Last updated on June 10, 2019
Maintaining your vaginal wellness and health is an important part of living an overall healthy lifestyle. A vagina dedicates itself to the trials of childbirth, plays a role in sexual pleasure, and is constantly adjusting to the cycles of menstruation and menopause.
There is very little rest for our vaginas. We shave them, wrap them in tights or trousers, and in brave cases, also put them through the thong. Since vaginas are our most sensitive organs, they also need some extra TLC.
How to Improve Your Vaginal Wellness
Mild Rinsing Outside, Nothing Inside
Women are lucky as our vaginas can keep themselves clean with the help of natural secretions (also known as discharge). Yet, we do need to rinse them lightly every day during our bath.
Don’t over wash or scrub your vaginas. Make sure you don’t wash the inside of your vagina, as it is home to natural bacteria and moisture.
Putting soap inside the organ could hamper its natural pH balance and lead to infections like thrush. A little non-scented, simple soap is best for the job. Otherwise, simply using water is enough.
Practice Safe Sex
Using condoms while having sex prevents the transmission of STDs like HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia and syphilis.
While some of these have a cure, others do not. Some can be fatal and some can cause cancer. When switching from anal to vaginal sex, ensure that you change the condom to avoid harmful bacteria from entering your vagina.
Choose safe lubricants that don’t have harmful chemicals. Be sure to rinse the outside of your vagina after using any lubricants. Monitoring your discharge after sex will help you notice any symptoms of infection or other conditions in which you should be wary.
Opt for Comfortable Clothing
Our vaginas need to stay clean and dry. What we wear can affect their state. Tight-fitting clothes or other fabrics can cause increased moisture. This, in turn, can caused increased vaginal yeast.
Your best bet is to wear breathable cotton underwear and avoid thongs if at all possible. If you are prone to yeast infections, remember to quickly change out of wet swimsuits and sweaty gym clothes as soon as possible.
For women who experience a lot of discharge during the day, doctors recommend carrying an extra pair of underwear or panty liners. Keeping moisture at bay will help you stay comfortable and keep infections at bay.
Preventive Care Matters
As illnesses like cancer are growing by the day, preventive care of your vital organs is important. Opt for regular gynecological exams to ensure vaginal wellness.
The first gynecological screening should start at the age of 21 and after that, a pap smear test is a must every year. It diagnoses any changes in the vaginal cells that may denote the presence of cancer. This allows your gynecologists to catch diseases that may affect your vaginal health at an early stage.
As a responsible woman, it’s your job to routinely book these exams to make sure everything is in order with your vagina.
Like your gut, your vagina is dependent on healthy bacteria to get rid of the harmful bacteria leading to infections. Eat more probiotic foods like yogurt and cheese and prebiotic things like leeks and raw onions to maintain the good bacteria in your vagina.
If you’re prone to UTIs, consider talking to your doctor about taking cranberry pills. They can assist in decreasing bacteria growth in both your bladder and urethra.
Don’t Skip Your Kegel Exercises
Most of us have heard about Kegel exercises. They involve squeezing and relaxing our pubococcygeal (PC) muscles. Even during a hectic workday, it is easy to still find time to exercise this vital organ.
Read up to learn how you can take care of vaginal wellness during a normal day, after sex, during menopause, and post-exercise.
Kegel exercises can boost vaginal wellness and also help you with staving off incontinence as you get older.
One of the best facts about these exercises is that you can do them anywhere, anytime. If you’d like to make them more fun, you can also buy toys that connect to your smartphone and track your vaginal fitness.
Strong and relaxed vaginal muscles promote better orgasms and help during childbirth as you have stronger muscles during contraction. You can talk to your doctor or visit a pelvic physical therapist to learn more about how to best exercise your PC muscles.
Taking Care During Those Troublesome Days
Vaginal wellness is even more important during your periods and menopause. When you’re on your period, make sure you wash your vagina properly. Especially for women with a heavy flow, washing helps to avoid the smell of blood oxidation.
In case of menopause, vaginal dryness is common and thus, women tend to use more lubricant. Remember to maintain your hygiene routine and clean up after sex. Also, make sure you use the bathroom after sexual activity to prevent a UTI.