What’s Up Down There?
By Lissa Rankin, MD
All I hear are giggles. Then a snort, followed by a cackle.
“Chloe?” I say.
Chloe snorts again. I shake my head and smile.
I hear someone yell, “Don’t say vagina so loud!”
They’ve done this before. Chloe and Piper are in Manhattan celebrating some girl time away from the kids, obviously talking about sex over a few cocktails. Whenever they think up questions about their girl parts, they call me. They are my best friends, and I am a gynecologist.
A clanking noise indicates that Chloe must have dropped the phone. Then I hear Piper’s voice. She says, “We’ve made a bet, and you gotta help us out. If a woman squirts fluid when she has an orgasm, is it pee?”
They collapse into a fit of giggles again, and I wish my job didn’t keep me from zipping off to New York on a girl bonding lark. I want to be with them, leaning on each other for information and support, broaching topics most people don’t dare venture near.
I answer the question. Piper wins the bet. We air kiss into the phone – “Mmmwhah!” – and hang up.
Five minutes later, the phone rings again. It’s Piper.
“Is it true that your uterus can fall all the way out of your vagina and wind up hanging between your legs?”
I answer the question. This time, Chloe wins the bet.
Ten minutes pass. Brrrriiing. Chloe fires off more questions. “Why is it that my crotch smells like fish sometimes?” “Why do boobs get smaller when you breastfeed?” “How come I have a droopy box since I gave birth?”
They put me on speakerphone so that it feels more like I am there, sipping a glass of wine with my girls in a swanky Manhattan bar, instead of sitting at home with my beeper on.
Chloe and Piper like to brag about having a gynecologist on call 24/ 7. In addition to being their friend, I’ve delivered their babies, performed their Pap smears, and helped them with issues ranging from postpartum blues to pelvic prolapse. It’s a role I’m proud to play.
While my girlfriends get to indulge every question they’ve ever had about coochies, boobs, sex, butts, and women’s health – usually giggling with me over a glass of wine – most women don’t have a gynecologist at their beck and call, and end up talking amongst themselves, often perpetuating myths and repeating misinformation. This book aims to bridge the chasm between the questions real women have and the answers a gynecologist would give you after she took off her white coat and sat down with you over a cup of coffee (or a cocktail).
Most of all, I’m going to approach your intimate questions the way I think we should all practice medicine- by practicing love, with a little bit of medicine on the side. What does love have to do with gynecology? Everything. Trust me on this. When we approach our bodies with love, acceptance, and nurturing kindness, we pave the way for magic to unfold, the kind of magic I’m blessed to witness every day. So spread your legs and open your heart. Let’s explore together what it means to be truly, wholly, and authentically female. You might even discover that being open to the part of you with the capacity to give birth just might help you give birth to YOU.
Lissa Rankin MD is the author of the book, What’s Up Down There, and the founder of OwningPink.com . To enter our contest for a copy of Lissa book (courtesy of UByKotex.com), comment below on some question you have about…you know, down there!)