Ladies, no one has ever wanted an unhappy vagina. But the truth is, your vagina might be a little discontent. It just so happens that a lot of the things we think keep our vaginas healthy are, in fact, causing the opposite effect. In this day and age, maintaining our health doesn’t just mean making sure we’re getting our veggies and water intake up to par. It’s also making sure we’re not using a scented body wash that’s actually throwing off our vaginal ecosystem. So, here’s a quick 7 tips to make sure your vagina stays happy and you stay feeling good!
#1 A Happy Vagina says, “Cut the Fragrance!”
That vanilla coconut cream magical body wash may smell divine, but chances are it’s not doing your vagina any favors. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so harsh chemicals and douching are actually doing the opposite and causing irritation. A gentle soap may be ok, but the truth is that many body washes or super scented soaps aren’t backed by science to clean your vagina. So remember, just using water down there is recommended when showering. And if you’re on the go and want to do a little touch-up, Lily Bird’s hypoallergenic, pH-balanced wipes are a good choice.
#2 Eat Right and Sweat It Out!
Keeping a balanced diet and working out are great for your entire body, including your vagina. While a lot of people align probiotic foods, like kimchi and yogurt, with improving gut health, they’re also great for the vaginal ecosystem. In fact, probiotic foods help balance your pH levels and help fend off unwelcome infections. You could also try vaginal probiotics, which are really a thing.
#3 Get Regular Screenings to Keep a Happy Vagina
Keeping a regular routine of care for your vagina is the most basic and ensuring method of keeping an A-okay healthy organ. Stay current in health screenings, and make sure to keep up with your scheduled pap smears or cervical exams when needed.
#4 Pubes or No Pubes: What’s the deal?
There’s long been a heated debate on whether all hair or no-hair is the way to go for women. For one, pubic hair serves many purposes, such as eliminating sweating or friction issues and protecting you from bacteria. By trimming less hair, you also reduce the chance of dealing with pesky ingrown hairs or a sudden bout of itchy bumps. However, if you want to shave or trim your pubic hair, definitely go for natural shaving gels or creams to avoid any irritation.
#5 Safe Sex is Key
Safe sex is a big key factor in maintaining the best vaginal health. Here are a few tips on keeping a happy vagina while having a great time:
- Protection- Sex-ed is long over, but condoms are forever. Condoms are the easiest and most effective form of protection, besides abstinence of course.
- Get tested- STIs can wreak unwanted havoc on your vagina, so make sure to get tested when needed.
- What’s in your condoms/lube?- Some condom brands have spermicides, which, while effective in some ways, does not make for a happy vagina (irritation). Look into brands that don’t contain this ingredient. Lubes are fun to use, but the ingredients can be detrimental for your vag. Glycerin is a common ingredient in some lubes, which works to keep lube moist, but contributes to bacteria growth in the vagina. Another lube ingredient, petroleum, can ruin the vagina’s natural pH level. Other ingredients to avoid include parabens, dyes, flavors, non-natural oils, and scents!
- Pee after sex– An old piece of advice that has continued to make rotation all this time. Peeing after sex helps reduce the likelihood of UTIs (we don’t like those).
#6 Breathable Clothing is a Must for a Happy Vagina
Breathable fabrics and clothing are essential for a happy and healthy vagina. Cotton underwear is a classic, reliable form of breathable clothing. As you may have noticed, a lot of underwear comes with a cotton strip on the crotch area. That’s because cotton lets air in and absorbs moisture. Make sure to change out of wet clothing quickly; but regardless of what kind of underwear you like to wear, just make sure to change your underwear daily.
#7 Don’t Forget To Do Your Kegels!
If you didn’t know this already, Kegels are exercises that help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. When you strengthen these muscles, it helps reduce the strain on your pelvic organs and improves bladder leaks and incontinence. Kegel exercises are done by squeezing, then fully relaxing your pelvic floor muscles, which are located around the vagina, anus, and urethra.
Bonus tip: Strong and relaxed vaginal muscles can lead to a better sex life.
Keep your vagina happy and healthy with these tips. Plus, don’t forget about Lily Bird’s pH balanced, hypoallergenic, flushable cleansing cloths wipes. Your best gal pal will certainly thank you.
By Jessica Thomas, MPH