A healthy vagina in its normal state is acidic, and there is a normal bacterial flora that works together to keep your vagina feeling great!! These next nine tips will give you the necessary tools to keep your GURLY BITS at its best.
1. Always go to your annual exam with your gynecologist.
Of course, this is the first thing I would talk about, being a gynecologist myself. I stress to my patients all the time the importance of going to see a GYN annually, not only can you discuss any issues that you may be having with your “gurly bits” but we can also look and make sure everything is in tip top shape. This is also a time where we can do a Pap smear as well as rest for infections and STDs!!
2. Go commando!
Not wearing underwear while you sleep allows your vagina to be unrestrained for a lengthy period of time. Keeping your gurly bits dry and clean is the best way to prevent infections. Moisture can be a breeding ground for bacterial growth. So, if you don’t need it don’t wear it.
3. Use sensitive soaps (ie Dove).
When I tell my patients that you do NOT need to use soaps on the inside of your labia minora (the inner lips of the vagina) they look at me as if I have 2 heads. But it’s absolutely true. Your vagina is a self cleaning organ. And the harshness of soaps can be bad news. Just wince gently with water ONLY. And leave the soap for the outer area where your hair grows and the rest of your body!
4. NO DOUCHING
The same thing that applies for soaps applies for douching. A healthy vagina pH is between 3.8 and 4.5. Douching can throw off your pH balance and cause bacteria to grow. So if something seems off then get it checked out. Don’t tell your grandma, because she will hand you a bottle of Summer’s Eve and tell you to handle your business. Just know that is THE WORST thing you could do for your vagina.
5. Protect yourself
Using a condom is the way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Knowing your status along with the status of your partner is SMART!! So wrap it up.
6. If it itches or smells TREAT IT!!
A healthy vagina will secrete abnormal physiologic amount of discharge. But as women we know when something feels off with our vagina. If there is a foul odor, change in the color of your discharge, itching or irritation. Then get it checked out by your gynecologist as soon as possible. There are several types of vaginal infections that can cause these symptoms: yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis and some STDs (I will be discussing these in detail in a later blog post). The longer you wait the worse it will get. Never be ashamed of seeing a physician when something doesn’t feel right. That’s what we are there for.
7. Healthy diet healthy vagina
Eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water is not only good for weight loss, but it’s also great for your vagina!!! Furthermore, some foods such as pineapple, mangos, oranges can make your discharge smell and taste sweet, while other foods like asparagus won’t. So be mindful of this.
8. Have good hygiene during your period
Changing your pantyliner, maxi pads and tampons often will help to decrease the amount of moisture that is inevitable during your menses. And we’ve all learned that moisture equals breeding ground for bacteria. Also, making sure to wipe properly and cleanse effectively is of utmost importance.
9. Front to back ONLY!!!
This goes for wiping after using the bathroom as well as during sexual intercourse. Your anus is filled with fecal matter. If this is placed into your vagina it can increase the likelihood of getting an infection. So remember wipe from front to back using unscented toilet paper. And if you are to have anal sex first then make sure that you clean the penis prior to putting it into your vagina.