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Why I Talk About Vaginas

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Why I Talk About Vaginas

The closer I got to my book tour (which I’m on now! Hello, Chicago!) for Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend, the more resistance I faced from those who think weíre better off not talking about vaginas. If youíre one of those people who thinks vaginas are best kept quiet, this post is for you. Hereís an example from my email box.

I do not get the whole Vagina Talk thing.

I didnít understand Vagina Monologues. I can say ďvaginaĒ but really have no reason to do so. I am an entire person, not just a vagina. I think talking about vaginas actually takes away from the fact that we are women, we are entire beings of emotion and intelligence. So I donít think we should focus on vaginas.

I am a very open person regarding sex, and have I raised 3 daughters to do the same. We have discussed sexual preferences, even such things as anal intercourse. But I donít understand all the fuss. I am a woman, and I enjoy sex, but I can be all that I can be without standing up and shouting the word vagina.

Just sayiní.



So why not talk about vaginas?

When I got this letter, I spent an hour writing a loooooong response, which Iíll abbreviate for you here. Basically, I think we must talk about vaginas because we should talk about all of our body parts. We talk openly and without shame about our big toes, our eyeballs, our elbows, and our belly buttons. So why not talk about vaginas?

But thereís an even more important reason. Unlike the arm or the pinkie finger or the nose, the vagina carries with it a lot of baggage. Vaginas give us unique joys and sorrows as women. We birth our children through them, have mindblowing orgasms with them, and all too often suffer terribly because of them. Way too many women have suffered traumas in the vagina. Rape, sexual molestation, abortion, painful sex, even traumatic experiences at the gynecologistís office, can come back to haunt you if you donít talk about them. You may wind up with chronic pelvic pain or cervical cancer or a herpes outbreak that just wonít go away. And you may be suffering emotionally in other ways that you donít even associate with your vaginal health and experience. When you ignore your vagina and keep silent about it, physically or emotionally, things fester.

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Read more: Body Image, Gynecology, Health, Love, Mental Wellness, Pregnancy, Self-Help, Sex, Women's Health, , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
12:45AM PDT on May 11, 2013

Goodness me what next

1:41PM PDT on May 5, 2013

Because Lissa, you do it so well!!!

12:31AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Thank you :)

4:22PM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

I seriously have issues with the way this woman tries to validate other females for using the word vagina, and does it in such a patronising way. I hop she doesn't talk to the victims of abuse like that, I really do.

12:36AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013


8:06PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Thank you for article.

8:05PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Thank you for article.

8:04PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Thank you for article.

12:19AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Since when is the vagina a "sensational topic" Teresa W? It is simply another topic concerning women like a myriad of other subjects. Interesting article.

12:01AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Miacid T, many women still feel sorrow over it. It doesn't matter if something is legal. There can still be emotional reprecussions. People may still feel conflicted or have guilt.

And it does have an effect on the body. It still IS a medical procedure. There may be a lot of abortions each year, but there are a lot of everything each year and it doesn't mean that for the peopel going through it, it won't be major for them.

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