How to Love a VAGINA: Its Functions, Infections & Prevention
I love the VAGINA… get your mind out of the “gutter”… not for that reason… Geez… I mean I was born through one, so were all three of my children… I can’t imagine life without a VAGINA, sorry, again, get your mind out of the gutter because what I meant to say is that we could not have PROCREATE (i.e., kept bringing forth LIFE) so successfully without it. I mean, I am advocating for all vaginas today... call me the Vagina advocate b/c teh VA-JAY-JAY deserves some more TLC...LOL
It can be said that we all either did or should have entered the World via the VAGINA. I only say that because Cesarean(“C”)-Section babies don’t. However, what’s bad for a vagina is bad for most of us because of its functions as detailed below. There are even infections that can leave a baby blind, and others that will not be too graphically described… But read on… this does not concern just women, it concerns every human being pre- or post-birth. Trust me, it abso-freaking-lutely concerns yours truly (smile).
4 MAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE VAGINA
First of all, the vagina is one of the most important aspects (openings) of the female anatomy as one can say that it serves at least four (4) important purposes:
1. BIRTH CANAL: it is the channel through which a mature fetus or unborn baby travels OR the conduit for a non-caesarean (“C”) section birth.
2. MENSTRUAL RELEASE (“MENSES”): Each time the blood that is reserved for the potential growth of a baby is determined to be not needed (because no egg has been fertilized and attached to the womb/endometrium), the body has to get rid of that blood reserve, something that women call their PERIOD/MENSES because it happens periodically (like clockwork for most women) on a monthly basis.
3. SEXUAL PLEASURE: it is one of the most important parts of a human body for the sexual pleasure of a man, and for that of women (who are vaginally-stimulated). There is a plethora of women that don’t may not truly enjoy vaginal sex because of many reason, but do enjoy knowing that they keep their men (or partner) sexually satiated. Many even use lubricants to that end or only accept to be vaginally-penetrated after they have been stimulated in other preferable or uniquely stimulating ways.
4. PROCREATION: It is also the channel for procreation as (other than artificial insemination), it is the channel through which ejaculating man can deposit his semen, which contain both sperms, acid-neutralizing components (bicarbonate/alkaline) to protect the sperm in the acidic environment of the vagina. In nutshell, it is a highly effective channel for precreation and a channel to “literally shoot” for conception (i.e., the fertilization of an egg from a woman’s ovary by a sperm from a man’s testis). Thus, one’s a woman misses her menses due to fertilization and that blood is not released as usual (as it’s being kept for the baby), then she is probably pregnant. Planned or unplanned, if the pregnancy is normal (not ectopic), it’s time to prepare for pre-natal care (planned or not).
VAGINAL INFECTIONS (“VAGINITIS”)
There are many things that many women think are abnormal (not normal) about their vagina that are actually normal. In fact, far too many women go out of their way to change the normal state of the vagina to, in turn, expose it to unnecessary infections. The normal state of the vagina is what is referred to as its NORMAL FLORA in “medicalese”. We are referring to mostly normal infections (if that even exists) as opposed to those caused by the graver STDs (e.g., Chlamydia, Gonorrhea) or anything that requires immediate action and antibiotics, which themselves can have adverse impact on the normal flora, if the culprit organism outgrow the replenishment of the Normal Flora
Essentially, all women secrete moisture and mucus from the membranes that line the vagina. This discharge is either transparent or slightly and may be somewhat slippery; and when dry it may be slightly yellowish. When a woman is aroused, vaginal lining secretion increases substantially, but that does not cause any inflammation or irritation to the vagina or vulva.
Examination of Vaginal Discharge
It is not a bad idea for a woman to analyze her vaginal discharge. She can easily collect a sample from inside her vagina using a washed (clean) finger, and the latter can be more easily examined by being smeared on a glass.
