Your vagina would surely be thankful if you cleaned it properly and kept it healthy just like all the other parts of your body. The good thing is it’s actually easy to keep a healthy vagina as long as you stay away from chemicals. You should also listen to your body because it will try to tell you if something is wrong.
According to Stacy Lyon, Healthy Hoo Hoo natural feminine care products founder, understanding the body’s geography is all that matters when it comes to vaginal care. She says that most people consider the vagina as everything that is located in that private region, but in actuality, the vagina is the inner genitalia and the vulva or the external genitalia is the one that needs cleaning.
Lyon also assures women that smelling like flowers isn’t something they need to aspire for. In fact, she says that using products that have fragrances could irritate or cause a burning sensation down there. Deodorants and sprays for the vagina could cause these problems.
One’s food choices also impact vaginal health. According to Dennis Thompson Jr. of EverydayHealth.com, “A balanced, nutritious diet and drinking plenty of fluids are key to vaginal and reproductive health.” Thompson also named cranberry juice and yogurt as helpful foods that can keep yeast infection at bay.
Thompson would also like to clarify that putting blueberry yogurt in the vagina will not make it feel fresh. Neither does putting soap down there. The food has to be eaten and processed by the body.
Moreover, one’s sex life could also be the culprit for vaginal problems. Lyon advises an annual visit to your gynecologist for check-ups and pelvic exams so that infections can be identified. “Depending on your age and history, this may or may not include a Pap smear,” adds Lyon. In fact, Health Canada advises women to get their first Pap smear when they start being active sexually. A second test should be done within the year, followed by another one every three years.
Here are some tips for keeping the vagina healthy according to Lyon:
- Wash regularly. Both the vulva and the vagina should be washed regularly. A bland bar of soap should suffice and it should be done once a day. Liquid body wash isn’t recommended for the sensitive area because they might cause irritation, which can be itchy. Lyon also mentions that overcleaning could lead to irritation, so ladies refrain from washing with soap every time you visit the bathroom.
- Avoid scented products. At least for that area. “It is not supposed to smell like flowers,” says Lyon. Scented sprays, lotions, and deodorants should be avoided. Even baby wipes and feminine hygiene wipes may cause irritation. Also according to Lyon, it’s not a good idea to use pads and pantyliners on a daily basis. You need to let the skin breathe.
- Wipe from front to back. Always. Avoid wiping from the butt area to the front. You could carry bacteria from the back and this can cause irritation in the front, which is the vagina.
- Not all lubricants are helpful. Vaseline and rubbing alcohol are definitely a no-no. Heavy duty lubricants should not be used. If you must use a lubricant, opt for water-based or silicone-based variants.
- Identify any change. Be observant of any changes in odor, discharge, or appearance. Itching is another indicator. Pain during intercourse can also be a hint that something is wrong. You should be familiar with your vagina so that you can identify any changes through looking or touching.Always be cautious. It should be okay to have your vaginal region waxed, but make sure that the salon has a licensed esthetician and that they are not double dipping their wax application stick. You don’t want to get any infections from there.
- Consult your doctor. Never shy away from your gynecologist. You have at least a regular annual health checkup. Pap smears may also help identify some problems, but this would depend on certain factors.