There’s stuff you learn in health class (oh hey diagram of a uterus that kinda looks like a moose), and then there’s the stuff you really wanna know but would NEVER ever, ever ask about. Luckily, we aren’t afraid to ask.
We called up Dr. Ilana Newman, author of the “Teen Doc Tells All” e-book series, and asked her the most personal body questions we could think of. Yep, we’re going there.
Ummm, what’s going on with my boobs?
Got different-sized boobs? Ehhh, NBD - Dr. Newman says it’s totally normal. “As your breasts start developing, they may not be in sync,” she says. “It has to do with your genetics. If you’re genetically determined to have a large chest, you may notice a more obvious [size] difference in the beginning and then things even out.” But even if things don’t even out, you’re not a freak — it’s super common. “Most people, if you measure, don’t have breasts that are exactly the same,” she says. “If your breasts are really uneven, you can add a little padding to one side, but it isn’t something that has to be fixed.”
Nipple color also has a range, which all comes down to genetics and ethnic background. And some nipples are hairier than others. Yep, hair. On your nipples. Totally normal. Once again, you can thank your genetics for that. Dr. Newman says it’s very common to have hair on your nipples, and even in places like your chest and stomach. If you want to remove it, she suggests using a razor instead of waxing or plucking it. “The skin around the nipple is very thin, not like the skin on your arms and legs, so waxing or plucking can cause a lot of irritation,” she says.
It’s also not weird for your nipples to harden at certain times, like when you feel cold (that’d be the ‘fripple’). “It’s a response to touch or temperature,” Dr. Newman says. So if you or someone else touches your nipples, they’ll probably harden up. Or, if you step into a cold room. “It’s not conscious. Your body is just kind of doing its thing,” she says.
What about my vagina?
Just like how your boobs may be uneven, your vagina’s lips can be a little uneven, too. “Like the lips on your face, some people have small lips, some people have big lips, and also, some people’s labia minor (the inner lips) are actually longer than the labia majora (the outer lips). There’s a lot of variation for what’s normal,” Dr. Newman says.
There are a lot of jokes on TV and in movies about vaginas smelling funky or fishy, but a mild scent is what your vagina is supposed to smell like. Also, if you see discharge in your underwear, don’t freak out. “It’s part of the process of how your vagina cleans itself,” Dr. Newman says. She explains that the discharge might look different, depending on the time of the month and the levels of your hormones. “It might be thicker at some points and more watery at other points, but it is normally white, clear or a little yellow,” she says. If the discharge is white clumpy and itches, you could have a yeast infection, which is totally treatable, but you should get it checked out by your doctor.
And if you see little raised bumps, don’t be alarmed. Our expert says as long as they aren’t painful or oozing anything (we know, gross), then you’re 100 percent fine. “If you’re shaving, the bumps could be from ingrown hairs, which are hairs they get trapped below the skin, making the skin look swollen.” Even if you don’t shave, it’s still normal to pull the vagina skin and see little bumps. Dr. Newman says these are sensory glands that help keep it moisturised. Those little bumps have a purpose! “They can get a bit irritated from rubbing against your underwear, so that’s they become more prominent or you might notice them more,” she says.
OMG, my vajay just did what?!
So there’s a thing that never happens during movie sex but happens all the time IRL: queefing, which is when your vagina makes a fart-like sound. “But it’s not a fart!” Dr. Newman says. “This happens all the time. It’s when air gets trapped in the vagina during sex from the penis going in and out.” While it may be a little embarrassing when it happens, there’s no way to prevent it from happening, so the best thing you can do is laugh it off and keep going.
Even if you aren’t having sex, it’s common to have sexual dreams — even about people you don’t like! But Dr. Newman says having a sex dream about a guy at school you hate doesn’t mean you secretly want to get with him, and having one about your BFF doesn’t mean you’re a lesbian. “Having random dreams about people you don’t really have sexual feelings for is normal,” she says. If you start having the same sex dream about someone over and over again, then she says you mind might be trying to work through someone subconsciously. But more often that not, you can wake up and think, “welp, that was weird!” and move on.