Hello ladies! How do you take care of yourself down there?
The vagina is a vital female organ. It is the home of ultimate sexual pleasure and the gateway to our reproductive system. A healthy vagina is one of pride of womanhood.
It's a sensitive symbol of our feminity that requires adequate protection. We can safely call the V region "handle with care."
I repeat, vaginal hygiene is super important. Poor vaginal hygiene will ruin your sexual life, restrain you from reaching that golden orgasm, hamper your fertility, and herald life-threatening diseases.
Girls, to make sure this region is kept healthy and clean, there are 12 golden rules you must follow. They are easy peasy to practice as long as you are intentional about it.
But before learning the rules, you need to understand some facts about your vagina.
Vagina facts ☝️
The vagina is different from the vulva.
The vagina is internal, while the vulva is external. The vagina is a part of the internal female reproductive system. It's is the tube that connects the vulva to the cervix and uterus. It is the route for penis sex (excluding anal sex), toy sex, fingering, menstrual blood, and babies.
The vulva is the term for everything visible in the pubes. The labia minora, labia majora, the mons pubis, the almighty clitoris, the urethra opening, and the vaginal opening.
The vulva exists to protect the interior of the vagina from external contaminations.
The Vagina is self-cleansing.
It has its microbial ecosystem and acidic pH, which keeps it clean and eliminates harmful bacteria. As such, you don't need to clean the inner genitals. All you need to do is to avoid practices that may hamper its natural cleaning process. What you need to make conscious efforts to clean is your vulva. According to Dr. Lauren Streicher, a clinical professor of gynecology, the vulva is just like every other skin in the body, which requires regular cleaning. The vulva requires great care to preserve the vaginal pH and prevent germs and harmful microorganisms from gaining entry into the vagina.
A healthy vagina has a balanced pH, secrete normal fluids, has the normal amount of good bacteria, and is naturally lubricated.
Now, how should you take good care of the vulva and maintain the Vaginal pH?
12 Feminine Hygiene Tips 💡
1 . Clean your vulva daily
As stated earlier, the vagina is an internal organ and it doesn't require cleaning because it does that itself.
The normal vaginal discharges you see on your panties from time to time are waste products of vaginal cleansing.
The vulva is skin, and it needs regular cleaning. Wash your vulva at least once a day with mild soap and water or a cleanser with natural ingredients.
2. Clean up after urinating
Don't you dare put on that panties without wiping your pubes with water or toilet papers after urinating!
Urinating without cleaning will leave remnant urine in your panties. This may cause odour and harbour foreign harmful bacterial in your vaginal.
Cleaning up after urination may help reduce the risk of harmful diseases such as Urinary Tract Infection and yeast infection.
You can clean your vagina after urination with either tissue paper or water. However, ensure you wipe from front to back to avoid the spread of germs from the anus to the vagina.
3. Carefully select your panties and keep them clean
Cotton panties never go wrong around your lady bits. They are soft and breathable. They absorb vaginal discharge and eliminate unnecessary moistures, which may breed bacterial and yeast.
However, regardless of how little you sweat or discharge, don't wear two pants twice.
Also, set the bits free at night. You don't have to go to bed with your panties. Let the pubes breathe.
4. Maintain utmost hygiene during your menstrual period
Aside from making you feel more comfortable during your period, cleanliness reduces the risk of bacterial infection and vulva irritation.
Naturally, your vaginal pH is a bit raised during your period due to the flow of blood. As such, you are more vulnerable during the red days. You've got to be extra careful.
- Change your period protection regularly. Depending on your flow and type of protection, get changed at least every 4 hours or 6 hours. Leaving it for too long may cause the growth of bacteria in the blood, and this may lead to infection and bad odour.
- Clean up more than once a day. It's advisable to use just warm water to clean up. But if you must use soap, avoid soaps with harsh ingredients and perfume. Of course, do not douche!
5. Look out for abnormal vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharges are normal. They are evidence of natural cleansing of your vagina.
The colour and amount of your vaginal discharge depend on your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. During pregnancy, the discharge tends to be heavier while it's wet and slippery during ovulation.
Abnormal discharge may be a yellow or red light for your reproductive health. As such, you should see your doctor without delay.
👉 Normal vaginal discharges include fluids that are; clear or white, slippery and wet, sticky and thick, and fluids without unpleasant, strong as well as bad odour.
👉 Abnormal vaginal discharge may have an unpleasant odour, colour, and texture.
6. Maintain a balanced Vaginal pH
Your vaginal is self-cleaning because of its balanced pH. Vaginal pH is the measure of your vaginal acidity.
