Physician Approved Tips on Vagina Care

by | May 30, 2023 | Floozy's Safer Sex Guide, Taking Care of You

Its never too late or early to get a healthier vagina *wink*

Vulva. Vagina. There I said it (no side eye remember?). These are unfortunately still dirty words in regular conversation.

The stigma following the vagina and vulva makes it hard to remember they are two separate organs, much less care for them.

Sadly, a good number of us can relate to learning core tips about sexual health much later than we need to.

There’s also a lot of misinformation on how we can and should care for the vulva and vagina and some of it is very dangerous.

So, we spoke with Dr Nsisong Asang, a physician and fellow woman, to give some tips about the importance of vaginal health.

Remember these are body parts and we need to be able to care for them properly (whether you have one or not).

Kegels are great,

Kegels, or pelvic floor training, are exercises that people do to strengthen the muscles of their pelvic floor.

These are muscles that support your bladder, bowel and vagina.

It’s a common misconception that kegels are for older people, especially women approaching 50, they are like any other exercise and should be done by almost any age.

They help your vagina’s grip and are often used to treat issues like weak bladders and fecal incontinence. You can also be prescribed items to like kegel weights by a pelvic floor therapist to aid you.

But yoni eggs or douches are not

There aren’t a lot of things you should put in your vagina. Yoni eggs are one of them.

Yoni eggs are usually gemstones in the shape of an egg (hence the name) that claim to strengthen the pelvic floor and enhance the libido.

These claims are not backed up by medical research and most consensus is, like most foreign bodies, they can disturb the vagina’s microbial environment and harm the person using them.

Douches are fluids like water and vinegar that are used to wash the vaginal canal by squirting it up there. Some douching products also have fragrances in them.

Most medical professionals like Dr Bassey do not advise any kind of douching as the vagina is a self cleaning organ and introducing even water can upset the ph balance of the vagina and cause more problems than douching companies claim to solve.

Don’t go from anus to vagina

Porn, unsurprisingly, was wrong about this one.

To quote Tiffany Haddish:

“Dirty nails or a dirty D ain’t going anywhere near me”

Do not move fingers, dildo or penis into your vagina after anal penetrative sex.

Despite your probably extensive prep for anal sex, that’s where faeces comes from.

Poo has germs that can hurt the vagina’s bacterial environment and harm your health.

Additionally, when wiping after using the toilet, vulva owners should go from the vulva to the anus when cleaning for the same reason.

READ: Anal Sex Beginners Guide for Exploration of Pleasure

Pee after sex

Illustration by Audrey Chow

Yes, you should do it every time you have sex (looking at you lesbians).

Peeing after sex is advised to reduce the likelihood of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Rinsing is a good idea too if you don’t feel like peeing (you don’t want sperm trickling down your leg do you? *yuck*).

Cotton underwear is best

Enhance your comfort with cotton underwear

I hate to sound like a hater but that stretchy, sexy thong you love ever so much is hurting your vulva’s health. Cotton underwear that fits snug but not too tight is best to prevent irritating the sensitive skin of the vulva. Going without is good too, especially when sleeping. Doctor’s orders.

Only mild soap and water

The vulva, unlike the vagina, does need cleaning.

Like other parts of the skin, regular cleaning and maintenance is required.

Dr. Bassey recommends unscented mild soap and clean water on the vulva and only using other types of soap recommended by your gynaecologist.

Pubic hair, don’t care

Whether you’re a bare skin, trimmer or full bush advocate, pubic hair has its functions.

It protects against germs that could enter the vagina and reduces friction between the vulva and other surfaces like your underwear and places you sit.

Trimming it or removing it entirely is not medically necessary but “a personal or partner preference”, according to Dr. Bassey.

Discharge and Smell

All people with vulvas deal with misconceptions about how it should smell and taste, including what foods can and cannot help the smell and taste of your fluids. (No research has said any food can, by the way)

Dr Bassey says that everyone’s normal is different and whatever your vulva smells like when you are not sick or uncomfortable is what’s normal for you.

“But if you notice that smells wrong, like fishy, see a doctor”

and finally

Get regular check- ups

Going to the gynaecologist can be scary, especially for the first time.

Dr. Bassey suggests going yearly.

Going in when you encounter issues like painful sex, heavy bleeding at unusual times, bad smells and irritation as soon as possible is recommended as well.

Listen to your doctor when something is recommended and follow any instructions on taking medicines.

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