Bacteria that Grow on the Vagina
There are many bacteria that grow in the vagina of a normal and healthy woman. Some of those bacteria (e.g., LACTOBACILLI) have the purpose of keeping the vagina somewhat ACIDIC (regarding which you head the mention of the “pH” level as an acidity metric often) as to STOP/MINIMIZE any out-of-proportion growth of organisms such as YEAST, FUNGI or other harmful organisms. We want to do the latter because when these organisms secrete excessive waste products, they may irritate the vaginal walls and cause infections to develop.
When vaginal infections occur the woman may experience the following:
MILD OR SEVERE ITCHING
The Burning of the Vulva
Chafing of the Thighs
SOME COMMON REASONS FOR VAGINAL INFECTIONS
1. General Lowered Resistance (due to lack of sleep, poor diet or another infection in body)
2. Too Much Douching (i.e., too much cleaning of the vagina, particularly with cleaning agents, that affects its normal Flora)
4. Taking Birth Control Pills
5. Antibiotics (or Other Hormones).
6. Diabetes or Pre-diabetic Condition
7. CUTS or ABRASIONS or OTHER IRRITATIONS from either CHILDBIRTH or INTERCOURSE, or INTERCOURSE without ENOUGH LUBRICATION or from using an INSTRUMENT in the vagina for MASTURBATION or a MEDICAL INTERVENTION)
SOME SPECIFIC (NON-STD) VAGINAL INFECTIONS
It is good to know about them so that lovers will not start thinking that they are sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) needlessly.
i. YEAST INFECTIONS (a/k/a Candida Albicans, Monilia or Fungus)
ii. TRICHOMONIASIS (caused by a one-celled parasite called Trichonomas Vaginalis or TRICH)
iii. NON-SPECIFIC VAGINITIS
You can ask your medical doctor (MD) about these more, but I will simply elaborate on them rather slightly…
i. YEAST INFECTIONS
Candida albicans is a yeast fungus that normally grows in harmless quantities in the vagina or rectum. However, when your system is out of balance, they may grow profusely and cause a vaginal discharge that is THICK and WHITE, and may look like COTTAGE CHEESE, and smell like baking bread.
NB: if a woman has a yeast infection when she gives birth, then the baby will get yeast in its digestive tract. The latter is called THRUSH, and is treated orally with NYSTATIN drops or gentian violent.
Nystatin (or other meds) can be used to treat it, but the problem with such drugs is that they destroy the good bacteria along with the bad ones, and if the bad bacteria grow back faster than the acid producing (bacilli), then the person can or will become RE-INFECTED.
ii. TRICHOMONIASIS (caused by a one-celled parasite called Trichonomas Vaginalis)
Trichomoniasis is caused by a one-celled parasite called Trichonomas Vaginalis (“Trich”), which can be found in both men and women.
At least 50% of women have TRICH organisms in their vaginas, though often without symptoms. However, usually women with TRICH have a THINK, FOAMY vaginal discharge that is YELLOWISH-GREEN or GRAY in color and has a FOUL ODOR. It can also cause painful urinary tract infections (UTIs).
If another infection is present along with the TRICH then the discharge may be thicker and whiter. It is most often sexually-transmitted and thus can be seen as an STD or venereal infection. HOWEVER, it can also be passed on by MOIST OBJECTS such as TOWELS, BATHING SUITS, UNDERWEAR, WASHCLOTHS, and TOILET SEATS.
It also grows in an alkaline (non-acidic) environment. Thus, ACIDIC DOUCHES (e.g., vinegar douches) may help along.
Since BLOOD is alkaline, women may be even more prone to getting TRICHOMONIASIS when they menstruate. The above mentioned douches will help but not if MONILA is also present. But, frequently, vaginal suppositories such as FLORAQUIN or VAGINAL GELS or even saline can provide adequate treatment (See your MD for more information.)
Oral doses of “Metronidazole (Flagyl), an expensive drug, which has been known to cause GENE MUTATIONS in standard test systems and thus should be avoided; but again, frequently, vaginal suppositories such as FLORAQUIN or VAGINAL GELS can provide adequate treatment (See your MD for more information.)
