If you’re a female, you should be very concerned about your vaginal health. Similar to how your mouth produces saliva to cleanse it, your precious lady part secretes discharge to keep itself clean and naturally produces rich bacteria to fend off infections as well as maintain its regular pH levels. When your vagina comes in contact with anything irregular, that’s when it gets irritated and you may develop infections or experience much worse. To help you keep your private area healthy, here are 10 helpful tips.
1. Do not clean your vagina with regular body soap – Yes, it is convenient but washing your vagina with soap messes with the pH levels and in turn, promotes growth of bad bacteria, infections and bad smells. Wash only with warm water and if you have to, purchase a feminine wash that’s specially meant for cleansing that area.
2. Stay away from feminine sprays – Feminine sprays in the market are filled chemicals and artificial scents that can wash out all the healthy bacteria that help your vagina stay clean and free of infections. These sprays can cause irritation, burning and instead of making the area smell like flowers, it may mess up the chemistry of its natural odour and worsen it.
3. Maintain good hygiene during periods – We cannot stress this enough. When you’re having your period, it’s vital to take extra care of your down there because the blood can change the pH levels of your vagina. If you’re using tampons and sanitary pads, make sure you change them every few hours to keep the area clean. Also, if you’re not on your period, avoid wearing panty liners daily because this may irritate your skin.
4. Get pap smears regularly – Especially if you’re sexually active, it’s important to get regular pap smears to screen for cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other abnormalities that may occur internally down there. Once you reach the age of 21, you should book yourself an appointment with a gynaecologist.
5. Consume more fruits and vegetables – This should come as no surprise and what you consume can affect the smell and discharge from your vagina. Fruits and vegetables can help your body stay hydrated and flush out bad toxins which can give your vagina a bad odour. Additionally, garlic is effective for preventing and treating yeast infections as well as nasty odour.
6. Wear cotton underwear – We know wearing underwear made with synthetic fabric, silk and lace can make you feel more of a woman and also feel more pampered. However, these fabrics do not dry quickly and do not allow air to flow freely through the fabric. If you can, wear cotton underwear instead for optimal airflow.
7. Clean up thoroughly after intercourse – When you engage in sex, you’re opening yourself up to harmful bacteria and other microscopic substances that can aggravate your vagina and cause infections. Get your partner to wash up before sex and right after intercourse, you should quickly wash your vagina with warm water.
8. Wear loose-fitting clothes – Tight clothes such as skinny jeans, leggings and booty shorts can trap moisture against the skin and prevent airflow to your genital, sometimes leading to yeast infections and discomfort. Choose looser clothes and fabrics that can breathe well.
9. Use condoms – The pH levels of semen and your vagina is different. When there are traces of semen left in the vagina after intercourse, it disrupts the balance in the vagina and leaves it prone to growth of bacteria. We suggest using condoms to avoid this problem and if you do not wish to use condoms, always wash your private area right after sex.
10. Always keep an eye out for any abnormal conditions – Many females aren’t aware when something changes down there but it’s vital for you to be wary. If you notice any abnormalities such as bumps, weird discharge, itchiness, soreness or any sort of rash, seek medical attention immediately. There is nothing to be embarrassed about and you should never take your health for granted.