Why don’t we talk about our vaginas? Seriously? It’s like people talk about penises all the time and that’s ok, but the minute you start talking ‘vag’, or discussing discharge, or asking questions, everyone gets a little weird about things.
What is it about vaginas that’s so threatening?
Something we at GATF realised recently is that so many of us did a lot of learning about ourselves and our bodies by reading ‘tear-open’ sections in magazines, or through trial and error as we grew up. And honestly, trial and error sucks.
Things to do with your lady parts are not things you want to mess around with. Whether it’s how you give it a haircut, or what should or should not come out of it — we need to get this vagina stuff right from the start.
And really, our vaginas aren’t the end of it. There are heaps of things that happen to us as girls that take us by surprise or we just don’t see coming. We spend half our lives wondering if we’re normal, if we smell right, when our period will come, what’s going on with our boobs… when we could just talk about it more and not feel so on edge!
Downstairs Dairy is our solution to this problem. It’s a place where we want you to get stuck into some serious vag convo. We want you to send us all your questions, even the ones you think are dumb, and we’ll answer them for you! Then, we’ll open up the comments section and let you go to town on the issue — sharing your own experiences and advice — so everyone gets over this ‘no talking about vagina’ rule. Sound good? Let’s do it!
To kick off, we’re going to start by talking smelly vaginas… because… why not?
The way we smell downstairs is something a lot of us worry about — partly because of the dumb movies that make fun of the ‘fishy’ girl (which is just stupid!) and partly because of boys who talk about stuff they have no idea about.
Sometimes our biggest hassles actually comes from other people who are worried — girls who use sarcasm and teasing as a way to try and feel out some answers to questions they are too scared to ask.
The honest truth is, vaginas are not meant to smell like strawberries. Your vagina is going to have a scent. There, we said it. It has an fragrance. Everyone’s does. It smells because it’s a part of your body and everything has a bit of an odour.
Think about it. Clean or dirty, your hair still has a scent. Sniff closely, even if you don’t wear soap or perfume, your skin has its own unique fragrance. Your feet, your armpits, your butt, the back of your knees — every part of you has a scent, because you are a living and breathing being.
Your vagina has a scent!
There is, however, a difference between a scent and a smell, a fragrance and a stank, and interestingly, your vagina may go from one to the next simply because of the food you are eating or the liquids you are drinking.
Now, this isn’t a public service announcement to panic all of you and get you to suddenly give up your morning coffee or avoid fizzy drinks. Sometimes the ‘smell’ doesn’t mean anything bad at all, it just changes like your poo might, when your diet is different.
So, what are some of the foods and drinks that might change your smell ‘down there’?
- Beer (and other alcohol)
Having an alcoholic bevy can have an effect on the smell of your cha cha. Alcohol, as you may know, dehydrates the body — that’s part of why we feel oh so hung over the day after we have a drink or two. When your body is drying out, so is your hoo-hoo, and when it gets dry, its odour can change as an indicator that you need to drink some more water.
Beer, specifically, is wonderfully yeasty — which is something you don’t want your vagina to be. SO, when you drink beer, your downstairs can become a little less fresh and flowery smelling than usual.
Mmmmmm-lollies! For a lot of us, the old 3pm chocolate bar is what gets us through the afternoon. The thought of going home *munch* and studying even more *crunch* and dealing with our little sisters *nibble* can be all too much if we don’t have a handy chocky bar or two to get us through. But like beer, a diet high in sugar can also lead to a yeasty smelling Lady V.
Eating lots and lots of sugar enables Candida Yeast in your belly to take over the good bacteria, and that can result in yeast infections at vagina-level. Though they can be fairly easily treated, yeast infections can be nasty, itchy and kind of smelly, so practicing a healthy, balanced diet is a good way to avoid them.
- Garlic and onion
You know when you go out and have a big curry, or mum or dad cooks something at home that stinks the whole house out with garlic or onion? Know how it tastes beyond amazing and your mouth rejoices, but God-help anyone who comes close enough to smell your breath after you’ve finished?
That food doesn’t just affect your breath up the top of your body… if you know what we mean.
Strong smelling foods can reportedly have an effect on how you smell downstairs. Again, it’s a bit like your poop and your breath; you can’t really expect to put something into your body that has a bit of stink to it and not expect it to come back out — pretty much everywhere. Some people seem to hold onto smells from food (or smoking) longer than others, but lots of water is the key to flushing out your system!
This foody fragrance is actually not one of the bad ones. While it may produce the strongest result in your upstairs, the smell should be subtle downstairs and you know you have nothing to worry about because it straight up just relates eating something that’s a bit on the nose.
- Gimme a big fat steak!
While there are a lot of people out there now who are travelling the vegetarian and vegan path, there are still many who love a big, red, juicy steak once a week — and that’s completely cool, everyone can make their own choices.
The effect of red meat on your odour ‘down there’ should be minimal and brief, but is mainly caused by the fact that eating it can make you sweat a little more. The slight whiff of smell you think you’re getting from your vajayjay after eating some roast beef, is actually more than likely the sweat around there, not your vagina itself.
How can you minimise smell down there?
It all comes back to hydration and a healthy diet. This doesn’t mean giving up a whole lot of foods and fearing every time you wrap your giggle gear around something delicious, it simply means everything in moderation!
Drinking lots of water is a great way to flush out toxins and can even help a little with yeast infections. Like dealing with conditions such as incontinence and bladder leakage, keeping your water up, and those sugary drinks to a minimum, will keep your body full of H2O and feeling (and smelling) fabulous!