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The numero-uno question on
most girl’s minds when it comes to down there is, “Am I normal?” Rest assured
that, no matter how foreign your V may seem to you these days, most itches, odd
smells and different-looking discharges are indeed typical. But pay attention
to any abrupt changes down there and definitely see a doctor if you’re ever in
major pain or you sense that something’s just not right. (Keep reading for more
deets on other warning signs.)
No, that huge red,
zit-looking bump isn’t cancer. Phew! Mostly likely, it’s an ingrown hair. After
your shower, treat it once a day with Tend Skin. Have a rash-like irritation? You
could have an allergic reaction, inflamed oil glands or some other skin
condition that may need treatment. “Don’t pick at it or scratch!” says Dr.
Melissa Holmes, a gynecologist in South Carolina and co-founder of
Girlology.com. A doc can help you ditch that itch.
Cramps are a pain,
literally. There are three different times in a cycle when chicas may get those
aches. Right before your period starts, your hormones can go haywire and your
uterus can clench up a lil’ bit. Then during your period, blood clots might
hurt you when they squeeze through your cervix. And two weeks into your cycle,
you might get achy when your ovary releases an egg. “This is all normal pain,
and an anti-inflammatory like Advil or Ibuprofen should help,” says Dr. Kelly
Kasper, a gynecologist in Indiana. Stretching your abs and working out are other
great ways to conquer cramps.
Every chica gets discharge
when she goes through puberty. It’s your body’s way of cleaning itself out, and
it usually starts six month to a year before you get your first period. The
amount varies based on your hormone levels and where you are in your cycle.
Some girlies like to wear pantyliners on heavy days. A healthy discharge white,
clear, or sometimes light yellow when dried. “If it has a bad odor, if it is
green or bubbly grey, if itching doesn’t go away, or pain and burning, you
should see your doc,” says Dr. Kasper.
Eau de you
Reality check: No one’s
vagina smells like roses. A little body odor is totally normal, but pay
attention is something smells a bit fishy or otherwise foul down there. “Most likely, the smell comes from sweat,”
says Dr. Randi Protter, medical director at the Center for Women’s Health in
New Jersey. If ya notice that you smell more after working out, you can use a
little bit of deodorant in the area where your leg meets your outer lips (just
avoid feminine deodorant sprays, which can irritate your vagina). Leaving in a
tampon for too long or an infection can also cause a stink. If he smell is
really bed, or if your discharge has a funky odor, book an appointment with
Ever sneak a peek down
there? Then you probably noticed that your vagina isn’t quite the tidy little
package it’s often portrayed to be (thanks airbrushed nudie mags). That’s
because no one vag is the same. There are folds of skin—also known as your
labia or lips—that can have lots of different shapes, colors and sizes. “A
lot of girls’ labia minoras aren’t symmetrical on the left and the right, and
it’s not a medical problem at all,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a gynecologist in
New York and author of V is for Vagina.
So whether your lips are tan, grey, flesh-colored, light pink or bright pink,
you’re A-OK. Just keep an eye out for any dark freckles, which should be
checked to rule out melanoma.
It’s 3 p.m. And you’re
gassy…again. Yep, gas is embarrassing. But it’s also pretty normal—and there
are ways to temper those toots. “The type of food you eat makes a big
difference,” says Dr. Protter. Foods like beans or cabbage are especially
gas-inducing, as is chewing gum and drinking soda since they increase the
amount of air you swallow. Eliminating this stuff from your diet may help, as
does trying a chewable tablet called Beano can help you digest beans, and
Lactaid can help you digest milk. If you are suddenly having a lot of gas, diarrhea
or losing weight, speak with your doc.
What’s the point of pubic
hair, you ask? The coarse, dark, and often curly hair that appears during
puberty serves a very important purpose: To block bacteria from entering your
hair down there is different, in color, length, texture and even location. Whether you want to trim it up or keep things au naturel is up to you. (If you choose
to prune your pubes, see “Keeping it Clean”).
