Posts Tagged ‘vagina’

Ask Anything: When to get tested?

on

Do you have to get tested after every time you have sex? If not, how often?

I wouldn’t recommend getting tested after every time you have sex. First off, for some people or at certain times in a person’s life, this would mean getting tested many times a week…which could be time consuming! Secondly, and most importantly, there is a technical aspect related to getting accurate test results.

A lot of STIs have what’s called a “window period”. This relates to the amount of time between the transmission of the STI (when someone is infected) and when a medical test would be able to detect the STI. To state it simply, the window period is the time where an STI is alive in your body, is totally contagious, but is still undetectable by a test.  For example, Chlamydia’s window period is 3 to 10 days, but HIV’s window period is 3 to 6 months. This means that if you’ve had sex and are worried about having contracted HIV, you have to wait 3 to 6 months to get accurate test results (in most cases, the test will be accurate after 3 months but to be sure, it’s important to get tested after 6 months as well).

So in general, when you are sexually active, you should get tested for STIs every 6 months even if you use protection – that way, you cover all the window periods of the different tests. People sometimes choose to get tested every year, or even less often, if they have one partner and they’ve agreed on a monogamous relationship.

You can also download are bilingual STIgma Zine to get more information on different STIs, safer sex and communication with partners about these things!

ask anything: various vaginas!

on

Welcome to our newest anonymous-question-answerer, Gabrielle!  Gabrielle is a Sexology student at UQAM and a beloved stagiaire here at Head & Hands. Today she waxes poetic about the varieties of vulvas out there…

Q: how many types of vagina do we have?

An important thing to note is that there’s a lot of confusion in our day-to-day language about the female genitals, especially about the difference between the vagina and the vulva. The vulva refers to the outer portion of the genitals formed by the clitoris, the hood of the clitoris, the outer and the inner labia, the opening of the urethra and the opening of the vagina. The vagina is the internal part: it’s the canal that connects the vulva to the cervix and the uterus (the inner genitals). Check out the diagram below to see how it all comes together!

In any case, the precise number of different types of vulvas and vaginas are impossible to determine. Everybody is shaped differently to begin with, and people can alter the appearance of their genitals in different ways (e.g. piercing, shaving, tattoos or dyes)

As cliché as it sounds, every vulva is a unique piece of art. It has its own colour, size, amount of hair, and texture. Colour can range from a subtle pink to a rich brown tone. The clitoris, its hood and the labia can be very small and the skin tight, or larger and with the skin more elastic. Inner labia might be longer or shorter, sometimes extending below the outer labia and sometimes not. All of these things are normal!  It’s also important to note that the inner labia (like breasts and testicles) usually differ in size. For example, your inner right labia might stick out beyond your outer labia a lot more than the left one.

To get a better idea of variations, and to appreciate their difference, take a look at these pictures of vulvas after the break (NOTE: may not be acceptable viewing material in certain workplaces or schools!)

(more…)

Demystifying vaginal fluids! Chart of Awesome.

on

Click on the image to enlarge the chart!

I love this chart SO MUCH. I find it’s super-helpful for learning about how vaginal fluid (or “discharge”) looks and feels over the course of a menstrual cycle. It’s awesome because it accepts that vaginal fluid is a healthy part of your body and provides a range of possibilities of what it can be like. I also like how it provides a “Symptoms of true vaginal infection” list alongside. Click below to read more!

(more…)

VAGINA !!!

on
They come in all shapes and sizes!

They come in all shapes and sizes!

Since yesterday was V-Day, I think that it’s particularly fitting to talk about the vagina.

Is yours too tight, too loose, too smelly or too hairy? Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. Vaginas come in all shapes and sizes (and scents). And, if you’re not comfortable with your own, then you might not be getting the most out of sex or your partner. So, take that hand mirror out and start exploring. I can guarantee a mesmerizing experience. *Teehee*

To finish things off, here is an excerpt from Eve Ensler’s My Angry Vagina monologue:

“Don’t believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals when it’s supposed to smell like pussy. That’s what they’re doing, trying to clean it up, make it smell like bathroom spray or a garden. All those douche sprays, floral, berry, rain. I don’t want my pussy to smell like berries or rain. All cleaned up like washing a fish after you cook it. I want to taste the fish. That’s why I ordered it.”

”First Time” info : a hymen tutorial

on
For those of you who wonder if it is possible to tell if someone is a virgin or not, here are a few things you should know:
There is no way to tell if someone ever had a sexual intercourse by simply looking at their penis.
There isn’t always a way also to tell if someone ever had sexual intercourse simply by looking at their vagina.
You might have heard that there is a skin inside a vagina called ”Hymen”. An hymen is a little membrane that covers a part of the entrance of the vagina.
Here is an illustration of a vulva, so that you all know what we’re talking about
illustration of a vagina

Illustration of a vagina

Illustration of a vulva

So vaginas usually come with this membrane call Hymen, which can break with the first intercourse (penetration). The hymen is usually a quite thin membrane. For that reason, it can also break before any intercourse, during sports, per example.   The hymen is also very different from one person to the other. Sometimes there are holes in the hymen, sometimes there is none. For that reason, some people can insert a tampon without any problem even if they’ve never been penetrated. While others can’t.

Different hymens

Different types of hymens

As I said, Hymen usually breaks (if it hasn’t already) during the first penetration (tampon, finger, toy or penis). It is absolutely normal. Since it is a thin membrane that is breaking and it is part of the body, it is possible that it hurts the first (or first few) time. It might even bleed. All of this is normal.

You have to talk to your partner and feel comfortable, in order to be able to tell them if you want them to stop. Also, if you are relaxed, your muscles will be too, and it will facilitate the lubrification and the penetration.

Remember: Virginity isn’t all about the hymen. You might consider you had your first sexual contact, even tho your hymen is still intact.

If you have any concerns about your virginity, your hymen or your vagina, it is always good to talk to your gynecologist.

Vaginismus

on

This is a website much complete on vaginismus. It offers informations for womens, their partner and also for practitioners. Here is an overview of what infos can be found on the site: advices for the pap smear to be the least incomfortable and least hurting possible, Q&A on vaginismus, pros and cons on treatment, self guides and tons of infos on what is vaginismus, what does it do, where does it come from, myth, realities ect.!

I hope this helps anyone who wants to know more about this or figure out why they might feel a certain way. Not much people know what is vaginismus, even ones that have it.

Here some quick key fact on what is vaginismus and how it affects the female body (comes from the ”What is vaginismus” section).

Vaginismus is the defensive reaction a vagina has when she is afraid or in pain.

Vaginismus is pelvic muscles clamping shut in anticipation of pain, like the fist of the picture above.

Vaginismus is the medical condition which makes it painful or impossible for a woman to insert anything inside her.
Vaginismus is experiencing a brick wall or closed vaginal opening when trying to make love.

If you want to know more, just go to the link above and read on!