Are you one of those women who neglect your vagina?
Only thinking about it when something is wrong, such as unusual discharge or itchiness?
The vagina carries out an important function of serving as a channel for a woman to deliver a baby into the world.
Which means that it can expand far beyond its normal size to ensure the baby’s safe journey out of the mother’s womb.
Besides that, the vagina is also crucial in sex and reproduction.
If you have been busy to think about the ways in which your vagina can be neglected, injured or unhealthy, it’s still not too late to keep your vagina healthy and happy.
Here are seven ways to make your vagina happy according to Star2:
- Wear cotton underwear
Cotton absorbs moisture (wetness) and allows for better aeration.
This will keep your vagina dry as a damp vagina will be inclined to fungal infections.
- Cycle with care
Are you a fan of indoor cycling classes? Have you ever experienced some numbness, pain or tingling in your vagina while cycling?
This is caused by the way you sit while bicycling, you may be compressing the nerves and blood vessels in your crotch, which if done often can reduce genital sensation.
You can protect your vagina by using a harder seat, but wearing padded shorts.
You are also likely to experience the most discomfort if you ride with the handlebars lower than the seat.
One way to overcome this is to check your seat and handlebars positioning, the seat should be at or right below your hip when you are standing next to the bike.
The handlebars should be at the highest position that feels comfortable to you.
- Keep it clean
Yes, we know what you’re thinking: Of course I keep my vagina clean! But women make a lot of common mistakes when it is about vaginal hygiene.
The first is not taking off gym or exercise clothes right after a workout.
Even if they don’t seem very dirty, the sweat (especially in the genital area, which has plenty of sweat glands) causes bacteria to multiply.
Overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina can upset the balance of good and bad bacteria that is present in there and lead to yeast infections.
Therefore, it is advisable, after every workout to change out of your gym clothes and have a quick shower, not forgetting to rinse your vaginal area well.
- Don’t douche or use scented soaps
Another common mistake when it comes to vaginal health is douching the vagina (spraying water into the vagina) or using feminine hygiene products that involve rinsing or inserting into the vagina.
Doing this can actually increase the risk of having infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and sexually-transmitted infections.
Scented soaps and body gels are big no-no’s when looking after your vagina. As these can cause irritation and dryness to the labia and area around the vulva.
All you have to do is rinse with warm water or a plain, gentle, unscented soap once a week (or after an exercise session).
Worry about the smell? The vagina actually keeps itself clean by producing discharge.
Only when the discharge is abnormally heavy or foul-smelling that we should be worried about it.
- Don’t tattoo your vagina
The skin on the vaginal area is the most sensitive part of the whole body. Getting a tattoo there will ensure an itchy rash and inflammation.
Even temporary tattoos on your vagina are a bad idea, as the cheap dye used will cause irritation similar to real tattoos.
- Don’t take antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary
Antibiotics do not only kill the disease-causing bacteria in the body, but it also kills the good bacteria, like lactobacilli, that protects the vagina from yeast infections.
If your doctor prescribes you with antibiotics, it’s alright to ask whether it’s really necessary.
If it is necessary, you will need to supplement your diet with probiotics while you are finishing the prescribed antibiotics.
- Use the right kind of lubricant
Vaginal dryness happens to a lot of women. It can be due to contraceptive pills, antihistamines, antidepressants, pregnancy or menopause.
Choosing the right kind of lubricant can help make sexual intercourse more comfortable and pleasurable.
Oil-based lubricants like baby oil or petroleum jelly products are thicker and don’t wash out very easily.
These lubricants can get stuck in your vaginal canal, trapping bacteria in it and leading to infections.
Therefore, use silicone- or water-based lubes instead.