Women's Health
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13 Embarrassing Vagina Questions You’re Too Afraid to Ask

Yes, you can get pregnant on your period.

1 / 14

By Olivia DeLong

Why does my vagina itch during my period? Why do I have the urge to pee during sex?

If you’ve been holding back questions like these from your OBGYN, stop. There’s no shame in getting to know your body. That being said, we know it might feel awkward to ask certain questions out loud.

OBGYN Sangeeta Sinha, MD, of StoneSprings Hospital Center in Dulles, Virginia, answers some of your blush-worthy vagina questions. Read on to get the scoop.

“Can I get pregnant on my period?”

2 / 14 “Can I get pregnant on my period?”

The chances of getting pregnant on your period are low because you’re typically a few days away from ovulation. Pregnancy occurs when you have an egg that can be fertilized, says Dr. Sinha, so technically, on the first few days of your period, the changes of getting pregnant are very, very low because there’s no egg to be fertilized.

“Sometimes, women ovulate at random times during their cycle or have a shorter cycle, so if you ovulate really soon after your cycle is over, it might be possible.”

In short: If you have a regular cycle of about 28 days, it’s very unlikely. If you have a short cycle or ovulate at random times, it is theoretically possible.

“Why do I have acne around my vaginal area?”

3 / 14 “Why do I have acne around my vaginal area?”

The skin around the vagina can become humid and moist—an environment where bacteria thrives, says Sinha. Sweat can get trapped in your groin area and then bacteria can get under the skin or into your pubic hair follicles and cause an infection known as folliculitis. The infection can cause redness, inflammation, tenderness, bumps, blisters or pimples.

Prevent vaginal acne by keeping your vagina dry and clean; wearing cotton underwear will help. Tight clothing and underwear, especially those made of silk and nylon make it hard for your vagina to breathe. When shaving, always use a new (not dull) razor blade, shaving cream and shave in the direction your hair grows.

If you do see bumps or pimples down there, see your gynecologist just to be sure it’s not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like human papillomavirus (genital warts) or herpes. If you do break out with vaginal acne or have folliculitis, your gynecologist may prescribe antibiotics to help clear it up.

“Is it normal to feel like I have to pee during sex?”

4 / 14 “Is it normal to feel like I have to pee during sex?”

It’s normal and actually a good thing to feel like you have to pee during sex. The sensation of having to urinate means the clitoris or G spot is being stimulated and you’re on your way to orgasm, Sinha says.

You may feel pressure around your bladder from the penis, too, and that can make you feel like you have to go. “If you can get past the feeling, you’ll realize it’s actually just the stimulation coming from sexual activity and you really don’t have to urinate.”  

If you want to avoid this sensation, you and your partner can also try different sexual positions to find what’s comfortable for you both. 

“Is it supposed to smell down there?”

5 / 14 “Is it supposed to smell down there?”

Your vagina and its discharge should have a smell, but it shouldn’t be a bad smell and you shouldn’t be able to smell it from a distance.

“Vaginal discharge and smells are dependent upon hormonal changes, mood changes, hygiene habits, sexual activity, physical activity and clothing,” says Sinha. There’s only anecdotal evidence that diet affects how your vagina or discharge smells, she adds.

If you’re sweating or you’ve recently had sex, you may notice an odor, but it’s normally nothing to worry about. However, if you experience odor plus itching, burning or irritation, it might be a treatable vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis or the STI trichomoniasis.

Keep your vagina smelling normal by cleaning it regularly with unscented soap and water. And don’t douche—that’ll just remove the healthy bacteria your body needs to naturally clean your vagina.

“Why do dogs like licking and stealing our underwear?”

6 / 14 “Why do dogs like licking and stealing our underwear?”

If your dog seems to head for your underwear as soon as you strip them off, it may be because your vaginal discharge is a bit alkaline, and may have a salty or fishy smell. That fishy smell may attract them to it, says Sinha. “If discharge is left on your underwear or clothes, after a while it may start to smell a little fishy.”

Dogs are typically drawn to the scents of their owners, so your underwear, just like your other pieces of clothing, may help them feel closer to you. Another likely explanation—they’re just trying to get your attention! 

“Will my vagina ever be the same after having a child?”

7 / 14 “Will my vagina ever be the same after having a child?”

After a vaginal delivery, your vagina should return to normal after about 6 weeks. If you had major tears in your vaginal opening, it could take 8 to 12 weeks to return to its regular size.

“If you did have some tearing during birth and your vagina is larger and you’re not having much enjoyment during sex, surgeons can perform vaginoplasty to reconstruct the vagina,” she adds. Most of the time, surgery is not necessary and your body will adjust back on its own. Not all doctors agree that vaginal rejuvenation surgeries are helpful, but some research has found that it can help sexual satisfaction.

“How can I prevent razor burn or little cuts and nicks?”

8 / 14 “How can I prevent razor burn or little cuts and nicks?”