(Va) Jay-Jay probs
Thinking something’s a
little off down there? We can’t stress it enough: Do not ignore any pain, funky
smells, or oddly colored discharge (see sidebar for a breakdown of three major
ailments most girls suffer from). Doctors see this stuff all the time, so
there’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. And besides, nipping these
probs in the bud early on may save you from a boatload of issues down the road.
Your va-jay-jay will thank you for it.
Keepin’ things under control
From shaving to waxing,
you’ve got lots of options when it comes to cleaning up the hair down there.
“It’s totally normal to want to remove hair. Most girls don’t want any
out-of-bounds hair when wearing a bathing suit,” says Dr. Holmes. If you opt to
shave? Wash the area gently with soap and water then grab a clean razor, lather
up with shaving cream, and go with the grain of the hair. Don’t shave
everything, because your hair protects your skin from irritation from sweat and
Late bloomin’ bod
The only one of your
friends who hasn’t gotten her period? We promise, it’s on the way! The
timetable for your first period is different for everyone, and usually reflects
the age when your mom or older sisters started theirs. “The age where we start
to get concerned if you don’t have your period is 16,” says Dr. Dweck. If Aunt
Flo hasn’t visited by then, go in for a check up. Having a very lean body due
to sports like gymnastics (or issues like an eating disorder) can be a possible
cause for the delay.
Someone a while back came up with
some funny-sounding labels for our girly parts. If ya need a quick cheat sheet
for your V’s exterior, here goes: First, there’s the labia majora (outer lips),
the labia minora (inner lips), which are there to block icky bacteria from
entering the vagina. Beyond that is the clitoris (a small, super sensitive
organ), the urethral opening (where your pee comes out) and, finally, your
vaginal opening. Got it? Good!
Aunt Flo’s come to town
and she just won’t leave ya alone? Heavy periods can be common, but if yours
last longer than seven days, or are so heavy that you’re switching your tampons
and pads like crazy, see a doc. You may just be genetically inclined to have
heavy periods (thanks, mom!), but a medical pro can make sure that your hormone
levels are OK—and that all of that bleeding isn’t sapping your iron levels.
So ya finished your period
at the end of the month. But two weeks later, a little blood is showing up on
your undies. What’s up with that? While it’s prob not anything serious at your
age, you should still see a doc to find out for sure. “Some people may have a
little bit of staining when they ovulate, but it’s not usual to have bleeding
in the middle of the cycle,” says Dr. Dweck.
Peeing should not hurt.
Period. So if you’re in pain while you pee (or just after), if you have to go
more often than usual, or if you see blood in your urine, you may have a bladder
infection, also called a urinary tract infection (or UTI). “This kind of
infection requires treatment with antibiotics,” says Dr. Protter. Treat this
sitch quickly or it can get super painful, super fast. A doc will have you pee
in a cup and give you antibiotics that will help ya out in one or two days.
Your vagina’s not the only
mystery down there. You may be having some issues on the other side, too. The
number one concern for girls? Pain while pooping, and blood on the toilet paper
after you wipe. If this is happening to you, don’t freak. Chances are, you have
a tiny tear inside your bum, usually a result of straining while you poop (amping
up the fiber in your diet and sitting in a warm tub for 15 minutes a day can
ease your pain). Hemorrhoids—swollen veins in the anal canal—are also a
possibility. But before you reach for over the counter solutions, sched some
time to see your doc.
You can get dry skin
allover your body—including around your vagina. As a result, you may notice
dandruff-like flakes down there (which may also be caused by irritation from
shaving, dried discharge, a yeast infection or even a skin condition called
psoriasis). If you’ve got a flaky situation, “try switching to a gentle soap
and keep the area clean and dry,” suggests Tamara Walker, a nurse in Oklahoma
who hosts the Ask MomRN Show. (Whatever you do, definitely avoid anti-dandruff
shampoo, which is way harsh). Switching to laundry detergent made for sensitive
skin may help, too.
