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Modern Fertility just posted this article penned by Alex Shea exploring the topic of vaginal anatomy, with valuable input by our own Heather Jeffcoat. Read on for informative tips on getting to know your own body better.


Growing up, we all watched the standard puberty video: You know, that video that told us a whole lot of nothing — conversely leaving us with a whole lot of questions? How many times have you glanced down there just out of curiosity? It may be time to grab a mirror and catch up with what’s actually going on with your vagina.

Vulvovaginal anatomy and how it all actually works

First things first, the proper term for what you may call your vagina is really your vulva. The vulva is the exterior part of your genital anatomy whereas your vagina is the tube that connects your vulva and your cervix —  or the “neck of the uterus” as Doula and birth educator, Amy Lewis, says. Be aware that no two vulvas look the same. That said, listed below are the anatomical parts of your vulva and vagina that you can familiarize yourself with to help you identify what exactly your normal is.

Thea article continues:

...there isn’t a whole lot you have to do besides let your vulva do its thing. A few ways to do that include…

Promote a healthy environment. Your vagina and your vulva are extremely sensitive areas of your body. It’s important to create a healthy vulvovaginal environment to reduce the risk of vulvar irritation or bacterial infections. On the outside, Lewis recommends wearing undergarments that can breathe — like cotton! On the inside, Dr. Heather Jeffcoat, physical therapist and owner of Femina Physical Therapy, recommends drinking more water. “If your mouth feels dry, just imagine how your vagina feels!”

A few ways your vulvovaginal health can impact you if you ignore it:

Sexual dysfunction.One in every three people with vulvovaginal areas experience some form of sexual dysfunction. According to Dr. Jeffcoat, the pain you experience during sex can be a result of how much water you drink in a day or how often you perform kegels. Note: there are many other conditions that can contribute to pain with sex, or dyspareunia. While kegels are good for incontinence, Dr. Jeffcoat also recommends doing kegels to “learn to let go and lengthen” your pelvic floor muscles. Hyperactive pelvic floor muscles and vaginal dryness can make sex painful and less enjoyable.

Continue reading the full article here.

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      I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse.  I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing...

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      I started seeing Heather to treat my Interstitial Cystitis in November 2016. At this time, I was extremely miserable, in constant pain, and felt as though no one was listening or understood what was going on with my body. I have just finished my last appointment and I can honestly say that my life has completely changed for the better because of Heather and her team of PTs! I live almost completely pain free, and when I do have flare ups, I am able to treat them at home on my own. I am so...

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