Despite its importance, the vulva is a neglected body part. In a clinical wasteland between the pubic hair and the vagina, the vulva performs a number of functions — and it needs TLC.
A sensitive area
The vulva has more nerve fibers in a relatively small region than all the nerves found on the back of the torso. Its nerves are much more sensitive and respond to numerous stimuli, such as temperature changes, pressure, and swelling. Like with most things, its heightened sensitivity has pros and cons.
When various stimuli come together just right, you may experience sexual arousal and increased pleasure. Alternatively, when nerves sense something isn’t quite right, the first sign is likely to be a local feeling of discomfort — a warning sign — followed by irritation, like an itch you just want to scratch before a crescendo to pain.
As medical interest awakens below the pubic hair line, healthcare experts have found a variety of medical causes for vulvar pain. While most of the causes are treatable, very few treatments actually stop the pain before it takes hold.
Vaginal problems are nothing new, they are just better understood now. Though women are more open to discussing their issues, they still largely ignore the vulva.
Most of the day, it is enclosed in a sheath of fabric designed to absorb moisture from the area. G-strings are the worst for vulvar health, because they rub directly on the vulva. Tight underpants, leggings, and jeans are close seconds.
But the vulva despises being dry and prefers to be well moisturized. Just like our eyes, our noses, and our lips, it’s at an important junction between the external world and inner mucosal surfaces. You apply a balm when your lips are chapped and eye drops for dry eyes. Similarly, the best way to treat the vulva is to treat prevent keep it moisturized.
A healthy vulva
Taking care of your vulva should be an essential part of your daily routine. It is never too early to start: Vaginal dryness affects women of all ages. One study suggests that as many as one in 15 women suffer from vulvar issues by the age of 40. In addition to wearing G-strings, tight underwear, and absorbent fabric, most of these women have never tried anything to moisturize their vulvas. Instead, they focus on lubricating the area for sex.
But this isn’t necessarily about sex. It’s about health — and finding the right moisturizer is essential.
FemmePharma’s Mia Vita vulvar moisturizer provides relief from vaginal dryness, itching, burning, and other discomfort without the use of hormones. It’s a nonprescription gel that hydrates and protects delicate skin with ingredients naturally found in our bodies, such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. With regular use, it can make a big difference.
How youthful is your vagina? Try these at-home tests to find out.