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Pro Tips For The Best Vaginal Health

Published on 12/29/20

The vagina has its own agenda. Maybe you’ve noticed. It could be your biggest hero, out here, doing her thing, fighting crime and yet, at the same time, can also be your worst enemy. Defying all things possible. And full of regret when you make her angry. 

Unfortunately, getting to know her takes lots and lots of time, because there are lots and lots of things that can make her irritated. So having a guideline of how to avoid She-Hulk’s rage, will be a great way to avoid the fire (sometimes literally) and keep things kosher downtown. All peace, no violence. 

Figured, you may need a few tips from the pros to help you out:

Don’t Avoid Your Gyno Appointments!

It is the new order to not have to attend annual pelvic exams. Especially if you’re symptom-free, not trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant. But just because it is not a necessity, doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be helpful to attend annual exams. There’s always a full need to talk about health problems. Potential issues, tests, and screenings for prevention. 

Before you decide to skip out on your annual exam, talk to your doctor about switching it over to longer periods of time between exams and the risk factors you may potentially face. Along with considering your personal and family history. Let you and your doctor discuss a custom plan based on your health and plans for the future. 

Annual exams are great, even when you don’t need one. It can be informative for pregnancies, birth control, STI checks, and fertility. So make that appointment and live in ease!

Wear Cotton Underwear, or None at All

You may have a preference, but so does your vagina. And you don’t have a choice in material… it’s cotton. Ever seen the strip of cotton in the crotch of your underwear? That’s why!

Cotton is breathable and your vagina needs to breathe. Cotton allows air in and absorbs daily moisture. 

Some doctors even suggest going commando when just hanging around the house. This keeps things aired out and breathing. 

However, avoid going to the gym without underwear, the extra layer of protection is needed when it comes to gym equipment. Protection comes in many forms!

DO NOT DOUCHE—or Quit it!

Your vagina knows how to clean itself. Sounds crazy, but it is it’s own self cleaning oven. Douching ruins the healthy bacteria balance and harmony constantly going on down there. SHe knows what she’s doing.

In fact, a study published in 2013 found that intravaginal hygiene products like douching actually increases your risk of infections like STIs, and pelvic inflammatory disease. So stay away from wipes, creams, douches, and sprays.

Avoid Overuse Of Antibiotics.

Antibiotics are known to reduce vaginal health. Especially taken in excess. Antibiotics can typically kill both good and bad bacteria which changes the colony of bacteria in the vagina. This can cause the very common yeast infection to grow. 

And any woman who’s had a yeast infection knows, they are the absolute WORST. Avoid the trouble, avoid excess antibiotics. If you are prescribed antibiotics, discuss possibilities with your healthcare provider.

Avoid Perfumed Soaps ~down there~

Body wash is so much fun. Stores like Bath and Body Works really know how to give the season an extra oomph for women. Who doesn’t like a vanilla scented candle or sandalwood ocean breeze lotion?
Your vagina, that’s who. 

Scented wash is pretty cool but not for under the hood. Because the vagina doesn’t have an extra protective layer, the extra chemicals that cause your body wash to smell extra, can really be drying to the sensitive skin on your genitals. 

You only really need warm water. However, if you feel you need an extra push, stick to unscented soap that is plain and simple. To the point! And keep washing to a minimum. 

Much like douching, scented body washes and soaps can also disturb the pH balance in your vagina. This can cause a heightened risk for a yeast infection. 

If you are already sensitive down there, or easily irritated, you should only be washing with mild and unscented soap on the outside and water on the inside. Keep it simple. 

Condoms, For Every Partner

This sounds pretty obvious but these words don’t always stick. Condoms are the only effective way to protect against sexually transmitted disease (STIs). 

Condoms also help keep the good bacteria and the vagina’s pH balance steady during sex and keep it healthy so it’s all good under the hood.  

Which is extremely important since those little bacteria help prevent yeast infections, UTIs, and bacterial vaginosis. Just in case you needed added motivation.

