“Everyone knows how to contour, but few know how to take care of their vagina”
DeoDoc founders Hasti and Dr. Hedieh Asadi are not wrong. Think about it, the body’s waste substances are expelled through the vagina, periods come out of it and babies, too. Yet very few women are well-versed in taking care of our own vagina.
Are we really supposed to use feminine wash? Do we use tissue, wipes or a towel to dry?? Is that discharge normal??? We did our research to answer some of the most important questions we have but are too shy to ask about intimate care.
The Importance of Condoms
Contrary to popular belief, there’s more to condoms than protecting you from unplanned pregnancy. It is “the only effective way to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs),” explains Gokhan Anil, M.D., an ob-gyn in the Mayo Clinic Health System. What’s more, they also help keep the vag’s pH level steady during sex, which means the good bacteria in your microbiome stays healthy. Sure, sex feels better without the condom, but would you really risk getting an infection for that?
Always Pee Post-Coitus
Real life is not a movie; don’t just go to bed post-coitus. Pee after sex to flush out stuff from the urethra to prevent urinary tract infections. Experts suggest taking in a lot of fluids, like lemon water to lower the PH.
See Your OB-GYN
Make it a point to see your gyno, especially if you're active. You can have as much sex as you want, but do so responsibly. Schedule that annual exam, get tested and don’t be shy to talk to your doctor. This is the time to ask about birth control, fertility, STIs, etc.
Antibiotics Kill the Good and the Bad
Use antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor and take note of dosage and frequency. Too much antibiotics (so do stick to the schedule) can ironically cause yeast and other infections to grow in your microbiome. Make sure to replenish all that good bacteria with probiotic-rich foods or probiotic supplements as needed.
Be Critical About Your Feminine Hygiene Products
“The vagina already has healthy bacteria that maintain its harmony. Introducing new chemicals to that can disrupt that harmony,” explains Anil, especially when it comes to intravaginal hygiene products. Using them can actually increase your risk of getting infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and even STDs. As we've said once before, the vagina is a self-cleaning machine; trust the vag to do its job.
But Do Clean the Vulva
The vulva, the external part of your genitals which includes the labia, does need to be cleaned. Bacteria and smegma (buildup of oils and dead skin) can hide in the folds and you’ll want to clear it out in the shower. Wash gently using your hands and a mild soap or a feminine wash that's hypoallergenic, OB-GYN-tested and will always have your back like pH Care. And just like your best girl friend, pH Care's #GotYouGirl
Switch to Cotton Panties
The vagina has a preference for underwear: cotton. It needs to breathe and cotton lets air in while absorbing moisture. What’s best for the vag? Going commando when you can, like at home but never at the gym.
Oils, Serum Down There?
Not on the vagina, but the pubic hair and skin could use a nourishing treatment with an all-natural lightweight oil. Look for products with jojoba oils, and Vitamins A and E to soften and condition hair, and tea tree oil to clear pores and minimize ingrown hair. A few drops will do.
Scented feminine products such as pads and tampons can cause irritation or an allergic reaction down there. Experts say it doesn’t matter if you use commercial made pads, organic tampons or plastic applicators, just as long as they aren’t scented. What we’re saying is, embrace your natural woman scent. We all differ in funk and there's no shame in that.
Don’t. Touch. That. Ingrown. Hair.
If you prefer to shave, do shave with a fresh clean razor and replace it every one to two weeks. Meanwhile if you like to wax, don’t DIY it unless you are professionally trained. Gently exfoliate the pubic area pre-service and go to a reputable place to get it done. Experts also advise women not to sit in damp or sweaty clothes for too long because it can trap bacteria in the pubic area thus causing ingrown hair.
The Vagina is a Muscle
Just like we exercise our limbs and our core, the vagina needs a work out, too. Universally, women are recommended to do 3 sets of 10 kegels each day, holding each kegel for five seconds. Do the math and you’ll realize it only takes three minutes of your time. You can do it first thing in the morning or even in your office chair.
So when was the last time you checked down there?
Art Alexandra Lara