True! Vaginal discharge is 100% normal, so get used to it! That is, if it’s clear and looks like mucus, like the stuff you blow out your nose. Discharge is the liquid that the vagina uses to clean itself, which is why, when you take a bath or shower, you don’t need to use any cleansers other than a little lather of soap on the vulva followed by a water rinse. So if you see discharge in your underwear, it’s just your vagina doing its job.
True or false: Dark yellow, green, or thick and white discharge is normal.
False! While clear, mucousy discharge is totally normal, if your discharge ever looks super dark yellow, green, or thick and white, it may be a sign of an infection. So take the clue to go see your doctor.
True or false: A vagina and vulva are the same thing.
False! Though the two words are often used as synonyms, they have different meanings. The vulva refers to all of the genitalia on the outside including the labia, which are lips outside of the vagina, the vaginal opening, as well as the clitoris (a collection of nerves where the labia meet at the front of the vulva) and the opening of the urethra (that’s to hole where pee comes out). The vagina is the muscular canal inside the body, ending at the vaginal opening where you would insert a tampon or menstrual cup.
True or false: You shouldn’t use cleansing products in your vagina.
True... well, sort of! The vagina does a great job of keeping itself clean, which is actually the reason why there is vaginal discharge. Cleansers like douches can irritate this sensitive area. So it’s best to leave the area be - aside from a quick lather with some non-perfumed soap followed by a water rinse when you are taking a bath or a shower.
True or false: Vaginal throbbing, sharp pain, and persistent tenderness are normal.
False! While new sensations and feelings or a little itching here and there are totally normal, discomfort or pain in your vagina or groin should point you to a doctor.
True or false: There is only one “hole” or opening down there.
False! There are actually three!!! Females have two openings on the vulva: the urethra, where pee comes out, and then behind that the much bigger vaginal opening, which is where tampons and menstrual cups are inserted. Though it is not part of the vulva, the anus is a third opening (it’s behind the vagina) and marks where poop comes out.
True or false: It’s ok to remove pubic hair.
True! Pubic hair is completely normal, but it’s ok if you prefer to remove it for personal reasons. As you get older, what you choose to do or not do with your body is completely up to you. Just make sure the pubic hair is being removed safely. That said, you may want to touch base with a trusted adult about what you are thinking of removing, why, and how.
True or false: It’s ok not to remove pubic hair.
Also true! Pubic hair is completely normal, and not everyone wants to remove it. What you choose to do or not do with your body is up to you, and leaving it in its natural state is beautiful.