From the debunkers that brought you Summer Penis, Happened So Fast and No, A Diver Didn’t Get Their Knob Stuck In A Clam, today IFLScience is here to reassure vagina owners everywhere that "Winter Vagina" is most definitely not a thing.
The prospect of seasonal vaginal discomfort was first touted by a UK newspaper that warned vulvas everywhere of the “CHILLING TRUTH” behind central heating’s impact on female genitalia. Speaking to a former NHS midwife and senior clinical nurse at the London Bridge Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Clinic, Mary Burke, the article stated that vaginal dryness can be triggered by the hot and cold nature of winter living.
"Dry autumn and winter air depletes moisture from our bodies, leaving our skin dehydrated and cracked, and our sinuses parched," said Burke. “And while it’s an issue few will want to discuss openly, our vaginas can enter ‘drought mode’ during this time, too.”
With the healthy vagina being a place of moisture (which doesn’t mix well with sea sponge tampons, FYI), vaginal dryness is no walk in the park and can cause discomfort, sexual dysfunction, and even increase risk of infection. Luckily, it’s not something that can be triggered by the changing of the seasons or the temperature of your home.
“The bleak midwinter air is going to whip right up your pants, through your underwear, part your labia and head straight up your vag,” writes Gunter, keyboard dripping sarcasm. “Jack Frost is the f^cking frat boy of fairytale creatures and he’s going to make your vagina feel like the corner of Portage and Main on January 1st if you don’t do something about it. Now.”
While Burke recommends staving off Jack Frost’s chilling pessary with the aid of a humidifier or bowl of water on a warm radiator (which reminds us, don’t ever steam your genitals), Gunter suggests a far more realistic mechanism behind the annual media spike in Winter Vagina coverage.
"Vaginas in a perpetual state of almost mayhem is a way to make women feel self-conscious and clearly sells product. We have an entire industry devoted to it,” she said to Refinery 29. "This 'article' in the Mirror that prompted my ire quotes a former midwife who is in that industry – she works for a plastic surgeon who appears to offer vaginal procedures."
Of course, just because Winter Vagina isn’t real isn’t to say that people don't experience vaginal dryness during the winter months for other reasons. So, if you find yourself experiencing discomfort it’s always a fine idea to get your bits seen to by your health provider. Despite what the lucrative “your vagina is in a perpetual state of almost mayhem” industry wants you to believe, your vagina is probably fine, but it’s well worth looking after.