Yes, Your Vulva is Normal
What you have come to know as your vagina (your external genitalia) is in actual fact, your vulva.
Vulva is a broad term that refers to your labia, clitoris, urethra and the entrance to the vagina.
Your vagina, on the other hand, is the passage that leads to your cervix, which opens to your uterus.
Your vagina is self-cleaning, and never needs to be washed, no matter what suspect internet sources may tell you.
Your vulva, on the other hand, can be cleaned, and you can do this with warm water and an intimate hygiene wash (more about that below) or wipes if you’re on the go and quickly need to freshen up.
Everyone is unique and so are vulvas. Not all look the same, and that’s okay!
Some people have longer labia than others, while others may have very short labia. The colour of a vulva (and pubic hair) may change from person to person, depending on skin tone and hair colour. Maybe you have a freckle down there, or even a scar. No two vulvas are the same, and no single ‘kind’ of vulva sets the gold standard for what is ‘normal’. When it comes to vaginas, vulvas and what they smell like, a lot of menstruators worry whether or not they’re ‘normal’.
It’s natural for your vagina to have a mild smell. However, should this ouder suddenly grow stronger, change or become fishy, you may have a yeast infection, thrush or BV (Bacterial Vaginosis).
This may or may not be accompanied by a frothy, green or grey discharge, and definitely warrants a trip to the doctor. To feel fresh (and save your underwear), you can wear pantyliners between periods, or just on the days when you’re experiencing a lot of discharge.
You might notice a slight odour when you're on your period. Tampons can help with this because they're worn inside your body. If you prefer to use pads, Lil-Lets has a wide range of products to suit your flow.
Changing your pad and tampon regularly can help keep unwanted odours down to a minimum, and making sure that you wash your vulva (and groin area, especially if you’ve had any blood spillage) will also help.
While washing with warm water is perfectly fine, you might find that an intimate care hygiene wash such as Lil-Let’s Intimate Care Gel Wash, which is made especially for washing your vulva, brings you more comfort and confidence, without any potential irritation that normal soap might cause you.
Our range of intimate care products includes (talc-free) powder, wipes and washes that maintain the delicate pH balance of your vagina and are gentle enough to use every day of the month.
Your vulva and vagina are not intrinsically unclean, and neither is pubic hair. There is simply no science-based evidence to suggest that a bikini wax or Brazilian is better than leaving your pubic hair as is.
In fact, some forms of hair removal, like shaving, can cause irritation or even ingrown hairs, and these small wounds can put you at risk of infection.
While hair removal is a personal choice, there is no hygienic value in lasering it all off or keeping it all on.
It’s a matter of preference, and doing whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. If you’re showering or bathing once (or twice) a day and need something for in between washes, why not try out our intimate wipes, which are perfect for an on-the-go refresher.
If you find yourself getting extra aroused during your period, know that you’re not alone.
Some people feel really tired and bloated, and sex is the last thing on their minds. Other people feel really up to having sex, and whether it’s on your own or with a partner (and everybody involved is comfortable), then why the heck not? It’s perfectly hygienic, plus the endorphins your body releases during sex may also provide mild relief from your period pain symptoms. If you happen to get any blood on your linen (which can happen with or without period sex - thanks period day two!) wash the stain with cold water first, and detergent after. Repeat if necessary. The same method applies to any blood-marked underwear, too.
Remember that you can wear a pantyliner to guard against unwanted stains on your underwear, and to save your lace underwear from becoming another period panties statistic.
The vagina does a pretty good job of keeping itself clean and maintaining its pH balance and does not need any special attention. Our tip is to wash the vulva (the outside area) with plain water or non-perfumed toiletries to avoid irritation.
Intimate wipes can be used in between period product changes, or simply if you want to freshen up at any point in the day.
You might notice a slight odour when you’re on your periods. Tampons can help with this because they’re worn inside your body.
First things first, let's be clear on what's what down there. Your vagina doesn't need to be cleaned - your vulva does though. The vulva is the outer part of the vagina - including your labia. The vagina is self cleaning and best left to do its thing - it has a very delicate pH balance which shouldn't be messed with. Wash your vulva with warm water and your hands or a clean wash cloth to gently clean around the skin folds. You can also use a soap-free, pH balanced, non-perfumed, gentle wash.
Got a question you’ve been too embarrassed to ask? Wondering what products to use?
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