Part of owning a vagina means learning how to take care of it. The good news is vaginas pretty much take care of themselves – they protect, lubricate and clean without us doing much of anything.
That being said, there are some easy ways to ensure your vagina stays healthy and happy (hint…they do not involve pizza).
Here are the top 10:
- Shower regularly and use a mild soap to clean in between the folds of the labia – you can do this with your fingers, a washcloth, or a loofa. However you do it, just make sure you get in between all the folds
- Wear cotton underwear during the day to allow the vagina to breath. The cotton will also soak up sweat and/or normal discharge
- If you wear a pad or pantyliner, be sure to use one that is non-scented – perfumes and chemicals on pads are a big no no and can lead to more irritation (as we discussed in the period module)
- Don’t wear underwear at night! This is an easy fix and something that most people don’t know. This allows your vagina to “air out” while you are sleeping (unless you are on your period of course)
- Change out of wet or sweaty clothes quickly – for example, don’t wear your wet bathing suit for several hours after going in the pool or don’t wear your sweaty workout clothes until you go to bed.
- Avoid douching, vaginal sprays or perfumes, or vaginal hygiene wipes – all have chemicals that can irritate the vagina and vulva.
- Change your pad or tampon regularly (every 3 to 4 hours)
- Avoid bubblebaths or bathbombs – these can notoriously lead to irritation or even infection
- If you are sexually active – try to pee after you have sex and clean your vagina and vulva thoroughly
- Don’t put items in your vagina that you can’t get out. If you think something is stuck in there, first try to feel it. It you can’t get it out on your own, see your Gynecologist for help. And trust me, this is nothing to be embarrassed about – your Gynecologist has probably removed all kinds of things – ping pong balls, sex toys, and even tampons!
So there you have it. Hopefully there are a few easy changes you can make from this list – all with the goal of becoming a healthier version of you!
And if you have questions or thoughts on future posts, please feel free to message us!
XO, Dr. Q
Dr. Quimby is the co-founder of FemEd – a female health education platform that educates females of all ages about their bodies.
She is also a former professor at USC Keck school of Medicine where she led the OBGYN clerkship. She is passionate about education and empowering her patients and her students through knowledge and shared decision making.
She is currently a full time OBGYN at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles.
Dr. Quimby has received accolades for teaching and leadership. She has been named Top Doctor by both Pasadena and Los Angeles Magazines. She is a regular speaker throughout the community giving talks to both the public and other physicians. She has contributed to LAist, SELF, and several other news media sources.
Her special interests include: preconception counseling and improving sexual health
When she’s not educating the public on all things female health she can be found traveling with her 2 young daughters and ever supportive husband.
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