Pratisandhi

Caring For Your Vagina 101

Since many of us are in the dark about our private parts it becomes hard to take good care and stay healthy. So, before I start listing down the basics of vaginal health I’d suggest self-examination. Get comfortable, grab a mirror, open a diagram, have enough light, and explore your body. You’d be surprised how beautiful your body is and what an amazing organ your vagina is.

Cleaning

vagina, hygiene

The vagina is an important organ that makes us assume it needs special care. This isn’t wrong at all, it does need special care but not when it comes to cleaning. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Washing genitals must be a part of your daily routine, however; the insides do not need that. Douching is known as the process here which involves using water and other cleaning materials to wash the insides. Douching can upset the natural pH of the organ. Using only water (NO SCENTED SOAP) is sufficient to wash around the vagina and vulva. It is always advised to wash after you pee and have sex to prevent any sort of unwanted infections. All vaginas have a unique smell, which is usually described as ‘‘fishy.’’

 

Pubic Hair

vagina, pubic hair

We’re often insecure about our appearance down there. Different techniques like shaving, waxing, trimming, etc. are used to get rid of pubes. We overlook the disadvantages this might be causing. Shaving can lead to bumps, waxing could lead to rashes and other skin issues. It is okay to trim the bikini line but keeping some amount of pubes is suggested since they can protect the vagina from bacteria and also reduce problems related to friction or sweating. It’s totally up to the vagina owner as to what they want. Pubic hair grooming is a tedious task altogether and carelessness can cause injuries and infections. The best advice to prevent this is to go slow, disinfect, and keep skin moist during the hair removal and moisturize after. Notwithstanding, you can choose to go natural and keep your hair!

 

Vaginal Discharge

We’re often insecure about our appearance down there. Different techniques like shaving, waxing, trimming, etc. are used to get rid of pubes. We overlook the disadvantages this might be causing. Shaving can lead to bumps, waxing could lead to rashes and other skin issues. It is okay to trim the bikini line but keeping some amount of pubes is suggested since they can protect the vagina from bacteria and also reduce problems related to friction or sweating. It’s totally up to the vagina owner as to what they want. Pubic hair grooming is a tedious task altogether and carelessness can cause injuries and infections. The best advice to prevent this is to go slow, disinfect, and keep skin moist during the hair removal and moisturize after. Notwithstanding, you can choose to go natural and keep your hair!

Menstruation

Period products, cup, pad, tampon

As there is blood flow from the body woman’s should give extra attention to their vagina. Using warm water is the best way as sometimes soap can irritate sensitive skin. Make sure the products you use are vagina-friendly. Fragrant products never do you good. A very common mistake many woman make is using one pad for numerous hours or leaving the tampon in for too long. Frequent changes are needed as not changing pads could lead to the growth of bacteria and sometimes leaving tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome which is lethal.

Use appropriate products in the sense that the absorbent level matches your menstrual flow. Keeping a track of the cycle helps a lot especially since PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) could go unnoticed for months. Making sure the color of blood remains between bright red to brown is important too. Just like menstrual products need to be changed, so does your underwear. Cotton is the best fabric here. Even when you are not menstruating it is recommended to wear loose clothes. At night you can also go to bed without your underwear and let your vagina breathe.

Sex Life

The easiest thing you can do is practice safe sex. Make use of contraceptives and check the ingredients. Even while using lube be aware of what goes in it and if it is right for your vagina. When you are masturbating alone or with your partner, the toys you might be using should be body-safe.

Conclusion

As I conclude I would like to mention something I came across a while back. We forget how strong the vagina is. It has the ability to push out an entire baby; it is a miracle machine. There is absolutely nothing the vagina owner should be insecure about or worry about until and unless it is a health concern. Meeting societal expectations is not always good. If it doesn’t make you happy then you do you.

So many times we get to hear slurs like ‘‘you are a pussy’’ often used in the context of a ‘‘weak’’ person. If you truly think about it… how is it even right? Firstly one shouldn’t be using such offensive statements and secondly who are we to relate vagina with cowardice? It makes us intellectual fools to even link a symbol of strength, an organ of power with weakness. 

Graphic design by: Anshika Maria Sunny

 

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