SEXUAL HEALTH: Know Your YONI!

As women, we face many battles: Personal, financial, economic, and social, just to name a few. One of the battles many women face is the battle with ourselves. A battle with our YONI. Women don’t always understand how complex our body parts are, which can lead to disappointments, sadness, and embarrassments of our own body. We only get one yoni, so why not appreciate, learn about, and find ways to better take care of her and our wellbeing?

What is a yoni? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, yoni is a stylized representation of the female genitalia that in Hinduism presents a sign of generative power and that symbolizes the goddess, Shakti.


As powerful and amazing the yoni is, sometimes irregularities occur which is a normal change due to age, childbirth, menopause or menstruation. But there are other irregularities that require a more urgent response. Here are some common signs and symptoms for vaginal problems:

  1. Pain around intercourse (before, during or after)

  2. Pelvic floor relaxation

  3. Sexually transmitted infections

  4. Vaginitis


Banana and melon with a pink background mimicking sexual health


Let's dive deeper in to each one:


1. Pain around intercourse

"Dyspareunia" can result from vaginal dryness or involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal wall (vaginismus). Vaginal dryness can result from post menopause due to decrease in estrogen levels or side effects to some contraceptives. One thing that can help is lube. There are markets driven to make sexual intercourse a pleasure for both parties, however some yonis are very sensitive to branded lubes. Try safe household items, coconut oil or the jelly from aloe vera plant. Both are natural and lower risk of irritation.


2. Pelvic floor relaxation

You pelvic floor is a combination of ligaments, connective tissue, and various muscles responsible for keeping the uterus, bladder, and rectum in place. When the supportive structures weaken or relax due to age, childbirth or menopause, organs can fall (prolapse) towards the entrance of the vagina. This causes a bulge in the vagina or uncontrolled urine leakage with laughing, coughing, jumping, or sneezing.


One thing that can help is Kegels. To perform an accurate Kegel; first sit upright, pretend you have a marble beneath the opening of your vagina. Try to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles to pick up the marble. Refrain from using your glutes, stomach, or thighs. The motion is small. Once you get the motion, squeeze, and hold for 30 secs, do 15 reps, perform 3 sets a day to start off.

3. Sexually transmitted infections, STIs/STDs

Common signs include changes in discharge that looks like cottage cheese, unpleasant odors that are not corrected with cleansing area or sprays, and genital sores. If any of these signs occur, contact your primary physician, or go to your local health clinic. Prevention is key for STIs; condom use, regular medical and STI checkups for you and your partner(s), regular self-checks for unusual sores, cleaning toys after every use, vaccinations for HPV and hepatitis B, and medication like PrEP used to prevent contracting HIV.


4.Vaginitis

This is the inflammation of the vagina due to infection or change in the normal balance of vaginal yeast and bacteria. Signs and symptoms include vaginal discharge, odor, itching and pain. Common types of vaginitis include bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections and trichomoniasis. You must identify the cause of vaginitis before treating it properly. For some cases, medication or antifungal cream is appropriate to treat infection. If caused by non-infection sources, identify the cause of irritation, and avoid it, such as soaps, detergents, and underwear material. If caused by menopause, estrogen in the form of tablets or creams can assist.

The yoni doesn’t just bring pleasure to humans, both men and women. She is responsible for bringing every life we see into the world. If that’s not powerful, then I don’t know what is. So, if you have a yoni; appreciate her, listen to her, and take care of her. If you care for someone who has a yoni; support, encourage and uplift that person.

We are all You-NIfied by it!!!

Your Physical Therapist,


Dr. Mièka Bryan PT, DPT



References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/vagina/art-20046562

  2. https://www.insider.com/homemade-lube&inline-endstory-related-recommendations

  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises/art-20045283

  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354713



Disclaimer:


This information is generalized and intended for educational purposes only. Due to potential individual contraindications, please see your primary care provider before implementing any strategies in these posts

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