Douching

Douching is the practice of flushing out the inside of the vagina with water or a solution that consists of water mixed with vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. Often times the mixture comes in a bottle or bag and is paired with a tube or nozzle that can be used to direct the solution into…

Vaginitis

Vaginitis is the broad term for inflammation or infection of the vagina. There are many types of vaginitis; each of which is characterized by different causes and symptoms.1   Symptoms of vaginitis include vaginal itching and irritation, painful urination, pain during intercourse, light vaginal bleeding or spotting, and vaginal discharge that has a foul smell or…

Annual Gynecological Exams: What to Expect

In order to maintain good reproductive and sexual health, females should visit a gynecologist- a doctor who specializes in females’ reproductive health- for an exam about once per year. Generally, females should begin seeing a gynecologist at the age of 21, but begin earlier if they become sexually active. After their first visit, females ages…

The Pap Smear

A Pap smear, also known as a Papanicolaou test or Pap test, is a procedure that checks for abnormal cells on the cervix.1 It is named after George Papanicolaou, M.D., who is credited for developing the Pap smear.2 The Pap smear drastically transformed how early cervical cancer can be detected in females.2 The cervix is…

Breast Self-Exam

Performing breast self-exams on a regular basis can help detect breast abnormalities at an early stage. Adult females (ages 20 and older) should perform breast self-exams (BSE) at least once per month. Regularly performing breast exams can help you become familiar with the look and feel of your breasts so that you can more easily…

Female Genital Self-Exam

Performing regular genital exams can help you better understand your body and learn what is normal for it. These exams can show you the physical changes that occur throughout the menstrual cycle. Regular self-exams are important because they increase the likelihood of discovering physical changes and abnormalities. This is important so that any changes can…