What makes a vagina normal?

The vagina is a muscular vault with a mucus surface, similar to the inside of your mouth, an amazing organ of sex and reproduction.  A “normal vagina” is pink, plump & moist with ridges along the surface called rugae, with muscle tone to hold up the bladder and rectum.

The opening of the vagina can have little tag remnants of the hymen. Aging and lower estrogen make the rugae smoother. Stretching during child birth can weaken the muscle tone. Bulging of the muscle wall, called cystocele or rectocele, and can be considered a variation of normal if mild.

The vagina has a fascinating ecosystem of organisms supported by hormones and secretions, the lactobacilli and white blood cells in the secretions are intended to provide defense against infections and fuel the sperm on its path to reach an egg.

Normal vaginal discharge is slippery like egg white. The fluid can be a bit more abundant at ovulation mid cycle, or pastier if on birth control pills, and dryer just before menstruation. Ideal vaginal pH is about 3.8-4.2, which you can now buy test kits to see on your own at drug stores!

A healthy normal vagina is without lesions, excess discharge, inflammation or foul odor. Excess milky white discharge & fishy smell is not normal, can occur if with abundance of odor causing bacteria or a protozoan infection – both require a prescription antibiotic. Curdy discharge, and or itching/burning can be a sign of yeast infection. Other sexually transmitted infections can cause discomfort or altered discharge, such as herpes.

Tips to keep the vagina ‘normal’:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet 
  • Take Probiotics daily
  • Take Essential fatty acids daily
  • Stay well hydrated drinking water thru the day
  • Wipe front to back
  • No douching 
  • Promote hormone balance in perimenopause and menopause. 
  • Do Kegel exercises, Yoga and Pilates  
  • Use Condoms
  • Avoid soaps, deodorants & harsh chemicals

Any discomfort or changes in noticed in the vagina, or different discharge should be evaluated by a GYN practitioner. Use of condoms prevents contact to semen and sexually transmitted infections- safe sex is always smart!

The Vagina is your temple, understand it and honor it! It is for mutual sexual pleasure as well as a reproduction.  You can energize your vagina working on your “root chakra” in Yoga & Pilates- so be safe and have fun! 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are many vaginal conditions that require a doctor's care. In this video, Dr. Oz discusses the vagina and what may or may not be normal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.