Fact: Your intimate health is just as important as the rest of your physical health. But when was the last time you checked the pH of your privates? If it was yesterday, fantastic! You’re truly a vagina self-care sensation. Congratulations.
Yet, among most women’s busy lives it’s fair to say the majority of us often forget to book that check-up to the gynaecologist. Not ideal. In fact, according to a 2019 YouGov survey 45% of women cannot correctly locate their vagina! So, you may ask, what hope is there for the rest of us to give our V the TLC it really deserves? Well, actually, there’s plenty. In this article we’ll be exploring quick wins for intimate health and longer term lifestyle changes to take care of yourself down there.
Quick wins: Helping your vagina to help you
There’s no doubt that the vagina is an amazing organ. With a diverse mix of vaginal flora (a.k.a healthy bacteria, only rivalled in capacity by bowel bacteria) that helps to produce discharge to keep our vaginal mucous membranes infection-free, it really is incredible. This does mean it’s self-cleaning, yes, but only to a certain extent. We have to help it stay this way to keep vagina-vulva-cleanse working as it should. How? Here are some easy ways:
- Buy 100% cotton underwear
Let your lady bits breathe already! Polyester-cotton blends are often more affordable, but when it comes to vaginal health the devil’s truly in the detail. Spending a little more on cotton-only buys or shopping for lower polyester percentage blends can truly keep you feeling and smelling fresher for longer.
- Don’t cover yourself up down there at night
Given the average sleep cycle is between 6 to 8 hours, covering your vagina in bed can be detrimental to vagina health. Especially if you’re wearing the wrong underwear. Let your vulva breathe by going commando before you sleep.
- Nourish your V with Vitamin E and Omega 3
Eat your way to intimate health by switching up your meals. Fish, nuts, avocados, some plant seeds and other foods rich in naturally fatty acids like Omega 3 or Vitamin E are quick way to give your V a healthy moisture boost.
This is particularly important if you’re experiencing atrophy (vaginal dryness) during menopause. If you are, cutting out drinks with high alcohol content, or foods with high sugar content, is a good idea too.
- Keep your sex toys clean
Your daily reminder to wipe them down: you’re welcome!
Cleanliness routine changes
Changing the way you view vagina health starts with the product you buy. If you have any heavily scented products for intimate care, throw them out immediately. Really. They’re not helping. If you have none or are not sure where to start with intimate health shopping, we’re here to guide you!
- Try the MegsMenopause Blossom Balm
Do your vagina a huge favour and buy our Blossom Balm. Uniquely formulated to moisturise and care for intimate skin, Blossom Balm is a gentle yet deeply penetrating vaginal moisturiser that’s been recommended by Get The Gloss Beauty and Wellness Awards. Thank us later.
What’s in our Blossom Balm?
Rose water – a fragrant natural ingredient great for retaining moisture and stopping intimate inflammation, all while protecting your skin cells from oxidative stress.
Marshmallow Root – a mineral and vitamin rich natural ingredient, mallow root provides effective soothing, anti-irritant and moisturising properties for enhanced hydration when you need it most.
Aloe Vera – a well known medicinal ingredient that retains moisture in its leaves thanks to its desert origins. Aloe Vera has many excellent anti-inflammatory properties that are used to treat burns and soothe irritated skin, each offering refreshment and protection against vaginal dryness.
- Vegan friendly
- Deeply moisturising
- Balances intimate pH
- Recyclable packaging
- Can use after showering/bathing or for a midday moisture top up
- Vaginal health 101: Wipe the right way
This may seem elementary, but it really is important you wipe front to back to keep yourself clean down there. Going the other way can introduce a whole host of unwanted bacteria from your rectum to your vagina. Nasty, right? We’re pretty sure that’s an infection you can do without.
- Don’t douche or steam down there. Ever.
Yep. Forget the steaming fad and outdated douching cliche. A good gynaecologist will tell you that both these things are more harmful than helpful in keeping your vagina clean. In fact one of Meg’s Menopause resident doctors, Dr. Ornella Cappellari, told us exactly that! Follow her on Instagram for more helpful vaginal health and menopause advice.
Remember your vagina self-care during sex
In the heat of the moment, forgetting how intimacy affects your intimate health is easy. Yet, how we sexually interact with our own bodies and partners has a lasting effect on how healthy our vaginas are. Not to mention the effect on your sexual partner too. Here are some preventative steps you can take to keep yourself clean.
- Select your condoms and lube with care
Sex is complicated, sure. But menopause sex? A whole other league of complexity. One of the first sexual changes we notice due to menopause is atrophy (vaginal dryness). To help make your session smoother or friction burn lesser, consider switching to oil-based lubes.
MegsMenopause handy oil based lube is perfect for those who want more out of their sexual adventures.
- Vegan friendly
- Puts the joy back into sex
- Ideal for couple or solo use
- Recyclable packaging
- Wash your hands before sex
…and in an ideal world, ask your partner politely to as well! It might sound like a bore, but given the bacteria exchanged from unwashed hands to our most intimate parts during sex, it’s well worth the caution. Just like you’d hate to kiss someone with breath that has an unidentifiable food odour, you shouldn’t let just anything into your vagina. Seems obvious enough, if you ask us.
- Pee when it’s over
It’s always tempting to recover from the panting and physical exhaustion of sex with some cosy pillow talk, but it’s time to change up your pattern! Since UTIs are to do with your urethra you need to pee after (and preferably before) sex. Keeping the urine in your bladder gives the bacteria ample opportunity to develop into an unwanted infection.
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