Embrace the Self-Cleaning Phenomenon of Your Vagina
Your vagina is equipped with an autonomous cleaning mechanism. Except for infection or other complications, fundamental cleanliness is all that’s needed.
During your shower, clean your vulva using unscented soap and water. Beware of over-cleaning or introducing chemicals, as these can lead to irritation. Additionally, don’t forget to adhere to the front-to-back wiping rule post-urination. That’s the essence of maintaining vaginal cleanliness!
Feminine Wash – Is It Really Necessary?
Contrary to what advertisements might suggest, feminine hygiene products are largely unnecessary. They offer negligible benefits at a very high cost. More concerning, products used internally, such as douches, can disrupt the delicate bacterial balance in your vagina, causing irritation or infections. Any vaginal device should be meticulously cleaned between uses.
The exceptions are lubricants and vaginal moisturizers, which can be safe if chosen carefully. Opt for products free of fragrances and chemicals. Also, immediately discontinue their use if irritation occurs. For condom users, a water-based lubricant is recommended, as oil-based variants can undermine condom effectiveness.
The Reality of Vaginal Odor
Odor is a normal aspect of your body. If you notice a new or different odor, it might be best to consult a gynecologist to rule out infection.
However, the regular odor is completely normal. If you’re concerned, breathable cotton underwear and loose clothing can help improve ventilation in the area. The key to maintaining good vaginal odor is maintaining a healthy vaginal pH balance. Vaginal probiotics such as Pro-Fem are proven to help with this.
The Power of Choice When It Comes to Pubic Hair
The decision regarding pubic hair maintenance is very personal. It should solely be your choice. Therefore, do not let your partner or societal norms influence you.
With that said, remember that your gynecologist isn’t concerned with your grooming choices. If hair removal is preferred, options like clipping, trimming, laser removal, or waxing are preferable over shaving. Shaving can induce folliculitis, a condition resembling pimples due to infected hair follicles, and razors can potentially harbor a plethora of bacteria.
Visiting the Gynecologist During Your Period
Contrary to common belief, having your period doesn’t prevent you from getting a vaginal exam or Pap smear. The menstrual cycle is a standard physiological process, and gynecologists are equipped to attend to you at any stage of the cycle.
Understanding Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is a natural sign of good health. It helps maintain moisture, foster healthy bacteria, and expel harmful bacteria. Unless there’s a sudden change, there’s no cause for concern.
When to Seek Help from an OBGYN
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be best to consult with your doctor:
- Unexpected changes in discharge unrelated to a new birth control method or pregnancy
- An unusually foul or fishy odor
- Experiences of itching or burning
- Pain during intercourse or urination
- Newly formed bumps or sores
- Irregular periods not explained by your birth control method
Your gynecologist can help with all these symptoms. The only exception might be yeast infections, which can often be addressed with over-the-counter medication.
However, if it’s your first infection or the medication is not effective, consult your gynecologist to tailored medical advice.