Waxing your area down there can be painful, so shaving may be a more comfortable and accessible alternative. Sinha says it’s perfectly safe to shave your pubic hair as long as you’re using a new razor blade, shaving in the direction your hair is growing and you’re not sharing your razor with anyone.

Before you shave, be sure to wash your vaginal area with a mild soap and water; doing so will remove bacteria and help prevent infection. If you’re razor becomes rusty, replace it. 

"Will I get a UTI if I don’t pee after sex?”

9 / 14 "Will I get a UTI if I don’t pee after sex?”

You’ve probably heard that if you don’t pee after sex you can contract urinary tract infections (UTIs). This is sort-of true.

During intercourse, there’s increased vaginal discharge and handling of that area, which could introduce bacteria into the urethra and bladder, says Sinha. Peeing after sex helps flush out bacteria before it can get to your bladder. 

You don’t have to jump up immediately after sex to go pee, but you should go before and after sex, Sinha says. If you’re prone to getting UTIs, you should definitely adopt these habits. You and your partner can prevent UTIs by practicing good hygiene habits. “Bacteria from the colon can also spread during sex and cause urinary tract infections,” says Sinha. Prevent those bacteria from spreading by wiping front to back after using the bathroom.

“What is squirting and why do some women squirt during sex?”

10 / 14 “What is squirting and why do some women squirt during sex?”

Think of female squirting just as you would a man’s ejaculation, Sinha says. “All of the female organs around the reproductive area are lined with glands and cells that secrete fluid on a regular basis.” After having an orgasm or sexual intercourse, there could be a collection of fluid that needs to come out, and that is what causes fluid to squirt from your vagina.

There’s not much you can do to prevent this from occurring since it’s a completely normal part of sex. “The amount of fluid that is secreted from that area depends on how much discharge and stimulation has happened during sex,” says Sinha. Another probable source of the squirting could be urine.

“Do I need to do Kegels?”

11 / 14 “Do I need to do Kegels?”

Kegel exercises are performed by contracting and releasing the same muscles you use to hold in your pee. Kegels are used to tighten up your pelvic muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum, says Sinha.

Some reasons your pelvic muscles lose strength include: vaginal delivery, excess weight, chronic coughing as well as excessive straining due to constipation. If you experience urinary incontinence, or the inability to hold in your urine, Kegels can help. Sinha recommends Kegel exercises to most women who have vaginal deliveries or incontinence. Simply squeeze the muscles you typically use to hold in urine for 10 seconds then release. Try doing 50 contractions a day.

Bottom line: It can’t hurt to do Kegels, especially since you can essentially do them anywhere, says Sinha.

“What is a queef is and why does it happen?”

12 / 14 “What is a queef is and why does it happen?”

Vaginal flatulence, otherwise known as a queef, sounds similar to passing gas, but comes from your vagina. It can be embarrassing, especially if you’re in the middle of having sex or exercising in public.

“A queef occurs when air is trapped in the vagina and then comes out,” says Sinha. It commonly happens during sex since there are lot of changes happening with vaginal circulation, she adds. There is an increase in blood flow, causing your vagina to expand and then return to its normal size.

Research on vaginal flatulence is sparse, but one study found that vaginal childbirth, low body mass index and young age may increase your risk of vaginal flatulence. Experts say that most queefing studies are based solely on personal reports rather than research.

There isn’t much you can do to prevent queefing. Some experts say Kegel exercises and slower thrusting during sex may help prevent them. You can also avoid sexual positions that require you to be upside down or bent over as these positions can cause air to become trapped. But really, there’s no need to worry about queefing.

“Why does my vagina itch during my period?”

13 / 14 “Why does my vagina itch during my period?”

During your period your thickened uterine lining sheds, decreasing your levels of hormones such as estrogen. “Your vaginal skin becomes thinner and that can cause itchiness and dryness.” Hormonal changes can also cause your levels of Lactobacilli, or good vaginal bacteria, to fluctuate. Normally, your bacteria and acidity levels are stable and your vagina can protect itself against harmful bacteria and yeast. When your levels are unstable, the bad bacteria and yeast can grow, causing irritation.

If the itching is uncomfortable, over-the-counter creams can provide relief. If the itching doesn’t go away after your period, see your gynecologist so they can test for other infections. 

“Can a tampon really get lost in there?”

14 / 14 “Can a tampon really get lost in there?”

If you forget to change your tampon and put another one in, or you forget to take a tampon out before sex, it may get pushed to the back wall of the vagina, says Sinha. But it’s not possible for it to actually get lost in the body because your cervix opening is too small for it to pass through. 

If you leave a tampon in for hours upon hours, you may have discharge that smells fishy. That could mean you have bacterial vaginosis, an infection that occurs when more harmful bacteria than good, is in your vagina.

It’s good practice to change your tampon at least every four to eight hours, or more if your bleeding is heavy. If you think a tampon is lodged in your vagina and you’re unable to get it out, see your gyno.

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