A To Z Care For Our V : Vaginal Health
‘Vagina is not our shame So, please refrain.’
Vaginal Health is still a taboo subject. Many wom*n till date avoid talking or sharing their perspectives regarding feminine hygiene. This hesitation in return adds to a grand total of 70% of vagina owners suffering from severe infections and intimate problems. Hence, proper vaginal hygiene is extremely important not only in terms of sexual wellbeing but for overall body care and fitness as well. However, being obsessive over intimate health will be too much. Time to time self-grooming and following a certain routine is more than enough to keep vagina safe.
What Does A Normal Vagina Look Like ?
During the reproductive period, walls of the healthy vagina are pinkish in color having plump mucosa. The outer folds of the vulva are Labia majora (outer lips) which along with Labia Minora (or small lips) protect and enclose the external genital organ. After the vaginal opening, there is a small protrusion called Clitoris. It is extremely sensitive to touch and source of sexual stimulation. On the overall account, vagina is the inner canal inside our body joining the vulva and cervix.
Our vagina is self-defensive in nature and capable of lubricating the area. The credits goes to Lactobacilli bacteria that live in there and secrete lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, which give the perfect acidic pH level. Though vaginal pH can change depending upon a person’s lifestyle and menstrual duration. It is advised to maintain pH between 3.8 and 4.5 as pH level within this range can help to keep bacterial and fungal infections at bay.
Everyday Problems Of Vagina
Whether it is persistent irritation, inflammation while peeing, an abnormal discharge or soreness, when things aren’t right down there, you know it.
At one point of time, every vagina owner goes through any of the above mentioned situations. Resulting in continuous distraction and discomfort in regular life. Vaginal infections can have several causes. Broadly ranging from overgrowth of the fungus to unprotected sexual activities. The frequently targeted issue by the vagina owners is abnormal vaginal discharge. Everyday thin or frothy discharge with an unusual fishy smell that can be clear, white or yellowish is bothering wom*n from all the ages. Apart from that, redness and lump growth adds a good deal to uneasiness. Hat tip to our negligence and poor preservation. With every passing day, the atmosphere of our vagina gets worse. And ending the chapter with thousands of complications.
Vaginal Hygiene : Do's And Don'ts
There are a number of confusions and misconceptions attached to vaginal hygiene. Questions like : Are we cleaning it right? Is vaginal douching safe? What is the correct way of wiping? Are we shaving it right? Do I smell normal?, endlessly strike the vaginal owners.
Most of the wom*n on the planet are unaware of the fact that every vagina has their own special scent. No vagina is odourless , nor should they be. Sometimes it smells a little coppery or sometimes simply sweet depending on our diet and menstrual cycle. It doesn’t need any fragranced soap and sprays to reduce the odour which continuously irritates the sensitive skin in and around the vulva.
However, vaginal cleanliness is a topic of concern. The most continual myth revolving around is of vaginal douching. It is highly recommended not to douche, just cleaning your vulva with warm water or gently wiping with a clean washcloth from front to back is enough for maintaining good health. Douching, rubbing or any kind of wash inside may disturb the natural bacterial balance. Hence, directing to bacterial vaginosis, skin burning or yeast infection. During menstruation as well one should clean the genital-tract twice a day to control odour and bacterial growth. Other than that, changing pads regularly is necessary. Preventing the use of tampons is appreciated because by nature they absorb everything indiscriminately. It has been noticed that one of the major reasons behind the breakdown of the defensive vaginal layer is due to the use of tampons. In the end, triggering the growth of bacteria. Even steaming to ease period cramps isn’t a good idea as it can hurt the delicate tissues in and around.
Our vagina has an ability to clean itself. So if you want a clean vagina, leave it alone to clean itself!
How Can You Care For Your Vagina
Bad vaginal health not only hinders our life physically but mentally too. Therefore, we need to keep the tips for maintaining a healthy vagina on our finger-tips. The best method to achieve the desired goal is to ‘DO LESS’. Extensive use of feminine products on a daily basis or rubbing vulva to death with a towel when drying off, doesn’t end the problems but invites infection and dryness. As vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. So using harsh chemicals found in products marketed to help wom*n feel or smell cleaner never brought anything extraordinary. Though a bit of trimming or removing hair along your swimsuit line is okay but heavy shaving may result in overgrowth of bacteria. And finally establishing yeast infection. For preventing the transmission of sexual diseases it advised to practice safer sex. In short never forget condoms, treat it like a wipe that is, go front to back and always peeing after sexual activities. To control redness as well as irritation wear breathable undergarments. Also not wiping the vagina after urinating can cause the panties to get wet, which can not only lead to bad odour but put us at risk. Hence, it is always advised to wipe the area using toilet paper or a soft cloth so the underwear is always dry. To keep the pelvic floor toned and strong exercises like squats, glute bridges and posterior pelvic tilts must be done on a regular basis. Switching to different eating plans and overindulging can make it difficult for vagina to self-regulate. It is suggested to stick to a balanced diet comprising antioxidants and probiotics to keep the normal vaginal pH.
By following small steps today we can produce a tomorrow which is confident and healthy.
Written by: Prerna Panghal
Edited by: Saairah