Feelin’ some pain is
common when you’re learning how to use a tampon, but continuous discomfort
probably means you’ve inserted it at a weird angle or not far in enough. “You
shouldn’t be able to feel it at all when it is up there,” says Dr. Kasper. It
may help to use handheld mirror as you’re inserting in the right place—and to
get familiar with your V. If you’re still in pain, see a doc to make sure an
infection isn’t making your tissue more sensitive.
Uh oh, camel toe!
We’ve probably all been a
victim of this oh-so-awkward front wedgie. Wearing too-tight clothes hugs the
fatty tissue around your vagina, causing camel toe. The good news? You’re
probably more aware of it than anyone else. But if you see a noticeable bulge
on the inside of your vagina, it could be a glandular issue that a doc can take
(The Other) V-Word
That would be virgin, natch.
And contrary to common belief, you will remain one until you have
sex—regardless of whether your hymen breaks another way. The hymen, a thin membrane
that partially covers your vaginal opening,
is easily ruptured by anything to riding a bike to inserting a tampon. And
chances are, you won’t even realize it ever happened. “Yes, [you can break your hymen] from sex, sports
or any sort of trauma to the area, but you don’t always bleed when it breaks,”
said Dr. Dweck.
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BY LAURA GREENBACK ON 2/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN body image, period 101, when will I get my period, how to use tampons, tampon fact or fiction, how to use pads, should I shave down there, skin problems, puberty, body hair 101, what is discharge, dealing with discharge, body odor, April May 2012
by daddysgirlxoxoxo on 5/7/2013 6:16:50 PM
How would i trim the hair down there without it irritating? Not all of it just the stuff that sticks out of my underwear. I tried to shave it but i got nicked! and i used an electric shaver thats nvever supposed to nick! Could it be that the shaver was clogged?
by sparkles909 on 5/6/2013 7:30:26 PM
I think it can be awkward talking to our moms about shaving down there that is why we need GL. But it may be awkward because it deals with our 'down there' not just because its about shaving. I think most of our moms realize most girls our age either completely shave down there or shave and trim a lot of it. I dont think our grandmothers ever had to deal with it but I think our moms did and do. There are a lot of great products you can buy to help with it and even guys are starting to do it, at least that what a program on tv said.
by fashionqn on 4/13/2013 11:13:51 PM
by Ashleystalvey on 4/4/2013 11:05:01 PM
by DMlover123 on 3/23/2013 12:32:53 AM
So what exactly is discharge and why do we get it? I started to get discharge in june so almoost a year ago and I am still getting it!Sometimes there is a lot and I have to change underwear does that mean I might be getting my period soon?
by Mina13 on 3/11/2013 5:38:07 PM
Ok so if I started getting dischagre in like end of October. Becoming of November I might get my period soon
by littledevil3012 on 3/8/2013 4:55:43 PM
by fashionqn on 2/28/2013 1:57:12 PM
by roxizzy on 2/27/2013 12:58:14 PM
by Aubreylynn614 on 2/16/2013 11:57:59 PM
by Piercethecookie on 2/15/2013 8:29:52 PM
by mayanunna on 2/15/2013 4:14:35 PM
by the band geek on 2/15/2013 4:08:08 PM
Much needed A to V Guide. I think one of the biggest issues we have is wondering if we look normal down there. You hear and see so much about the different surgeries and how to shave, trim, make it look better and this and that that you just wonder what is normal looking. Reading about the "funky folds" cleared some things up. And just because we may have our labia flaps and skin that hangs down and may be a different and darker color doesnt mean something is wrong or abnormal.
by fashionqn on 2/14/2013 5:52:32 PM
by fashion21 on 2/13/2013 8:31:10 PM
by N3rdyRand0mn3ss on 2/12/2013 3:59:48 PM
by nazirah817 on 2/11/2013 6:54:39 PM
Hey GL chicas! Check out my club, "It's all about Fashion and Beauty!!!" We have advice for any fashion/beauty sitch. Please check it out girlies! <3 Fashion and Beauty Crew
by nazirah817 on 2/11/2013 6:48:51 PM
Do you like rock and roll music of any era?If so, then join my club "Rock music that rocks"...We will talk about anything, from 70's-modern rock! We have rock trivia, and we share our favorite bands! You can find the club by going to my profile page, and clicking on the club with the awesome electric guitar pic!