NB: According to the literature, in the laboratory, motile TRICHS can be seen moving in the preparation with a distinctive asynchronous motion. Trichomonas vaginalis infection is highly prevalent in the United States and worldwide. Traditional clinical diagnostic methods fail to identify more than half of these infections that, if left untreated, can result in adverse pregnancy outcomes and an exacerbated risk of both acquisition and transmission of HIV. Women bear a disproportionate amount of the burden of these infections, and testing among populations at risk for this disease should be provided. Molecular technologies have expanded our capacity for laboratory-based detection of infection and can be used on samples already being collected for chlamydia/gonorrhea screening.
iii. NON-SPECIFIC VAGINITIS (OTHER VAGINAL INFECTIONS)
Other vaginal infections are often called “non-specific vaginitis”. This discharge may be WHITE or YELLOW and possibly STREAKED with BLOOD.
In the latter, the vaginal walls can be cloudy, puffy with fluid, and covered by a thick heavy coat of pus. The first sign of this infection is Cystitis (Bladder-infection)-like symptoms such as lower back pain, cramps and swollen glands in the abdomen and thighs.
Hemophilus Vaginalis is a type of infection that used to be diagnosed as non-specific, with symptoms that are similar to Trichonomiasis, but the discharge tends to creamy white or graying and especially foul-smelling after intercourse.
Sulfa creams or suppositories (Vagitrol, Sultrin, AVC Cream) and for people that are allergic to sulfa, they can be described NITROFURAZONE (Furacine) in a suppository or cream are prescribed for WOMEN and TETRACYCLINE and AMPICILLIN for MEN.
Don’t forget that with the sexually-transmitted types TREATMENT for both partners are necessary.
1. Wash your vulva and bottom regularly and pat it dry after bathing and try to keep it dry. Also, don’t use other people’s towels or washcloths.
2. Wear clean, cotton underpants. Avoid nylon underwear and pantyhose since they retain moisture and heat, which help harmful bacteria to grow faster
3. Avoid pants that are tight in the crotch and thighs.
4. Always wipe your anus from FRONT-to-BACK (so that bacteria from the anus won’t get into the vagina or urethra (where urine exits)).
5. Make sure your sexual partner(s) is/are clean. It is a good practice for a man to wash his penis daily especially prior to love making.
6. Use a sterile, water-soluble jelly if lubrication is needed during intercourse (e.g., K-Y Jelly, NOT Vaseline). Studies have shown that birth control jellies also slow down the growth of trichomonas and possibly monilia.
7. Avoid sexual intercourse that is painful or abrasive to your vagina.
8. Try to keep down your sugar and refined-carbohydrate intake as diets that are high in sugar can radically change the pH (acidity) of the vagina
9. Some women have found that applications of plain (unflavored) yogurt in the vagina can help prevent infections and cure mild symptoms. Unpasteurized yogurts also contain LACTOBACILLI, which are good bacteria normally found in the vagina’s (normal flora). Thus, when such bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics, SUCH YOGURTS can replenish their supply in the vagina.
10. Some women occasionally douche with a solution of 1 or 2 T. vinegar in 1 qt. of warm water. This is mildly acidic, and like yogurt, it can help prevent infections.
11. Other women have found that douching with plain water or a solution of baking soda and water has helped them prevent vaginal infections.
LASTLY – Do NOT put anything in your VAGINA that you would not put in your MOUTH. The Vagina is important for too many darn reasons, be nice to it please. The Va-Jay-Jay does DESERVE some well-deserved TLC… LOL… Trust me! (smile)
Dr. Pete Lorins is the Chief Editor of LorinsPOST.com. This article was sponsored by LORINS.biz, a multi-industry consulting firm that provides the following types of services… Management of Law Firms, Medical Clinics, Businesses...Project Management, Sales, Marketing, & Leads Generation...Research & Engineering... It can be reached via www.LORINS.biz