Fun Fact featuring Vaginas: An educational tidbit for your hump day Wednesday by Nadia Al-Khalifah

(BV) Bacteria Vaginosis, better known to the ignorant as, “dude her poon smelt fishy,” and ,”I’ve had to change my underwear 4 times today…my discharge is funky!”

"What is BV?" 

An overgrowth of bacteria normally presented in the vagina. It is one of the most common vagina infections for women ages 15-44. It is commonly known to cause a strong “fishy” odor and a dark, gravy-like discharge.

“Wait, Vaginas have bacteria in them? Yuck!”

Yup! They do! The vagina is a complex eco system that can easily be disturbed with foreign bacteria as well as using synthetic materials.

“So you’re saying, a girl who gets it is dirty and letting foreign bacteria in her hoohah?”

No! And do yourself a favor and get that thought out of your head. BV does not equate to bad hygienic practices.

“Then how can a girl get it?”

Numerous ways. Using synthetic fragranced products in or around her vagina.

“Well…she has to make it smell good, no?”

It naturally smells good! You don’t need to smell like a Starbucks Pumpkin Frapp down there! It is not natural!

“How else can she get BV?”

Not properly cleaning your hands before inserting a tampon or menstrual cup, not properly cleaning your sex toys, sleeping with new partners.

“Wait—you’re telling me that BV is a sexually transmitted infection?!?!”

NO! No, I am not. It is not. It CAN be activated during sex with new partners when having unprotected sex because the bacteria from their genitals and sexual fluids may cause a change in the eco system. Some individuals can get reoccurring BV even while sleeping with their same partner.

“So why don’t you just use some Vagisil and make it clean again?”

Majority of commercial vaginal cleansing products contain ingredients that will alter the vaginas sensitive eco-system and make matters worse. If the vagina is smelling different than usual, it is your vagina telling you that something is wrong. Don’t try and cover it up with fragrances or fragrances products.

“Well—then how the hell can you clean your vagina?” You don’t. The vagina is an amazing self-cleaning system that does the work itself. If anything, you can use apple cider vinegar diluted in a bath of warm water.

“How can you cure BV?”

BV often comes and goes. There are numerous home remedies to rid it: frozen yogurt inserts, tea tree inserts, apple cider vinegar baths, eating a healthy diet, probiotics, and if those don’t work you can get antibiotics from the doctor.

“So all of those will cure it?”

Each vagina is individually complex so one thing that may work for Mary may not work for Sue and women often get it more than once.

“How can I or my vagina owning friends prevent BV?”

Safe sex, eating a healthy diet, taking daily probiotics, refrain from using synthetic fragrances down below or on your sex toys, not cleaning the inside of the vagina but only the external, viewing your discharge on a daily basis to watch out for different scents and colors, and being educated!

“Wow, vaginas are so weird.”

Nah, not weird, just incredibly complex and our education system neglects to teach young girls and boys about it in depth because we are in Texas and vagina’s are the devil. And sex? What is the sex? I’ve only been educated on absenence.

This has been an educative tidbit on BV with Nadia Al-Khalifah

Nadia is an author and visual artist in Houston, Texas. She is a co-creator of Tulips the Zine and an all around dope chick.