10 Things That Are Only Relatable If You Have A Vagina

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1. The first time you saw a speculum, your heart may have leapt out of your chest.

If you get nervous any time you think about this, it might be helpful to learn what’s actually going on during a Pap smear. At least then you’ll know what to expect once your feet are in the stirrups.

2. You heard one horror story about toxic shock syndrome (TSS) as a teen and you were never able to get it out of your head.

Don’t worry, gynecologists say it’s safe to sleep with a tampon in overnight — just use the least absorbent tampon you can, and don’t forget about it.

Plus, TSS is actually very rare (when it was most prevalent, in 1980, the rate was 6-12 per 100,000 menstruating women, but by 1986 it dropped to 1 in 100,000 menstruating women). Still, it’s a life-threatening complication of a bacterial infection (usually Staphylococcus aureus or group A streptococcus) with symptoms like a high fever, vomiting, and a rash — so it makes sense to be terrified of it.

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