For two-billion women and girls worldwide, periods are a monthly reality. And yet, society’s still awkwardly talking about vaginas. We see it from the way girls sugarcoat it when talking to the opposite sex and even in marketing. Thankfully, Libresse is all about owning the V-zone and crushing period taboos. A few years ago Libresse kicked off Vagina Varsity – a YouTube series all about vaginal education and a place to discuss everything vulva- and period-related.
‘Our homes, schools and social spaces are void of vital and factual conversations, and the only way to break these taboos and debunk myths is by educating ourselves,’ says Libresse brand manager Mpho Nojiwa.
Libresse is coming to your campus!
Are you ready to ditch the slang already? No more ‘fanny’, ‘va-jay-jay’ or ‘cookie’! COSMO and Libresse were at WITS during Orientation Week and we’ll be at UCT on the 20th of February to educate young females (and guys) about menstrual health. We’re calling on everyone to celebrate every woman’s freedom to care for her vagina the way she chooses!
‘We must engage girls in health education to demystify menstrual-related myths and break down societal taboos,’ says Nojiwa. So join us at the exciting activation for honest conversations with a fierce COSMO presence – there are prizes up for grabs and you’re gonna want to take a selfie at the gorgeous space we’re creating!
Here’s where you can find us on campus:
- UCT Jammie Plaza on 20 February 2020 (10am – 2pm)
These are some questions and thoughts many girls have had about their vagina at least once
To be straight with you, the vagina isn’t even what you think it is. Anatomically, the vagina is the elastic, muscular canal inside you that essentially connects your uterus to what you see outside. So in reality, you can’t even see your vagina.
1. What can I do to make my vagina look better?
What you see on the outside is your vulva, not your vagina. And in terms of looks? Normal and abnormal don’t exist – every vulva and vagina is unique, just like you.
2. Help, my period flow seems heavy!
No period flow is ever the same, but if you have to change your sanitary products frequently, and your bleeding is causing anaemia (depleted iron levels), tiredness or nausea, then you should contact your doctor. There are meds you can take, but it’s better to get things checked out first.
3. Is there such a thing as a ‘normal’ labia?
These are the ‘lips’, known as the labia minora and labia majora, which can come in many different shapes, sizes and colours. Your lady bits are unique to you and whatever you have is ‘normal’, babes!
4. Is constant stomach pain during my period normal?
Discomfort during your period is expected and it has to do with contractions of the uterus. Period pains vary from person to person, and you may have less pain as you get older. Although, it’s important not to ignore extreme period pain, which could be a sign of endometriosis. This affects an estimated one in 10 women, and occurs when your womb’s lining doesn’t exit your body like it should do every month, and it gets displaced in other areas like your Fallopian tubes or along your pelvis. Did you know? Doctors confirmed that period pain can be as painful as a heart attack!
5. Can stress delay my period?
Physical and mental stress can affect your flow. Your period can suddenly become irregular from time to time, and you might even miss one. Usually, there’s nothing to worry about, but if it persists for too long, you should reach out to your doctor.
6. Is it safe to have sex while on your period?
There’s still a common misconception that period blood is ‘dirty’, but it’s not. It’s just regular ol’ blood and tissue that your body doesn’t need anymore – also, it won’t negatively affect your partner.
7. Is a condom really necessary during period sex?
It’s 100% needed! You’re still able to contract or pass on STDs and HIV. Although the chance of getting pregnant is slim, it’s not impossible. Sperm can survive in your body for a few days and if you start ovulating early enough, you could get pregnant.
8. Vagina odour: normal or nah?
Vaginas are meant to have their own scent, which can be influenced by what you eat, sweating from exercise and even scented condoms or lube. Some women experience a metallic scent when on their period, and that’s just because of the uterine lining shedding from your body. You should call your doctor if you experience strong scents that really bother you, extreme lower abdominal pain, pain when you pee and unusual discharge (colour and texture).
9. What’s the best way to care for your vulva?
Your vulva doesn’t need special care or treatments. Actually, using products like scented soap can irritate your skin. Just wash it regularly with plain water – that’s it.
10. I’m pretty sure I gained weight while on my period, is this possible?
Period-related weight gain is so real, and it’s often influenced by hormonal fluctuations, PMS cravings, water retention, and not maintaining workouts due to feeling uncomfortable or experiencing cramps.
This post is sponsored by Libresse.
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