You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again, make sure you’re taking care of “down there”, the “cave”, your “ladybits” (if that’s your preferred term), your “va-jay-jay”. Your vagina. Take care of it/her/them.
If you’re stumped on the best way to care for your vagina and how to practice good vaginal health, a quick search on the internet or a trip to your doctor will likely answer all of your questions. However, we’ve got a few basic tips below to help get you started.
As always, make sure you talk to your medical care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your vaginal health. And remember, the tips below may not apply to you - your medical care provider or doctor is the best person to help you come up with a routine for your health.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to make sure you opt for natural fibers, such as cotton. Many other fabrics on the market are made using materials that are not breathable or are hazardous to the environment (such as lengthy bleaching processes and using chemicals to treat the fabric).
Once you have a snazzy pair of underwear, make sure you treat it well. Avoid harsh chemicals and fragrances when washing. Remember - your underwear is the one piece of fabric closest to your genitals. Be mindful about what you’re using on them.
While we’re on the subject of underwear, it may be a good idea to avoid thongs when dealing with an infection. Some experts go so far as to recommend just avoiding thongs completely. And don’t forget to regularly change your underwear, including changing your underwear after working out. No - flipping your pair inside out to get “one extra use out of them” doesn’t count.
We know we don’t have to tell you, but it’s a good piece of advice to repeat - make sure you’re using good hygiene practices when you shower or just freshen up. What does this mean? For one, as we mentioned above about underwear, the same goes when you’re cleaning your genitals directly - avoid fragrances and harsh chemicals.
Another good piece of advice is to avoid rough cloths and sponges when cleaning. The rough texture could cause irritation, and that’s just no fun for anyone. Instead, some experts recommend just a gentle wash using lukewarm water, and using a gentle cleaning tool if needed. Remember: Your vagina is a self-cleaning machine, so you may want to avoid using anything in it unless recommended by your doctor.
Last, but certainly not least, avoid wearing your menstrual cups, reusable cloth pads, or disposable menstrual products for too long. Keep an eye on the recommendations the manufacturers put in place, and change them often. For example, here at Sckoon we recommend you empty your menstrual cup more frequently on your heavy days, but a maximum of 12 hours can be used. However, for hygiene purposes, we recommend the removal and cleaning of your menstrual cup at least 2 -3 times a day.
Speaking of menstrual health - we highly recommend reusable menstrual products. Tampons and disposable pads have been in the spotlight more times than once for the harsh chemicals used on the cotton (including pesticides). Organic cotton tampons and organic cotton disposable pads luckily have better practices in place, but keep in mind that even organic tampons still carry the risk of TSS. We’ve touched on all the perks of switching to reusable products over disposable products in these blog posts: Why Menstrual Cups Are Better For Your Body Then Tampons and Menstrual Cups VS Tampons: A Comparison.
Hygiene and health go hand-in-hand, but there’s a few items we thought we’d call out specifically in the “Health” category.
Number one: Regular exercise and eating healthy. We won’t dig into this one too much as the recommendation for food and regular exercise varies greatly from person to person, but keeping your body healthy inside and out is a great way to make sure your vagina is also benefiting.
Number two: Practice safe sex. This means condoms, urinating after sex, and any other recommendations your doctor may provide you.
Number three: Mental health is just as important as your physical health. You may have heard that stress, anxiety, and depression can all impact you in more ways than just mentally. Make sure you’re taking care of your mind just as much as you’re taking care of your body.
Number four: Get plenty of sleep. Again, the recommendation here changes from person to person, but make sure you’re getting enough sleep for your body, allowing both your mind and body some time to relax and recover from the busy day.
And there you have it. What tips do you have for others on how to care for their vagina? Let us know in the comments below!
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