I am convinced my vagina should have the next lead role on “Game of Thrones,” because recently, it has done nothing but plot sadistic revenge and royally fuck me. Like many women have experienced, I woke up one day with some weird itching and burning in the land down under and knew that it was the beginning of the dreaded yeast infection. Before I high-tailed my ass to the doctor, I opted to try a three-day over-the-counter, injectable cream that made me feel like I was a toddler walking around with a load in my diaper, and since then, it’s been one problem after the next (all for which I’ve consulted professionals).
But through my struggles, I’ve found solace in the fact that my OB-GYN confirmed “these are common problems,” and “these things happen to everyone.” Every day, women everywhere are betrayed by their vaginas with “normal,” pain-in-the-ass issues that interrupt our sex lives, social lives, and just our ease of existence in general. YOU try discreetly walking up subway stairs with a vile’s worth of white, foamy cream slowly leaking into your panties. Here are seven common vag problems that, in my opinion, deserve their own support groups and pocket manuals.
1. The Yeast Infection: I love yeast when it’s in beer and bread, but not when it’s overpopulating my vagina. Sometimes it burns, as if you shoved hot sauce-covered fingers up there, and other times you find yourself escaping to dark corners and conference rooms just so you can itch your vulva in private. Don’t get me started on the discharge.
Things the manual should tell us: Don’t take baths, sleep without underwear, don’t have sex, do eat plain yogurt, wash your hands often and prepare for a mess.
2. The Bacterial Infection: There are several types of bacterial infections that can occur in the vagina, but the most common symptom is a smelly, cloudy discharge, which is really just lovely. This happens when there’s not enough “good” bacteria in your vagina, and too much “bad” bacteria.
Things the manual should tell us: Don’t douche, don’t have sex and do see a doctor so they can give you antibiotics.
3. The Urinary Tract Infection: Have you ever had someone shove a large needle up your peehole while you’re trying to urinate? No? Then you wouldn’t know what a Urinary Tract Infection feels like, and you should thank your lucky stars. If a UTI is bad, sometimes it even hurts to walk and move, but you might as well live on the toilet anyway, because you’ll have an urge to pee every four minutes even though no urine comes out.
Things the manual should tell us: Go to a doctor ASAP, drink as much cranberry juice and water as you can, take a warm bath and ALWAYS pee right after you have sex. Always.
4. The Ingrown/Infected Hair: Shaving and waxing your vagina is all fine and dandy until you have an ingrown hair on your labia the size of an acorn. There are glands down there that can easily get blocked and become infected with any interruption to the pores, including infected hair follicles. Once a hair becomes ingrown and/or infected, puss builds up inside and HURTS like hell.
Things the manual should tell us: Always use shaving gel, don’t try and squeeze/pop the area, soak in warm baths, pat the area with warm compresses, and only if the said hair is visible, try and pull the it out with tweezers.