When it comes to periods and vaginas we’re all about breaking taboos. The more we can get women talking about their lady bits, the more likely they will be to make better informed, healthier choices.
Here are 10 ways you can be kinder to your vagina (and yes, there’s a difference between your vagina and vulva but that doesn’t have the same ring to it!):
1. Wear cotton underwear
When it comes to your underwear selection, your vagina prefers cotton (especially if it’s organic!). And when you’re lying around the house or going to bed at night, why not go commando so you can let things air out.
2. Ditch commercial laundry detergent
What you wash your undies with also effects your vaginal health and personal comfort. Try switching to an organic alternative, such as Greenscents laundry liquid. It does not contain chlorine, phosphates or other artificial additives that are dangerous to your health. It’s also free from synthetic dyes and perfumes. These can cause allergic reactions in some people and skin outbreaks in others.
3. Remove wet bathing suits and exercise clothing promptly
Excess moisture can encourage yeast and bacteria to grow. Keeping your intimate skin clean and dry is a good way to avoid infection. So, get out of those chlorine and sweat-soaked garments asap and take a shower if you can.
4. Avoid harsh chemicals
Your vagina has a completely different pH level to the rest of your body. This means you need to use products that won’t throw this off-kilter. A healthy vaginal pH is somewhere between 3.5 to 4.5 whereas the rest of your skin is above 5.4. The problem with antibacterial soaps is that they have a pH level of 9-10 and even plain water (pH 7) can be disruptive. So, if you don’t feel right about going soap-free, you need to stick to a plain, gentle, unscented cleanser in the pH range of 4-5. This theory applies to any products you choose to use in or near your southern region. Including, toilet paper, bubble bath, deodorant etc, so always read the ingredients list.
5. Use 100% organic cotton tampons, pads and liners
Yes, we’re biased. But, if you take the time to look at how conventional tampons are made, you’ll agree it’s crazy we don’t all use organic femcare products. Most people don’t think about what chemicals and pesticides have been used in the production of the cotton. And once you consider that you’re putting them into your body for hours at a time, making the switch seems like a no-brainer.
6. Use lubricant
Vaginal dryness is completely normal. If you’re getting frisky be sure to lube up to avoid causing painful abrasions. Choose one that is water soluble like Yes WB personal lubricant.
7. Protect your pelvic floor
Kegel exercises make your pelvic floor muscles stronger. This will control your urine flow and help hold your pelvic organs in place. The earlier you start, the better. So, don’t wait until you’ve already given birth or developed bladder problems!
8. Don’t skip your smear
Once you’re 25 you should be having a smear test every three years. Figures have revealed thousands of young women are failing to take up the offer, due to embarrassment. And tests are at a 20-year low. Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cervix can be identified early on and, if necessary, treated. This is crucial to stop cancer from developing.
9. Snack on Greek yogurt
Eating yogurt with live cultures helps boost the good bacteria in your lady garden. This is fantastic for preventing annoying vaginal problems like yeast infections. Apparently, you can also use it as a natural remedy for thrush too!
10. Prevent against UTI’s (urinary tract infections)
When I was younger, I struggled with UTI’s. I can’t tell you the importance of drinking plenty of fluids and consuming cranberry juice. You can also buy cranberry supplements which are handy for temporary pain relief. Incorporating more water and cranberries into your daily routine will prevent issues arising. It will also keep your kidneys functioning as they should.
If you have any other suggestions for ways to be kinder to your vagina, let us know in the comments below.