A balanced vaginal acid level protects your vaginal as well as prevents the multiplication of harmful bacterial and fungi that may cause vaginal infection.
The following practices may jeopardize your vaginal pH. Avoid them.
- Washing your vulva with highly perfumed soaps, scrubs, and cleanser. Go for plain soaps or mild scented soaps and cleansers. Oyo skincare cleanser is made with natural ingredients devoid of any scent. It cleanses the vulva without tampering with your V pH.
- Use of douches to wipe your vagina. While trying to clean your vaginal secretion, you are flushing out useful bacterial out of the vaginal at the same time. This will compromise your pH balance and leave your V defenseless. Douches are not recommended at all.
- Use of vaginal perfumes and scented deodorant. Your vagina does not need an extra scent. Nature has endowed it with a natural odour, which shouldn't be mistaken for infection. However, if you notice your vagina is oozing a foul smell, the best option is to see your doctor and not cover up with perfume which may further compromise your vaginal health.
7. Practice save sex
Sex is a prominent mode of entry of infection into the body.
The use of condoms reduces the risk of contracting STI's such as HIV/AIDs, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, herpes, genital warts, and Chlamydia.
Although some of these diseases are curable, some do not have a cure and can only be managed.
Even the curable ones may degenerate to cancer. As such, you shouldn't be blinded with pleasure and compromise your health.
- Don't use the same condom for anal sex and vaginal sex. This may spread infection from the anus to the vagina. Also, switch condoms as you switch styles.
- Do not share sex toys with your partners as well. It may spread STIs.
- Pee immediately after sex. That post-sex talk and cuddle can wait. To reduce the risk of urinary tract infection, ensure you urinate immediately after sex. This may help flush out bacterial that might have entered your vagina during sex before they travel further.
8. Practice save pubic hair removal
Pubic hair isn't just down there to decorate your pubes. It has some biological functions, such as preventing the vulva skin from friction during sex and protecting the vaginal opening from germs as well as infections.
However, this doesn't mean you can't groom your pubic hair. It's your choice to make. If you choose to, you have to do it right to avoid vulva skin infections such as ingrown hairs and shave bumps.
Depending on your choice of hair removal, the following tips are important.
- Exfoliate the pubic skin before and after shaving.
- Choose a sharp and clean razor, apply shaving cream or gel, shave in the direction of your hair, and moisturise after shaving.
- Let your hair grow to an extent before waxing.
- Get it done by a professional to avoid burns.
- Exfoliate before your waxing appointment.
- Avoid the sauna, the gym, sexual intercourse, and exposure of the vagina to direct sunlight at least two days after waxing.
9. Go for a regular check-up
You do not have to wait for visible infection or physical discomfort before visiting your gynecologist.
Cervical screening is recommended for sexually active women. Regular screening may aid early discovery of cancer and possibly aid a corrective treatment.
According to the American congress of obstetricians and gynecologists, as soon as a woman reaches the age of 21, she should go for gynecology screening and a Pap smear test. This is to observe possible changes in the vaginal skin cell, which may be cancerous.
Some diseases are not visible until they might have gotten worse. You need to go for regular check-ups to catch these diseases at an early stage.
10. Do not delay treatment of infection
Late treatment of some common vaginal infections may lead to greater reproductive issues and ultimately cancer.
While over-the-counter drugs may eliminate some common conditions, once you notice it persists despite the OTC, you need to quickly see your doctor.
General body exercise and Vaginal exercise are important.
Kegel exercise is highly recommended for some women. It is a body exercise directed towards strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
Some women may experience weakening of pelvic muscles, which may lead to eventual fall of the pelvic into the vagina.
This is a condition called Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP). The effect of this condition includes involuntary urine continence.
Make kegel exercise a daily routine. It involves squeezing and resting the pelvic muscles. It gives the pelvic and general genital muscles more strength. It also prevents uncontrollable urine incontinence.
12. Maintain a good diet
Compounds embedded in some foods and drinks may be beneficial for vaginal health. Thus, you should take advantage of such foods.
Studies have shown that cranberry juice is a great antioxidant and they can help fight against infections.
They are also good for fertility and reproduction due to the presence of Vitamin A and Beta Carotene.
Fermented foods such as Kimchi and yogurt are also good for the maintenance of pH balance and fighting off infection.
To keep the Vulva skin fresh and healthier, maintain a good vulva skincare regimen. Adopt Oyo pubic skincare kit as your regimen.
It contains a mild scrub devoid of fragrance to keep the vulva clean, an exfoliator to keep ingrown hair off your bikini line, and finally, a moisturizer to soothe the V skin and keep it fresh.
That's Ladies! Your vagina health shouldn't be compromised for any reason.