A newly wed asked sex expert, Funmi Akngbade , about an issue bothering him. He revealed that he really enjoyed his honeymoon with his wife but he is concerned about whether the vagina with pack up with age. “If anything goes wrong with my wife’s vagina, I may not be able to cope in the marriage. Our sexual experience is just so thrilling; I don’t want anything to go wrong. Sex is not only tasty but delicious and even if it is a dream, I don’t want to wake up”, he added.
“A newly wed husband sent me a ‘God bless you’ greeting while still in his honeymoon. He and his wife were for months my students at the coaching programme for intending couples (this is a free coaching scheme for intending couples organised to help train amateur singles for better sex in marriage) before their marriage.
According to him, he had such a speechless, wonderful swell time during his honeymoon. In one word, sex was lovely. Then, his next statement surprised me, ‘Madam, does vagina ever stop working; does it ever pack up? If it does, I am finished.’
Finished? But what could have warranted such a statement, I asked. He replied thus, “If anything goes wrong with my wife’s vagina, I may not be able to cope in the marriage. Our sexual experience is just so thrilling; I don’t want anything to go wrong. Sex is not only tasty but delicious and even if it is a dream, I don’t want to wake up.”
For the vagina to function perfectly, couples must understand that the normal vagina is a self-cleaning organ. It discharges which is a normal function of that process. This ensures that the vagina is in the right condition. Most women have some amount of clear or milky odourless discharge that will be noticeable on their underwear during their entire lifetime but some women produce more discharge than others. The colour and thickness of the discharge changes with a woman’s monthly cycle. For instance, it is thicker after ovulation, when breastfeeding and when a woman is sexually excited. Vaginal discharge is generally heavier when ladies are younger and it becomes less as they age. In fact, many women will have dryness problems as they grow older, particularly during menopause. During pregnancy, vaginal discharge often increases.
For the vagina to be serviceable at all times, it is advisable to keep it from unbalanced environment and keep the vagina area clean and dry. This lessens the onset of infections. For instance, after using the toilet, wipe from front to back; never back to front. Wiping from back to front can bring bacteria from the anus into the vagina and urethra which can cause infection. Wear cotton panties during the day as this allows air to freely get to the vagina area. Avoid wearing tight pants for a long period especially because we are in the tropical region. Make sure that the laundry detergents are not the types that easily irritate the genital areas. Long period of soaking in the bathtub may change the environment of the vagina. Instead, shower-bathe often. It is better to avoid feminine hygiene sprays, coloured or perfumed toilet paper and deodorant pads. If you notice any discharge that appears unusual in colour or smelly, it is advisable to see your doctor, because vaginal health affects more than just the couple’s sex life. It is an important part of a woman’s overall health. Vaginal problems can affect fertility, desire for sex and ability to reach orgasm. It can also affect other areas of marriage and impacts a wife’s self-confidence.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of vaginal problems and what you can do to protect against such is important. The vagina is a closed muscular canal that extends from the vulva — the outside of the female genital area — to the neck of the uterus (cervix). Various factors can affect it. For instance, forceful sex or an injury to the pelvic area can result in vaginal trauma. Diabetes can cause vaginal dryness and prolonged use of antibiotics does increase the risk of a vaginal yeast infection. Certain antihistamines can cause vaginal dryness. Some birth control products can cause vaginal irritation.
Some conditions that might affect the vagina are persistent or recurrent genital pain just before, during or after sex (dyspareunia). Pain during penetration might be caused by involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal wall.
An infection or change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria can cause inflammation of the vagina such as discharge, odour, itching and pain. Common types yeast infections, which are usually caused by a naturally occurring fungus called Candida albicans; and trichomoniasis, which is caused by a parasite is commonly transmitted by sex. Sometimes when the supporting ligaments and connective tissues that hold the uterus in place become weak, the uterus, bladder or rectum might slip down into the vagina (uterine prolapse). As a result, the vagina also is pulled down.
It is very important to be managed by a well-trained midwife during normal vaginal delivery as vaginal tears are relatively common during childbirth. In some cases, an episiotomy which is an incision made in the tissue between the vaginal opening and anus during childbirth may be needed, and when not well handled, such vaginal delivery can decrease the muscle tone of the vagina. This can affect the sexual function of the vagina. Anxiety and depression can contribute to a low level of arousal and result in discomfort or pain during sex. Trauma — such as sexual abuse or an initial painful sexual experience — also can lead to pain associated with sex.
Changes in a woman’s hormone levels can affect the vagina. For example, estrogen production declines after menopause, after childbirth and during breast-feeding. Loss of estrogen can cause the vaginal lining to thin (vaginal atrophy) — making sex painful. The vagina loses elasticity after menopause; that is the end of menstruation and fertility.
So when a wife or husband notices the following, it is good to seek for help: a change in the colour, odour or amount of vaginal discharge — especially when accompanied by a fever, vaginal redness, itching or irritation, vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause, a mass or bulge in the vagina, a sensation of pressure or heaviness in the vagina”.
Photo Courtesy: Blackpeoplemeeet