When it comes to the female nether regions, there are a lot of dos and don’ts. Even though the vagina is by nature, incredibly resilient, it is also sensitive and delicate, operating in a finely tuned environment which can easily be put off balance. There is also the individuality factor, wherein no two ladies bits are the same. What might cause one to have serious issues might not affect another in the slightest. However, by taking the proper steps in self care and hygiene rituals, you can be certain to avoid any potential harm, even if you’ve never had a problem before.
There is definitely a right and wrong way to take care of your intimate areas, the main goal being to prevent irritation and infection, keeping things healthy and fresh… but not too fresh! You see, a vagina (or vulva more appropriately), in all it’s natural glory, is not supposed to smell like a bed of budding roses nested in a sun-dappled meadow who’s petals are fluttering in a spring breeze. On the other hand, it’s also not meant to smell like 3 day old fish.
The need to be cleaner than clean and smelling like anything apart from our natural scent by use of strong soaps can have disastrous results. Fragrances, especially the synthetic kind, should be religiously steered clear of. This is because the tissue of the vulva and vagina is highly sensitive and reactive to allergens. Using products that mess with it’s natural Ph and bacterial balance can result in an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast, resulting in irritation, inflammation, bad odours and ultimately a painful infection and a dreaded trip to the Gyno.
Here’s our 5 holistic tips on how to really take care down there:
Holistic Tips Nº1
A gentle massage of the vulva under warm running water is all it needs for it’s daily upkeep. If you like to use soap, use plain, unperfumed soap which has been specially formulated for use on intimate areas (specifically the vulva). Soap or water should never go inside the vagina, and soap should be used sparingly on the vulva with a thorough rinse. Pat dry or air dry, not need to rub it!
Did you know?
The vagina releases scented pheromones, which are chemical messengers designed to attract. The presence of sexual pheromones will get your partner highly aroused, and can do wonders for your sex life.
Holistic Tips Nº2
Do not douche your vagina. Stay far, far away from intravaginal hygiene products unless specifically prescribed by your doctor.
If you’re using a lubricant, DO NOT use handy household alternatives such as baby oil, mineral oil, vegetable oil, or god forbid, cream. Not only is this terrible for your vagina, but it can also disintegrate any topical birth control or protection you use, especially latex.
Try to veer away from fancy brands that offer whacky flavours and weird sensations. When did natural become so boring? The best lubricant to use is one that mimics the vaginas own natural lubrication. This means water based, with no taste which doesn’t interfere with oral sex, or any other type of sex play, but most importantly, won’t irritate you or your partner’s intimate bits.
Holistic Tips Nº3
All you need to do is pee, and wash off any residue with cool water. No biggie. Sex can often get things hot and slightly swollen, so using cool water helps the skin to retract, and refresh. Peeing clears out the urethra, so any mild bacteria that’s managed to find it’s way up there during intercourse will be flushed out before it takes hold. Usually, peeing is a natural necessity after sex, however, sometimes we forget or fall asleep. Sometimes these habits can lead to infection, so be sure to have a pee and splash yourself with cold or lukewarm water at the very least directly after the act.
Holistic Tips Nº4
Let it breathe
When it comes to underwear, cotton is king. The vulva needs circulating air to prevent sweat and bacteria build-up. Non-breathable synthetic materials, tight thongs and even tighter jeans are not a girls best friend. Especially when sleeping, opt for loose-fitting cotton underwear, or none at all!
As for sanitary pads, watch out for the plastic-y ones as they’ll get you sweaty, itchy, smelly and even chafe your precious vulva. They’re full of harsh, synthetic chemicals, crude oils, and considering their purpose you’d think they’d generally have a better design. So if your go-to is pads during that time of the month, we highly recommend these re-usable sanitary towels for ultimate comfort – available from Earth Wise Girls.
Or if you’re really into home-made things, you can even DIY them from flannel sheets, and a bit of craftsmanship, as seen here on this blog post.
If you prefer the disposable sort, shop for cotton, preferably organic as they will contain fewer, if any, irritants, dyes and synthetic chemicals. A brand like natracare is ideal, offering both pads and tampons. They are available on Amazon.
Holistic Tips Nº5
Exercise & Fruity goodness
Topical rituals is not the only factor which goes into taking good care down there. Daily exercise, particularly yoga, or swimming when possible, is highly beneficial for the surrounding pelvic muscles and peristalsis movements of the vaginal canal. Exercise also helps stimulate the production of mucous, which flushes out bacteria from the vagina, keeping things ultra clean. It’s entirely normal to notice a higher production of discharge after a good workout session, so don’t be alarmed.
Diet is another factor that plays a role in vaginal health, immunity, smell, and even taste. A diet high in plant-based, natural foods, particularly whole fruits and vegetables will ultimately effect your secretions (for the better). And if good food and habits make you smell and taste good, you can bet the opposite is also true. If you’re going for gold, stay far away from cigarettes, go easy on the alcohol and start hitting the fruit smoothies!
Did you know?
Some people swear by watermelon and pineapple, claiming it makes you taste “sweet” down stairs. Other known foods that make you smell and taste better include: kiwi, blueberries, mango, green tea, cucumber and parsley.
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