.

Regular Check-ups

Schedule regular gynecological exams to monitor and address any potential issues promptly.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Choose gentle, hypoallergenic products for laundry and personal care to avoid irritation.

Manage Stress

Practice stress-management techniques, as stress can impact overall health, including vaginal well-being.

Prompt Treatment of Infections

Seek timely medical attention if you suspect any infections, such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

Stay Informed

Educate yourself on menstrual hygiene and choose sanitary products that suit your needs.

Antibiotic Use

Take antibiotics as prescribed but be aware that some antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the vagina – causing yeast infections, etc.

Healthy Sexual Practices

Communicate openly with your partner about sexual health, and ensure both of you are on the same page regarding protection and testing.

The vagina can be considered to be a self-cleaning organ.  With good hygiene, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and protecting yourself from STIs you can protect your vaginal health.  If you notice any changes or experience an issue that is not “normal” for you – it is best to consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch is committed to providing compassionate care to women at every stage of life.  Need to make an appointment?  You can schedule a consultation online.