Wipe From Front To Back

This should be for obvious reasons. Whatever is hanging out in the back is not good for the front. Bacteria from the GI tract like E. Coli can find its way into the vagina.

That being said, sex should be treated in the same order. From front to back. Without cleaning off or changing the condom properly, the backdoor will expose your vagina to all kinds of bacteria and put you at risk for infection. 

Unscented Detergent

Your vagina is a cleaning machine. It’s also a protective barrier. It contains oils and discharge that protect it from all kinds of infections. Much like scented soap or body wash, scented detergent breaks down the vagina’s natural barrier and makes you prone to infection. Avoid detergents with artificial chemicals or perfumes. 

Stretch The Inner Thighs

Exercise. Bet you didn’t know that exercise is not just for fat loss. Your vagina is also a muscle. And as a muscle it’s affected by other muscles in the body. Like the inner thighs. Tighter inner thighs can lead to tension and enhance pain in the vagina. Stretching your inner thighs alleviates additional pain in the vagina. You can stretch by extending one leg outward and place it on the seat of a chair. Then from your hip toward your leg, bend until you feel a pull in the inner thigh area and groin. Stretch! It’s good for all of you.

More Exercise! Do Your Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are extremely popular. I’m sure you’ve heard. Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This helps reduce strain on the pelvic organs. And by helping your pelvic organs to strain less, means an improved bowel function and bladder. 

Oh, and who isn’t looking for stronger orgasms as well?

Doing three sets of 10 Kegels every day. Entirely achievable. Hold each Kegel for five seconds to total out to 3 minutes of Kegel work daily. 

Not too shabby right?

So to sum it all up:

Things to remember about vaginal health

  • Wear loose-fitting, 100% cotton underwear.
  • Remember that some forms of contraception (like foam, film, creams, and sponges as well as condoms, diaphragms, and spermicide) can cause pain or itching, in which case you should speak with your doctor.
  • Use only your hands to wash your vaginal area.
  • Wash new underwear before wearing them for the first time.
  • Use unscented soaps and laundry detergents and be careful about bubble baths, bath salts, and oils—avoid these if they become irritants.
  • Keep yourself uncovered (go commando) at night if dealing with irritation, as airing out can be helpful.
  • Wash up with a lukewarm or warm bath, or try a sitz bath if you’re experiencing irritation.
  • Use soft toilet paper without any dyes.

Things to remember NOT to do for your vaginal health

  • Hang around in a wet swimsuit or damp exercise clothing for an extended amount of time.
  • Leave tampons in for long periods of time to avoid toxic shock syndrome. It’s best to change every eight hours.
  • Use washcloths or other bath accessories like loofahs for washing your vagina.
  • Use panty liners or pads that are scented or say they retain moisture.
  • Wear thongs, girdles, pantyhose, or underwear made of nylon or other manufactured materials, which can trap heat and moisture.
  • Use personal hygiene products with fragrances like baby wipes, douches, sprays, or perfumes, which may cause discomfort and irritation.
  • Forget to clean sex toys after each time you use them.
  • Give into the urge—even though it may be tempting—to scratch when you feel an itch. More likely than not, doing so could make any irritation even worse

Warning signs to look out for when it comes to vaginal health… 

And when to see a doctor:

Speak to your doctor if you start to experience any or a multitude of the below symptoms. Some may be signs of serious vaginal health issues: 

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Vaginal Mass
  • Protrusion
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain while going to the bathroom
  • Change in vaginal discharge – color, amount, smell
  • Pain after sex
  • Pain after menopause

Call Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine In NYC

Gynecological exams are important for your health! Gynecologic services at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine include providing comprehensive diagnosis and therapy for many conditions in-house. As a result, you can get quick answers and timely treatment when you visit your local Manhattan OBGYN.

So, don’t skip out of your health exams! At Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine, the team specializes in women’s wellness and provides expert diagnosis and treatment of all reproductive health and vaginal health issues no matter how routine or complex. They welcome women of all ages, so if you have any questions or it’s time to schedule an annual exam, call their office in the Midtown East area of New York City or book an appointment online.