by rockchik333 on 2/11/2013 5:55:55 PM
by missykp on 2/11/2013 5:54:58 PM
GL has the best advice! Thanks!
by purplerainn on 2/11/2013 5:11:51 PM
by becca<3's you on 2/11/2013 11:52:01 AM
by redvelvetluv on 2/11/2013 9:13:52 AM
by mayanunna on 2/7/2013 4:47:10 PM
by Vegetariansrule on 2/1/2013 6:50:29 PM
Are there things we do that affects our periods, like sports and exercise? And what about when we start having sex, does that affect our period because people have told me that it can for some of us. I know when you are on the pill it affects it but what about if you arent on bc, I wonder if it affects it then.
by fashionqn on 1/20/2013 1:39:57 AM
by vegetariansrule on 1/19/2013 9:57:17 AM
Im 12 and it smells when i strech for basketball and dont tell me im the only one who notices because people have been talking about a smell but they don know it is me. i use summers eve but it doesnt work. AT ALL! PLEASE HELP
by rubarb1234 on 1/14/2013 11:08:57 PM
my sister noticed once when she was close to me???
by olivia19 on 1/7/2013 12:32:30 PM
by olivia19 on 1/7/2013 11:14:03 AM
Hey girl, check out this page and see if it helps:
We have loads of info on your bod to help ya out! ♥, Your Blog Patrol Babes
by Lbradshaw35 on 1/4/2013 10:07:11 PM
by lbradshaw35 on 1/4/2013 1:38:29 AM
by WolfWinterCry on 12/24/2012 3:28:44 AM
by teagarden on 12/23/2012 7:49:56 PM
by kkheartspink on 11/23/2012 5:28:33 AM
by nike741 on 11/21/2012 1:39:55 AM
If your lip flaps already stick out does it mean that they will stick out even more as you get to be an older teen. And when it comes to color why are some of us more pinkish and some of us brown? My friend told me your flaps are more brown if you have a lot a friction from rubbing on your underwear.
by fashionqn on 11/15/2012 6:29:50 PM
by kenbon on 11/12/2012 6:56:53 PM
MOD MOD MOD MOD MOD!!!!!!
Ok. I started my period when I was 11 and I'm 12 but it had not been a year I sated on my birthday witch is September 3 and I went to the bathroom and I wiped and the was blood like always so I went to flush the tolit and I saw like dry blood at the bitten is this normal????? Awsner me ASAP!!!!!!!
Hey Girly, It is totally normal for a girl to get her period and then for it to not be regular or go a long period of time before she gets it again.
by Savannah278 on 11/6/2012 10:22:40 AM
by Oceansun on 11/5/2012 11:48:09 AM
by KatieBieber on 10/30/2012 4:09:54 PM
by hermionelover on 10/28/2012 3:21:05 AM
by gymnastky on 10/21/2012 12:12:20 AM
by mp3player9 on 10/19/2012 10:58:25 PM
i have stretch marks on my thighs and my boobs and im 5"4 12 years old im taller than every one in my grade i weigh 120 pounds is that not good for me im trying to loose weight but its just not working out i guess i really cant commit to it i really try though what should i do ??????????????
by itshilalove on 10/10/2012 1:02:29 AM
by neonroxursox on 9/20/2012 11:26:13 PM
can someone please answer my last question please ?????
thank youu .
by meatball93 on 9/20/2012 1:40:12 AM
by fashionqn on 9/19/2012 1:53:08 PM
hi , im 19 years old , and have some questions. i know kinda weird that a 19 year old has questions about " downthere " but im really kinda scared to talk to my mom about this , so if you could please help me out on some of these, my first question is that i have a creamy kinda clear runny discharge , is that normal ? and im kinda having a little pain down there also that hurts my stomach , and im not on my period right now, is all this normal? id really like to know asap , so i know weather i should go to a doctor . please reply back asap please , im kinda freaking out -__- thank you.
