Episode 81: Vaginal Health, Explained

April 5, 2022 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast

Episode 81: Vaginal Health, Explained


There is a huge industry built around making women feel insecure about their genitals in order to sell them so-called “feminine hygiene products.” They’ve convinced many women that their vaginas and vulvas are “dirty” and in need of constant cleaning. But is it even healthy to use these products? And what do you really need to know when it comes to maintaining vaginal health? I spoke with a gynecologist to find out–and to bust some common myths about vaginas and vulvas.

My guest today is Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, a board-certified OB-GYN and author of the book, Let’s Talk About Down There: An OBGYN Answers All Your Burning Questions Without Making You Feel Embarrassed for Asking. Jennifer also runs a popular sex ed channel on TikTok (@drjenniferlincoln) with more than two million followers. Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:

  • Where does this idea that vaginas and vulvas are “dirty” come from anyway?
  • What should and shouldn’t be part of a vaginal and vulvar self-care routine?
  • What should you do if you’re concerned about the smell or taste of your genitals?
  • What’s the safest way to remove pubic hair to avoid risk of injury and infection?
  • Can a doctor actually tell if a woman has had sex by inspecting her genitals?
  • Do vaginas really become “looser” with frequent sex?
  • Is it really true that if you have an STI, you’ll know it?
  • How do you boost low sexual desire?

Check it out! And be sure to check out Jennifer’s book Let’s Talk About Down There and follow her on TikTok.

The Kinsey Institute’s (kinseyinstitute.org) 75th anniversary is underway and you are invited to join in the celebration! Follow @kinseyinstitute on social media to learn more about upcoming events. Also, please consider a gift or donation to the Institute to support sex research and education. Click here to donate.

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Credits: Jonathan Raz (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.

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Written by

Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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