There are certain things that are absolutely private, too intimate for us to talk about with most. One of them, is the matter of one’s vagina. Whether it’s a question on keeping it clean or an infection or a pain of some kind – a lot of women often keep quiet out of embarrassment and never ask things that need to be asked.
While we don’t recommend skipping the visit to a gynaecologist should such a situation arise, we can advise you on these simple rules that can help you keep your vagina clean, healthy and smelling great. Here we go:
Maintain The Vaginal pH Balance
We know tomatoes are acidic and similarly, your vagina too has a fixed pH level. Messing with it can lead to vaginal infections that are not only uncomfortable (and itchy!) but embarrassing as well (imagine smelling like fish down there). Protecting this delicate pH vaginal balance is easy as long as you take a few precautions like using a delicate detergent on your undergarments and using a gentle soap or a medicated vaginal wash while cleaning your vagina during a bath.
Yes, your vagina is affected by what you eat as much as your stomach or any other part of your body. Consuming nutritious food and a regular intake of lots of fluids is essential for your vaginal and reproductive health.
Cranberry juice and yogurt boost the good bacteria in your lady parts and have the potential to prevent yeast infections and help cure them, while foods like onion and garlic can cause an odor from your pores. If you experience extreme dryness in your vagina, you can enquire of your doctor whether you need to eat more soy products as they can help aid natural lubrication.
Dress With Care
Choose your underwear with the utmost care because when it comes to clothing, your vagina has a preference – cotton. The material allows your skin to breathe and absorbs moisture so it is ideal to cover up your lady parts. It might even be a good idea to forego underwear once in a while, while you’re lying about the house to let things air out.
But be sure to don some underwear on when you’re heading to the gym to offer your vagina some protection against exposure to icky gym germs. Remember to change out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible and avoid tight clothing like thongs for your hooha.
Practice Safe Sex
This one’s a no-brainer. Practicing safe sex and asking your partner to suit up can make all the difference in the world for your vagina and keep syphilis, HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhoea and genital crabs (aka pubic lice) at bay. Need we say more? Also, you need to change your condoms when you move from anal to vaginal sex to hold off introduction of many harmful bacteria into your vagina.
Approach Antibiotics With Caution
Antibiotics can often be the surprise threat to your nether regions as they can kill off some of the good bacteria that work so hard to keep your vagina healthy.
While passing up on the antibiotics when you need them is not an option, you can increase your consumption of yogurt and cranberry juice or use a feminine hygiene wash to keep the vaginal pH level normal.
Seek Help For Infections
When vaginal infections do arise, you need to treat them or risk serious long term reproductive health issues. There are 3 most common types of vaginal infections – yeast infection (caused by several type of fungi), trichomoniasis (sexually transmitted) and bacterial vaginosis (caused by bacterial overgrowth in the vagina). All three can easily be treated with oral or topical medication.
Practice Good Hygiene
This might seem like common sense but then you’d be surprised how common sense is not that common. Change your tampons or pads regularly during periods and use the toilet paper to wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. Take a bath daily and remember to pat your lady parts dry gently with a towel before dressing.