27 Jan How Much Do You Know About Your Vagina?
The ‘birds and bees’ chat was uncomfortable enough in my adolescent years. Between my father grunting through, “you’ve probably noticed your body is starting to change,” and my mother preaching that men are no good and need to be avoided at all costs, it’s no wonder I let my eyes glaze over and disappeared to a happy place during these talks. Problem is, I ended up missing any inherent advice my mother, in particular, had to share about feminine health.
Sex education in primary and high school was incredibly phallocentric; more about sperm and coitus than anything else, so there wasn’t much I learned there either.
It’s a funny thing the way that these conversations have been muted due to what is deemed publically acceptable when the truth is – open and honest conversation around this thing that 100% of females have can open doors to new health and wellness around this wonderful thing known as: The Vagina.
It was only as my friends and I got older, and more comfortable speaking about our bodies, that we began to share tips and tricks about vaginal care.
The internet is also a great source of knowledge if you know where to look. While I suggest you avoid self-diagnosing via WebMD at ALL COST, there are a number of great homoeopathic remedies I picked up for treating candida flare-ups on the net.
So let’s get stuck in. You’ve probably heard about a few of these tips to keep your vulva happy, your PH balanced, and odour agreeable.
KEEPING YOUR VULVA HAPPY:
Before we begin, it is tantamount to your physical self-awareness that you know the difference between your vulva and your vagina. Everything outside your body (in that area) including your labia, clitoris, vaginal entrance, and the opening to the urethra – which you urinate out of – is your vulva. The vagina is the shaft inside your body that leads towards your cervix and eventually your uterus.
If you are negligent, you can easily irritate the skin and climate of your vulva. You often hear gynaecologists talking about Ph Balances and the importance of keeping yours at a healthy place. Human skin is quite acidic; this is to deter fungus and bacteria. If your Ph is either too high or too low, it becomes a breeding ground for all those pesky microorganisms. Yeast infections or Dermatitis is often the result (women with eczema are known to experience dermatitis).
In order to keep your Ph Balance stabilised, it’s highly recommended that you avoid scented feminine wipes or soaps. Cleaning yourself with warm water keeps your genital area at as natural state as possible.
The area can also get quite damp, and that tropical climate is ideal for all kinds of things to form. If you stick to cotton underwear and skip of the skin-tight clothing and tight jeans, you’re giving your vulva a chance to ventilate.
I LOVE MY VAGINA
It is known that the vagina is self-cleansing but you can certainly help it along by drinking sufficient water so it can flush itself out. Annual checkups with your gynaecologist are incredibly important, especially if you are sexually active. DID YOU KNOW: It is encouraged that you schedule your appointment for just after your period too.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PINK’S SCENT
In the past, women have felt the pressure to live up to unfair, and almost impossible beauty standards. There was a silly trend a few years ago where women where taking pictures of their underwear at the end of the day and gloating about the lack of discharge. A healthy vagina will discharge multiple times throughout the day and that secretion can bleach your underwear over time.
That is normal.
A healthy vagina also won’t smell like a field of daisies. If you’re using perfumes and powders to achieve that, you’re doing more long-lasting harm. However, there are certain food items that will naturally make you smell a little sweeter down there because of their natural sugar content. Pineapples, strawberries and cranberries have proven to work but PLEASE do not consume in excess because the acidity in the fruit will upset your Ph levels. Greek yoghurt, as a probiotic, is the good type of bacteria that will keep your Ph level (and odour) at a normal place.
There are medical professionals who advise that anything that makes your breath smell bad, will make your genital area smell bad too. Therefore, it would be best to avoid alcohol, fish and red meat if you’re worried about your vaginal odour too.
EAT YOUR WAY TO A NATURALLY LUBRICATED VAGINA
Women’s bodies are all different. While some females have no issue with lubrication, others who might be taking chronic medication, are experiencing a drop in libido associated with certain mental and behavioural conditions, or are going through menopause, lubrication is an issue. Food items like avocado, apples and leafy greens have been known to help.