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Vaginal Health

vagina health

Let’s Get Real About It!
So…sit a spell and let’s get real about what’s going on with vaginal health. I know, it’s a sensitive matter, can be slightly uncomfortable for some or even wildly embarrassing for others. HOWEVER, I promised a group of friends that I’d broach the subject, so, ready or not, here we go.

Dare I say it?
A woman’s vagina is a peculiar place. On one hand, each vagina is unique in her shape, appearance and odor, because that’s the way God designed her.  On the other hand, she is very similar to all the others, in that she is subject to imbalances, due to hormones, medicines, sexual contact and even diet. Therefore, it is critical to your vaginal health that you really know her, yes HER, your own vagina. You should know what she looks like! I mean get one of those big handheld mirrors that you use to look at the back of your hair to make sure it’s cute, and get in some good lighting and take a good look at her. Look in the outer folds, inner folds, down through the hair (if you have any) to the skin. You’re looking to see if there are any bumps, lesions, unusual discharge and **GASP** checking to see if there is a foul odor.  Upon normal inspection, your vagina should be free of any bumps, lesions, rashes, sores, or oddly shaped moles and free of a foul odor. Notice I said foul odor, not free of odor period. Every woman’s vagina has an odor that is unique to her when her body is in perfect hormonal balance & free of disease. You want to know your normal (baseline) odor, so take notice of it.

If you happen to discover a bump, lesion, rash, sore, oddly shaped mole, foul odor, unusual discharge, itching, burning, unexpected bleeding, pain, or any thing else that just doesn’t seem or feel right, MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR. It can be your primary care doctor or an OB/GYN, if you have one. Any and all of the aforementioned symptoms should be evaluated by a licensed medical professional. There are a number of disease states that can be present in YOUR body if any of those symptoms are present. Do your vagina a favor & be good to her, get her checked! You both deserve good health and wellness.

Now that we’ve established that, let’s get to those odor causing buggers that have left someone you know, or even you {clutches pearls and faints} smelling not quite right. Good ole bacterial vaginosis (formerly called Gardnerella), and Trichimonas are notorious for causing a “fishy smell.” The good news is that a fishy odor is usually easily treated BY YOUR DOCTOR. It WILL NOT wash away with soap and water or with douching. Your Doctor can explain to you the cause of the fishy odor by collecting a few swabs from your vagina during a pelvic exam (these are typically pain free, unless you’re having a Pap or biopsy of some sort). Your Doctor will also be able to educate you on whether or not it is a STD. It’s important to note that not all odors and symptoms in your vagina are caused by an STD. You MUST discuss it with your Doctor and get a clear understanding of your diagnosis and how you developed the condition.

Why belabor the point?
For the sake of brevity, I’m going to share a few stats with you on sexually transmitted diseases that have no known cure. Did you know:

  • 1 in 5 women, age 14 to 49 has herpes (HSV).
  • 50% of all sexually active men & women will have HPV (human papillomavirus) at some point in their life.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia can result in infertility if left untreated.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people infected with an STD are 2-5 times more likely to become infected with HIV because of increased susceptibility, due to breaks in the skin and/or increased concentrations of infection fighting cells in vaginal secretions that the HIV virus targets.

Get to the point, already!
The take home message is to know your vagina in all of her magnificent splendor and be in tune with her odor and appearance. For more information on vaginal health, visit For more details on STD’s, visit the CDC website .

Subscribe to The Empowered Mocha Patient TODAY! Soon to be featuring the “Faces of” STD’s, true stories of mocha patients living with or who have been exposed and treated for STD’s such as herpes, HPV, Chlamydia and more.


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