by meatball93 on 9/12/2012 7:11:18 PM
by pokemon_girl11 on 9/8/2012 11:32:46 PM
by PlushPurplePanda on 9/7/2012 10:09:26 PM
by chocolate_lover*13 on 9/7/2012 5:25:48 PM
Uhhh help Plz I'm 14 and down there in side one flap is way bigger and flapper then the other side flap is really small Plz is this normal and what age do u need to see the gyno cuz like Noone in my family goes unless the doctor demands it lol Plz I'm really scared?!!
by Hager1234 on 8/27/2012 7:19:20 PM
by Hager1234 on 8/27/2012 7:12:59 PM
by Sparksfly on 8/27/2012 3:44:01 PM
Hi girls !
It sunny your advice queen! Alot of girls are asking questions right now... And the mods are auper buisy! So come sign up for my club "ADVICE FOR YOU!" and i will make u secretary or treasurer or anything else u need. And i will answer any of the questions that u have from this article... Thanks gurls!!
by Sunny4132 on 8/26/2012 11:20:41 AM
by Sunny4132 on 8/26/2012 11:17:07 AM
by Sunny4132 on 8/26/2012 11:03:20 AM
by Madds07 on 8/23/2012 4:17:44 PM
MOD MOD MOD MOD MOD
So i got my first period today, and the only thing thats in my house is tampons. I searched up directions and i finally got the applicator in but when im pushing the actual tampon in it hurts a lot!!!!!! and i cant ask my mom to help me because she died right after i was born. Help?
by Raina_smith on 8/20/2012 3:32:07 PM
by Sparksfly on 8/19/2012 10:45:06 AM
That was smart to put all of our concerns into one article, almost all of our concerns there are still others but we all need to be reminded, even about the stuff we think we know about but really dont. The only thing better would be to have links to sites with more specific information about each thing.
by fashionqn on 8/17/2012 11:38:02 PM
by Selassie on 8/17/2012 11:36:28 PM
This was definitely in the April/May issue. Why use it again?
by cheetah#1 on 8/17/2012 10:25:50 PM
by cheetah#1 on 8/17/2012 10:20:27 PM
by Cecgirl98 on 8/17/2012 10:19:26 PM
by PuppetPrincess on 8/17/2012 4:33:46 PM
by Selassie on 8/17/2012 12:13:09 AM
by YayaYuiki on 8/16/2012 6:06:47 PM
Im A cheerleader & scared to break my hymen is it a bad thing ?
by Jenni_Sans on 8/16/2012 5:52:21 PM
by topchef88 on 8/16/2012 5:39:07 PM
by Prettyme123 on 8/16/2012 5:32:20 PM
by Littlepuppygirl on 8/16/2012 3:25:46 PM
by pranksterqueen on 8/16/2012 2:49:17 PM
LOL! I'm so immature that I'm laughing at the picture :-P
by iluvmusic♥ on 8/16/2012 12:45:19 PM
Very useful and helpful!!!
by snowver11 on 8/16/2012 11:02:32 AM
Thanks GL for the head's up! Very useful!! Never heard of the 2 V-words till I entered 6th grade!
by Susmita24 on 8/16/2012 10:46:22 AM
Yes it was but it still helps
by hopie1215 on 8/16/2012 1:55:51 AM
omg, in 4 period history class, we have the wierdest history teacher (male) anyway, he like doesnt control us, so we r like wild animals, i dont know ehat he was doing, but i got like really wierd and heard someone say camel toe, and, omg, i didnt know what it was, so i like shouted in a really loud high pitched tone camel toe, luckily my voice was high, and no one knew who it was, and, hahahahahah, mr. (not saying his name) looked around and kinda turned red, me and my friends started to laugh so hard! omg, those were the funny days! haha only about 5 mo's ago.
by angie333 on 8/16/2012 1:51:12 AM
The article pic should be changed... And also, wasn't this in the april may issue???
by WinnieGirlie on 8/16/2012 1:01:48 AM
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