Questions and Answers With Dr. Allan

5 Most Common Questions I’m asked

Q: How will my vagina change as I age?
A: Aging causes your body tissues to lose collagen and the vagina is no different. A loss of collagen can cause many physical changes such as decreased sensation during intercourse or changes in the amount of vaginal lubrication. As women pass through menopause, there may also be changes in the moisture and general elasticity of the vagina. If these changes are problematic, women should see a doctor.

Q: How much discharge is actually normal?
A: Vaginal discharge is normal and varies greatly from woman to woman. It is normal during a menstrual cycle and even normal during menopause. The consistency and colour will also vary between the two. Any discharge that is a different colour than normal, has a strong odor or causes you discomfort should not be ignored. These symptoms could indicate an infection and need to be seen by a doctor.

Q: Should my inner labia hang lower than my outer labia? What's a normal size?
A: There is no "normal" length of inner labia. Just like all other body parts, the size and shape of the inner labia differ between women. Some women have inner labia that extend beyond the outer labia and others have the opposite. If your labia affects your ability to sit a certain way, ride a bike or participate in other activities, there are medical options available to reduce the size.

Q: I can't have an orgasm during intercourse, is this normal and what can I do?
A: First, you are not alone. Many women don't experience orgasm from intercourse alone and require direct clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. If you are concerned about your sexual response, or notice a change in sensation, please discuss this with a physician or counsellor. There are now new treatments available to help with sexual function.

Q: How often do I need a Pap test?
A: Depending on your age, sexual experience and past history of PAP smears, the timeline varies greatly. However, if you are sexually active it is recommended PAP smears for screening purposes should begin by age 25 and continue every three years until age 70.  Please talk to your health care provider to make sure you are having your PAP smears at the recommended intervals.