Insecurities about the vagina plague every woman at some point in their life. Many women find themselves wondering if the way their vagina looks, smells, or feels is normal. And with the plethora of pornographic material in the world today, it’s easy to start comparing your vagina to the neatly packaged and perfectly shaved vaginas you (or your partner) may see on the screen.
Well, not to sound too cliche, but every vagina is like a snowflake. They’re all different in their own ways, and unless you’re dealing with some sort of medical condition, odds are your vagina is completely normal. Still worried that you’ve got something weird going on down there? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are five “weird” things about the vagina that are actually normal.
You have “long” or seemingly uneven labia
If you’ve ever taken a handheld mirror and examined your lady bits, you may have noticed that one of your labia minora, or inner vaginal “lips,” is longer than the other, or both seem “abnormally” sized. This is one of the most common fears women have when visiting a gynecologist, and it’s nothing to be concerned about. The labia is usually one to two inches long, but can also be smaller or larger than that. Think of your labia minora like your breasts: it’s more likely than not that one will be larger than the other. You should only be concerned if your labia stick out of your underwear or bathing suits, cause swelling or pain when biking, swimming, or running, or get dragged into the vagina during sex.
Your labia is a different color than the rest of your vulva
Your vulva is the part of your genitals on the outside of your body. That includes your labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and the opening to your urethra, or the hole you pee out of. Your vulva won’t always be the same color as the rest of your body, and it’s even common for certain parts to be a different color than others. If your labia are a little darker or lighter than the rest of your vulva, it’s nothing to fear. But redness and irritation may be something to get checked with your doctor.
Your discharge changes throughout your cycle
Vaginal discharge consists of fluids from your uterus, cervix, and vagina. It helps keep your vagina clean and also acts as a natural lubricant to make sex more comfortable. Throughout your cycle, your discharge may vary from an egg white consistency to a slightly thicker texture. A variety of factors contribute to this, like your birth control, diet, sexual activity, or where you are in your cycle. If your discharge changes, you probably have nothing to worry about unless it takes on an appearance you’ve never experienced. Discharge that changes in color and has a strong odor could indicate a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or an STD, and you should get checked by a doctor immediately.
You get random lumps and bumps
When you notice a bump or two down there, your mind can sometimes jump to the worst case scenario. But there are actually various glands, like sweat glands and Bartholin’s glands, located around your vagina that can get blocked and cause painful (or painless) cysts. Another cause of those little bumps? Razor burn. Razor burn can occur on the labia majora, as well as ingrown hairs, and both will usually go away on their own. However, if your bumps hurt, appear in clusters, or blister, they could be conditions like HPV or herpes, and you should see a doctor.
You see “stuff” in your period blood
Seeing small blood clots in your period is actually very common. When blood comes out faster than your body’s anticoagulants (or anti-clotting substances) can keep up with, it can cause blood clots. This is especially likely if you have a heavy flow. But if you’re experiencing a period that’s causing you to soak through a pad or tampon (or more) each hour or passing clots larger than a quarter you should visit your doctor.