Donating my Vagina to Science (the Dubious Science of Winter Vagina)


Recently, the Toronto Star published this article on “winter vagina” and the general reaction from other FIFI bloggers was FFS(!). The author had a similar reaction, thankfully. But he did cite other articles about the “condition” so I had to Google.

It turns out lots of journalists think that winter vagina is – if not exactly a thing – an easy way to get published at the expense of some cheap laughs about yet another way to make women feel insecure about their bodies. I will not link to any of those posts because I can’t stand the idea of them making money off such clickbait.

Vaginal dryness is a real thing, but it is not a seasonal issue. The British National Health Service states the menopause, breastfeeding, childbirth, lack of arousal before sex, certain contraceptives and cancer treatments can all cause vaginal dryness. And another expert, Canada’s own Dr. Jen Gunter, points out that vaginas function quite well in all seasons. ‘The vagina maintains a steady temperature because it is inside your body and human body temperature only rises with the outside temperature when someone is suffering from heat stroke.’

Dr. Gunter has an entire hilarious blog post devoted to debunking winter vagina (and another on the related problem of summer vagina). She knows a lot about vaginas and winter: “I’m not a winter vagina expert because I am the Internet’s favorite gynecologist. We Canadian girls just really know how to take care of our snow forts, that’s why our national animal is the beaver.”

So if this is so thoroughly debunked, why do I want to contribute to the winter vagina “science”? For the shopping and swimming, and avoiding my overheated office, of course.

You can buy winter vagina leggings here or a winter vagina backpack here. Both are made by Mounds of Venus, which specializes in nipple and vagina art. Or wool underwear like this:

According to Health.com, underwear like these from Smartwool.ca will help you winterize your vagina because “wool doesn’t hold on to moisture, so it can dry quickly and has a temperature-regulating effect. These panties are perfect for keeping your nether regions toasty warm while wicking away the crotch sweat you produce in your overheated office building.”

Apparently long hot baths are bad for our winter vaginas, but there is no info on what happens with a cold dip. So far my vagina hasn’t suffered any ill effects, but I’ll keep you posted if that changes.

Diane walking into the St. Lawrence River as snow falls, trying to get her vagina ready for a swim.

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