11 Ways to Love Your Vag: Vaginal Care Tips
Your vagina is your lifelong companion, one that changes with you throughout your life. As you would with any good friend, you want to treat it right.
Your vag is not-to-needy – it’s typically a well-balanced biome that sustains itself. But you do need to take care with who and what you put in your vagina. Sex, soap, bathwater and other things can lead to an imbalance and create the need for an intervention.
Here are 11 ways to show love to your vag and help keep it healthier throughout your life togethe.
1. Don’t wear a thong every day
Yes, those cute string thongs can be perfect for a tight dress or shorts but take a break to wear underwear with full-size cotton crotches. As a natural fabric, cotton is more breathable, and that can be helpful for maintaining your vaginal health.
2. Pat, don’t wipe after peeing, and always go front and back
Even if you buy the softest toilet paper available, rubbing it on your delicate lady bits can cause irritation. Dr. Jackie# recommends dabbing or patting to absorb anything after you go. And always pat front to back, to help avoid getting bacteria from your anus into your vagina.
3. Pee before and after sex
Sex puts more than you might think into your vagina. In addition to lube or sperm, sex can introduce bacteria into your urethra (where you pee). Peeing before and after sex can help flush out your urethra to help prevent urinary tract infections.
4. Take more showers than tub baths
We all love a good soak in a hot tub, but the water – especially if you’ve added bath salts or rinsed away shampoo or body wash – can throw off the pH of your vagina. Showers rinse the water away from your vagina and don’t have the same effect.
5. Don’t double dip back to front during sex
If you choose to have anal sex, don’t insert the penis or sex toy into your vagina once it’s been in your anus – without washing thoroughly first. This tip follows the front to back rule. Vagina to anus is ok, but not the other way around. Doing so can introduce feces and bacteria into your vagina that can lead to an infection.
6. Watch what you eat
Your vagina knows that you are what you eat. Spicy foods or strong flavors and smells may affect your vaginal odor.
Certain sugary, starchy and processed foods as well as drinking alcohol can also throw off the balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina, so eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh, whole foods.
7. Drink plenty of water
And you already know you need to drink plenty of water for optimal health, and your vagina gets thirsty, too. When you’re dehydrated, your body has trouble making all of its fluids, such as tears, saliva, mucus, and vaginal moisture. Be sure to drink enough water to help your vag stay hydrated and healthy.
8. Don’t use soap to wash your vag
Your vagina has a self-cleaning process – kind of like a self-cleaning oven, but you don’t have to push start! Your vaginal discharge helps flush germs, dead skin cells, period blood, sperm, etc. out of your vagina to keep it clean and balanced.
Dr. Jackie recommends that you wash your vagina with a warm, soft cloth and water and to avoid harsh cleaners, chemicals, perfumes and fragrances.
9. Keep your vaginal pH balanced
A normal vaginal pH is slightly acidic, typically between 3.8-4.5 on the pH scale. But sexual intercourse, menstruation and hormonal fluctuations throughout the month can all cause an unbalanced vaginal pH. Follow the tips above and consider using RepHresh™ Odor Eliminating Gel, which is clinically shown to maintain healthy vaginal pH.
10. Balance the yeast and bacteria in your vagina
Your self-sustaining vaginal biome typically keeps bacteria and yeast in check, but sometimes one or the other takes off.
For everyday vag maintenance, consider using RepHresh™ Pro-B™ Probiotic, which is clinically shown to balance yeast and bacteria to maintain feminine health.*
11. Be honest with your doctor & see them regularly
See your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or health care clinic at least annually to make sure your vag is doing well and be sure to contact them whenever something feels (or smells) off. You know your body better than anyone, so you can tell your healthcare provider what’s up.
It’s important to be honest during these visits, letting your doctor know who and what has been in your vagina, when, and how you’re feeling. Your doctor is your partner in the care and keeping of your vag, and they need all the details to give you the best advice and medicine, if needed.
Love Your Vag Every Day
There was a time when women were taught to be ashamed of their normal vaginal discharge and aroma. Vaginas are moist, discharge is normal, and every woman and person with a vagina has a unique, somewhat spicy aroma. Love your body and your unique vagina and scent. If there’s an unusual odor or discharge, check in with your doctor.
Take care of your vagina by following the tips above and using a gynecologist-recommended product, like RepHresh™ Vaginal Gel to help balance pH, eliminate vaginal odor and relieve discomfort due to dryness.
#Dr. Jackie Walters, RepHresh Women’s Health & Wellness Expert, is a paid expert.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.