Self-love can be expressed in many ways and self-care is one of them. As a woman, I’m constantly being bombarded with ads, campaigns, and products that are deemed “essential” for every day. It can sometimes be overwhelming to think that for my day to begin, I will have to go through a 10-product routine. That is exactly what brands want us to think so that we keep purchasing from them, but the reality is, you don’t need a lot to live a healthy life.
Vaginal health is very important, but a simple routine is much better and what gynecologists recommend. We need to feel comfortable with having these types of conversations which is why our goal today is to raise awareness and give you five tips that will help you take care of your vagina;
1. Less is more – You don’t need a vaginal wash
The vulva is the external part of the female genitalia and the vagina is the tube between the vulva and the cervix. It’s essential to know the difference because the vagina is self-cleaning!
Studies have shown that vaginal douching can cause many types of infections and even lead to ovarian and cervical cancer. Doctors suggest you rinse your vulva with water and let your vagina do its thing.
2. Bye-bye to fragrance
If you choose to buy any type of cleanser, you want to ensure that it’s gentle and not irritating to the vaginal tissues. You want to avoid products with; fragrances, oils, salts, and parabens because these tend to influence the PH level of your vagina.
Typically, a healthy PH is acidic because it encourages the build-up of healthy bacteria that fight nasty infections, fungal agents, etc. Any feminine care product that includes these ingredients, is bound to do more harm than good, and typically makes you smell worse in the long run.
3. Let it breathe!
Daily egg white-looking vaginal discharge is normal! Many women opt for daily panty liners to collect the discharge and not have to deal with uncomfortable wet underwear; however, this makes everything worse.
The vagina is prone to producing moisture all day which means that the more layers on top, the less she breathes. As a result, the moisture is trapped in there which can contribute to the growth of bacteria.
To fix this, say no to panty liners, opt for cotton underwear and sleep naked!
4. Let it grow!
There is a reason why we have pubic hair and its purpose is to protect us from infections. It’s obvious now that this is a very delicate organ, so it only makes sense that it’s built with a protective shield. It is ultimately better not to remove the hair because this can irritate the skin, cause microscopic wounds and painful ingrown hairs.
5. Use a menstrual cup!
Menstrual cups are awesome! Unlike tampons, these don’t absorb your menstrual discharge, they collect it. This means that they don’t dry up the vagina which is one of the main reasons why tampons cause infections. Furthermore, these don’t cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS) making them a much safer alternative when on your period. They can even be used for up to twelve hours, unlike the average 4-8-hour tampon.
Also, why not save the planet while we are at it? It is estimated that over the course of a lifetime, a single menstruator will use somewhere between 5 and 15 thousand pads and tampons. This is an insane amount of waste that can be avoided if we all used menstrual cups.
Although these tips are great, the most important thing to remember is that vaginas come in all shapes, colors, and sizes! The best way to demonstrate self-care is by practicing self-love and treating your body like the incredible organism that it is.
If you have any questions or concerns, make sure to always consult with your gynecologist. Nothing substitutes the advice of a professional