Repeat after us: Vaginas are supposed to be wet.

By Claire Gillespie
August 24, 2020
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The world never expected to learn so much about the health of vaginas from rappers Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion, but here we are. The duo's song, "WAP" (which technically stands for "wet-ass pussy"—and yes, we'll be talking about this from a vaginal health perspective, so we can say that), was released on August 7, and it's been increasingly hard to avoid on social media.

But amid the thousands, if not millions of TikTokkers showing off their twerking skill to the song, there have been some complaints about the "graphic" lyrics. Take The Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro for example, who used Twitter to add his two cents’ worth, voicing concern for the reproductive health of women with WAPs

"Listen, guys. I fully explained on the show that it's misogynistic to question whether graphic descriptions of "wet-ass p****" is empowering for women. “WAP” is obviously an incredibly profound statement of women’s empowerment, a la Susan B. Anthony," he wrote. "My only real concern is that the women involved—who apparently require a ‘bucket and a mop’—get the medical care they require. My doctor wife's differential diagnosis: bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, or trichomonis [sic],” Shapiro wrote. 

Here's the thing, though: that "differential diagnosis" isn't entirely accurate (though, yes, extra discharge may signal an issue). Vaginas are physically made to lubricate themselves, and so a "WAP" is actually a totally normal—and even strived for—thing. Here's what you need to know about wet vaginas, including whether or not one can be too wet. 

What makes a vagina wet? 

Newsflash: vaginal moisture is a completely normal process. “It’s caused by fluid produced by cells within the vaginal wall,” Rebecca C. Brightman, MD, a gynecologist in private practice in NYC and an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells Health

Cervical mucus adds to the moisture, and an increase in blood flow to the vagina during sexual arousal can also boost the "wetness" factor. 

“States of arousal where the vagina becomes more engorged due to an increase in blood supply to the region will result in increased lubrication,” Angela Jones, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn and Astroglide’s resident sexual health advisor, tells Health. “Estrogen replacement therapy, often used to treat vaginal dryness related to the menopausal state, can also increase vaginal moisture.” 

OK, so can a vagina be too wet?

Basically, no—vaginal moisture varies from one person to another. “There’s no such thing as too wet,” Dr. Brightman says. And, like many bodily functions, what’s normal for one vagina might not be normal for the next.

How wet and moist a vagina is or becomes depends on a number of things, specifically hormone levels and fluctuations, Dr. Jones says. “Women in menopause have less lubricated [or] moist vaginas due to low estrogen states,” she explains. “Depending on where someone is in their menstrual cycle will also affect how moist or wet a vagina is.” 

Around ovulation, there can be more discharge of a thinner consistency that can leave the vagina feeling wetter. In addition, pregnant people often have a heavier discharge. “Some people may develop heavier discharge that is not due to infection or other reasons for concern, for instance changes in diet, exercise or even some medications,” Candice Fraser, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn at Juno Medical in New York, tells Health.

That said, if you experience an extreme change in your own baseline wetness, it could be a sign of other conditions, such as a vaginal infection. A sudden change in wetness or extra vaginal discharge that goes on for a few days, doesn't seem to be related to your menstrual cycle, and is accompanied by other symptoms like itching or odor should be examined by a gynecologist ASAP (self-diagnosing or self-medicating can only make things worse, Dr. Fraser says).

Otherwise, vaginas are supposed to be wet. “Go with it and enjoy it!” Dr. Jones says.

What if your vagina is actually dry?

While a wet vagina is usually something to appreciate, vaginal dryness is a real issue that plagues many women—and usually, there's a simple explanation. “Conditions where estrogen levels are low—such as postpartum and after menopause—can create dryness,” Dr. Brightman says. “Occasionally, some women on oral contraceptives complain of dryness as these can cause a low estrogen state in the vagina. Also, some infections may create a sensation of dryness, like yeast infections.” Various medications, like antidepressants and antihistamines can also cause your vagina to be drier than normal. 

For relief from vaginal dryness, Dr. Brightman recommends vaginal moisturizers (creams, gels, and suppositories), which are available over-the-counter. For moisture as well as lubrication, try coconut oil, vegetable oils, aloe, and vitamin E. (Lubricants can help to make sexual intercourse more comfortable, whether you experience extreme vaginal dryness or not.) If vaginal dryness is caused by decreased estrogen, vaginal estrogen creams, suppositories, tablets, rings, and even oral tablets are available to help.

Controversial rap aside, though, it’s important to normalize conversations about the vagina and how it behaves. “Vagina is not a bad word, and it's important that we become more comfortable discussing things like wetness and dryness, not only with our doctors, but with other women,” Dr. Fraser says. “With more discussion, we begin to learn from each other's experiences to know what is likely normal and what isn't.” 

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