Living your best life means treating your body like a temple – vajayjay and all! Just like how eating well and exercising are key to staying healthy, so is caring for your downstairs, girl. We will go on to explore what a normal and healthy vagina looks like, from the undies you wear to the birth control you use, there are many things to know about having a healthy vagina. So scroll right on, because we’re here with go-to advice on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to vaginal health.
Factors that contribute to a healthy vagina
Just as you’d expect, there are lots of different factors that come into play when it comes to a healthy vagina! Things that can affect your vaginal health include:
- Hygiene – Keeping your vagina clean, i.e. regularly washing the area with fem-friendly products, wearing the correct (clean!) underwear and letting her breathe!
- Birth Control – How different methods work with your body. Certain types of birth control can actually cause vaginal irritation, e.g. latex condoms or diaphragms.
- Diet – A nutritious diet is key to maintaining a healthy functioning body, all the way down to your vagina!
- Hormones – Changes in hormone levels can affect your vagina. You’ll notice specific changes in vaginal discharge over the course of your menstrual cycle.
- Health Conditions and Treatments – There are many health conditions that can affect the vagina, like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome and pelvic inflammatory disease. There are also some medicines and treatments, like antibiotics, that can increase the risk of yeast infections.
- Sexual Activity – Safe sex is SO important to vaginal health! Having unprotected sex runs the risk of catching an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).
- Pregnancy/Childbirth – Lots of changes happen to your body and vagina throughout pregnancy and childbirth, like changes in discharge and possible vaginal tearing.
The do’s & don’ts of keeping your vagina healthy
Okay then, so what can you do to keep your vagina healthy? The good news is that it’s pretty simple to care for your downstairs. From being hygienic to being safe with sex, we’ve summed up some quick dos and don’ts for you down below:
DO: Wash the outside of your vagina daily with warm water. As an extra step, you can also use specially formulated fem-care products (like washes and moisturisers). AVOID scented soaps, sprays or douches. Your vajayjay is a sensitive area and needs to be treated delicately, to avoid infections and irritation.
DON’T: Wear lots of super tight silk/lace underwear, as these materials can breed bacteria by locking in moisture. Now, we’re not saying that you need to reach for the granny panties – but to help with air circulation, do go for comfy cotton underwear and avoid wearing underwear while you sleep, so she can breathe freely!
DO: Remember to ALWAYS wipe from front to back. This is a really important one ladies! The anus contains certain types of bacteria that, while normal to be present in this area, is definitely not normal for the vulva and vagina to be exposed to. So, to keep your vagina healthy, wipe from front to back and minimise the risk of spreading bacteria that can cause various infections such as Bacterial Vaginosis and UTIs.
DON’T: Stay in sweaty activewear or wet bathers for too long! We all know that it can be a bit of a sweat fest down there during the warmer months but exposing your vulva and vagina to a damp environment for long periods of time can increase the risk of developing a yeast infection or UTI (Ouch!).
DO: Eat nutritious, vag-friendly foods! Staying hydrated and eating foods that are rich in probiotics, like yoghurt, are great for helping the vagina’s natural pH balance. Avoid overloading on sugary foods as it’s not good for vaginal health. We know that a chocolate block (or two) is super tempting when you’re PMS-ing and definitely treat yo self girlfriend, but excess sugar isn’t known to be vag-friendly!
Sex & Birth Control
DO: Keep your genitals clean and practise safe sex, to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Never do anything that’s outside of your comfort zone, or that could potentially affect your health – mentally or physically.
DON’T: Don’t use a birth control method that you aren’t comfortable with, or that doesn’t work well with your body/vagina! It’s best to discuss all the options with your GP, to determine what’s best for you.
Overall Vaginal Health
DO: Think about exercising your vagina and keep it healthy! Kegel exercises, for example, can help tone your pelvic floor muscles; especially helpful for those with a weak pelvic floor. Your GP will be best to advise you on this.
DON’T: Simply worry about a vaginal health issue and wait for it to go away. Take notes of anything out of the ordinary and make a visit to your GP to discuss any concerns or questions you might have.
Signs of an unhealthy vagina
So, what are some signs that your vagina isn’t healthy? Any major changes to your vaginal odour and discharge can be telling of a deeper health problem, like thrush or a bacterial vaginal infection. If you do happen to experience any of the following, head to your GP for some friendly advice and treatment:
- Itching, irritation, pain or soreness in/around the vagina
- A burning sensation, especially while peeing
- Redness, swelling or a rash
- A strong, foul odour
- Itchy, white, cottage-cheese like discharge
- Yellow, green or grey discharge
Listening to your body and learning what’s normal for you can be a HUGE help with maintaining your vaginal health! If something ever feels amiss with your body or vagina, it’s best to check in with your GP.
While vaginal health might seem like a scary topic at first, just remember that it’s the same as looking after any other part of your body, girlfriend! It requires certain kinds of care and attention, and if done correctly, can be super beneficial to your overall health. Keeping an eye on your body’s normal patterns and addressing any odd signs is key to staying healthy down there.
Love, Libra x
Anything else? Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.