Body-shame is common in our society. We grow up with the idea that we have private or intimate areas, so when questions arise about those body parts, we're too modest or embarrassed to ask them.
Intimacy is a huge part of marriage, and you shouldn't feel uncomfortable if you have questions about what's going on. It's good to be informed - not only to achieve a healthy relationship, but to keep your body healthy.
For many women, sex is pleasurable. But for others, it can be a point of tension or frustration due to different physical and psychological factors.
No woman should have to wonder about her body, so we've compiled a list of questions and answers that many woman have, but have never asked. If you keep reading, you might find the answers you've been longing to know:
1. How do I avoid a urinary tract infection?
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common in women, and are often the focus of a visit to the gynecologist. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, signs of a UTI include "a strong urge to urinate that cannot be delayed ... As urine flows, a sharp pain or burning ... is felt in the urethra. The urge to urinate then returns minutes later." Other symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen, sides or back.
Specialists say that urinating before and after sexual intercourse can prevent this type of infection. Another way to prevent a UTI is to drink unsweetened cranberry juice or take cranberry pills.
2. Why is my intimate area so dry?
Good lubrication is crucial for good sex, so vaginal dryness can cause a lot of pain and frustration. There are many different reasons this happens, but according to Dr. Anna Cabeca, "The biggest factor for most women ... is the natural decline of hormone levels as we age, which result in physical changes to our feminine health."
Dr. Cabeca suggests using lubricant during intercourse, learning about your body, taking probiotics and doing kegel exercises to help with the dryness.
3. Why am I never in the mood?
There are so many reasons your libido might be low. The Clinic Sofia team of gynecologists explains, "Often a woman's physical health, mental well-being, experiences, lifestyle and current relationship affect her libido."
According to Dr. Ashley Hill, it's important that your partner knows how to satisfy your sexual needs. Communication is so important, and if you're experiencing a lower sex drive, you might need more foreplay or you might just need to show your partner what you want.
4. How can I get rid of bad smells?
Society makes us think that the intimate area should always smell fresh and clean. People even sell products promising to get rid of any bad odor. But, those products are often the cause of the bad smells.
Instead of using these products, Dr. Justine Shuey suggests, "If you're self-conscious about your odor, try drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting back on alcohol." But, you should see your doctor if the scent suddenly changes, starts producing discharge or gives off a fishy odor.
5. Is it sanitary to have sex on my period?
According to specialists, it's totally OK to have sex during your period. It is important, however, to practice safe sex because you're more prone to infections during this time. But, as long as you and your husband are OK with it, you're good to go. In fact, some women have an increased libido during this time, and sex can relieve cramps.
Always be sure to consult a professional about your questions and concerns, and don't be embarrassed. They have studied the human body so they can help us. What other questions do you have?
This article was adapted and translated from the original "Una ginecóloga responde a las 7 preguntas sexuales (que TODAS tenemos) que siempre quisiste saber y nunca lo hiciste por pudor" which was originally published on familias.com.