Our lady parts have a mind of their own sometimes. There are times when we can eat anything we want, have all the sex our heart desires, and nothing would go wrong. But suddenly, everything changes. Almost anything we do triggers a vaginal issue… from odor to yeast infections… to BV . And whenever we treat the infection, we still continue to feel super self-conscious. We constantly fear getting an infection again.
If you've been there, you know what it feels like. Maybe you've faced challenges like vaginal odor, yeast infections and BV in the past. Nobody wants to go through that ever again. That itching, burning, and discomfort that makes you feel self-conscious. But, you can put vaginal issues behind you for good.
With the right approach, you can say adios! to vaginal problems forever… and while you’re at it, remember to tell them you won’t miss them. What’s the right approach?
It’s simple. You only need to keep these four things in mind:
1. The big Secret is Your pH
The big secret of ladies who no longer have vaginal infections is that they monitor their pH like hawks. Why? Because your pH can tell you if your vagina’s self-cleaning mechanism is on.
If your vagina’s self-cleaning mechanism is always on, you will never have an infection. So it’s a good idea to check your pH often. That way you can have peace of mind that you’re safe… that you won’t get an infection soon. So whenever you feel like it, you can safely have good sex, eat what you want without remorse.
But if you check your pH and notice that it’s not within the acidic range — meaning your self-defense is OFF — you can take the action immediately to reset it.
But for most women, their pH is already delicate. If that’s you, here are a few things to keep in mind. They’ll help to keep your pH from being disrupted:
- Mind Your Meals: Your diet can influence your vaginal health. Yogurt with active cultures, cranberries, and probiotics can promote a healthy balance of bacteria.
- Avoid Over-washing: Overzealous cleaning can disrupt your pH. Go au naturel! Your body is designed to maintain its balance. Gentle unscented soap and water on the external parts are enough to keep you clean downstairs.
- Keep It Breathable: choose cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting pants. It helps your lady bits to breathe, which reduces moisture and maintains a balanced pH.
2. You don’t have to meet BV and yeastie beasties ever again
Yeast infections should be the worst. If they’re not, they’re probably right up there with severe vaginal odor and dryness. Yeast not only makes you super itchy, it’s also not an easy infection to treat.
If you’ve struggled with yeast infections before, you’d pay anything not to struggle with it again. The same goes for BV… it can cause a terrible vaginal odor that makes you want to just sink into the ground in public. But while many women struggle with yeast infections and BV on a daily basis, you can bid them farewell.
All you have to do is pay attention to these three tips. They’ll cut your chances of getting BV or yeasties down to almost zero:
- Limit Antibiotics: Only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Why? Because antibiotics are designed to disrupt the balance of bacteria in your body… including your vagina! When you have to take antibiotics, make sure your doctor practices antibiotic stewardship.
- Stay Dry: After a workout or swim, change out of wet clothes as soon as possible. Yeast loves to fester in a damp groin.
- Understand how intercourse affects you: some women’s pH is so delicate. Their husband’s semen is usually enough to alter their vaginal pH and contribute to bacterial vaginosis. In that case, you can see a professional… or if you want a DIY solution that works, use a boric acid suppository before or after sex.
It's also a good idea to regularly take a probiotic specifically made for vaginal health. The probiotic will supply your vaginal flora with good bacteria -- Lactobacillus. And when your Lactobacillus population is strong, your natural self-cleaning mechanism will be strong. Bad bacteria will have a very hard time causing any infections.
3. Dryness that makes you feel like a desert — how to avoid
Isn’t that the worst feeling in the world? Remembering all the glorious sex you had in the past… and not wanting to recreate those moments because of how much sex hurts now?
Thousands of women struggle with vaginal dryness. But it’s a reversible condition and there are several solutions you can try. To get something that’ll work for you, it’s a good idea to identify the root cause of your dryness. Having a chat with your gynecologist or primary healthcare physician is a good idea.
But if you’d like to try supplements that’ll help you to lubricate better downstairs, She Juicy would be a top recommendation.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Lubricate with all pleasure: If you're facing dryness, don't shy away from using a water-based lubricant. That’s the secret, make sure it’s a water-based lubricant.
- Stay hydrated: Yeah right. Another talk about drinking even more water. But hey, it does work. It’s proven that the more water your body reserves, the more will be available for your vagina to lubricate with during intercourse. So if you’re not doing it already, you gotta start right now. If you’ve been doing it, please persevere!
- Review your meds: Some medications can cause dryness! And the most popular culprits are some antihistamines and antidepressants. If you’re on either of those drugs (or you’ve been on them for a long time in the past), maybe you should see an expert. That may be the root cause of your dryness.
4. Maintaining your relationship with your partner in your “off” days
We all get off days… when we know for certain that something is off down there. And that usually makes us self-aware and self-conscious… and most women usually don’t want to have a conversation in times like that.
How do you deal with days like that? Of course the first rule is to not be too hard on yourself. The second rule is like the first one: don’t be too hard on those who you love and who love you. So when something is off, maybe the best thing to do is to share with them. It’s amazing what your partner will do when they know you need all the love and support you can get.
Here are a few more ideas to keep in mind:
- Don't be afraid to share: Keep an open line of communication with your healthcare provider… and your partner too. As we just say, they want to help!
- Know your body: if you can, try to keep a diary to track symptoms, diet, and activities. Patterns can provide clues to triggers. And once you spot and eliminate the triggers, the vaginal issues will vanish.
What NOT to Do — Ever Again
There’s never a shortage of advice on online forums. But all of them are obviously not good for everyone. Always read internet advice with a grain of salt, because what worked for one person, will likely not work for anyone else.
Remember our bodies are different.
Here are some myths and practices that we think need busting. You probably know them already, but this article won’t be complete without adding them:
- Douche: This is outdated practice. You do not want to douche for any reason. Studies have found that douching disrupts the natural balance of bacteria. And once your bacteria balance is disrupted, it’s almost impossible not to get an infection.
- Over-the-counter treatments without diagnosis: Your vaginal flora is too delicate for self-medication. So you do not ever want to self-diagnose and treat yourself. OTC pills are known for making vaginal infections worse… especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. So always, always get a diagnosis before getting a treatment.
- Using fragranced products: The vagina will never, never smell like roses or taste like watermelons. If it does, then you must know that something is wildly wrong. That’s also why you want to avoid these products that promise these false benefits. The chemicals in those products WILL irritate and possibly scar your sensitive vaginal tissue.
When you have a male partner…
Male partners play a vital role in our vaginal health. Yes, studies have found that men can spread BV from one lady to the next… and that their semen can easily disrupt our pH balance and cause BV.
Here's are a few things to consider when you have a male partner:
- His Semen and your pH Balance: Semen is alkaline, and sometimes post-intercourse, it can affect vaginal pH. It's one reason some women feel discomfort after intimacy.
- Easy spread of disease-causing bacteria: When most women struggle with recurrent infections, studies found that their male partners may be the culprits. Men can harbor disease-causing bacteria, and give them back to their partners. So if you’re struggling with chronic issues, think about that. Maybe you need to get your male partner treated too.
Routine Check-ups — You shouldn’t live without THIS
A routine gynecological exam helps detect potential issues before they become severe. As you may know, it’s so easy to treat vaginal issues in the early stages… it makes a world of difference during treatment.
Here’s what most experts recommend you do:
- Pap smear: Every three years for women aged 21-65.
- Pelvic exams: Annually, especially if you're over 40 or have had prior issues.
Resources & Support
Remember, you're not alone! There's a wealth of resources available:
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): For guidelines on women's health.
- National Vaginitis Association (NVA): For support groups and up-to-date research.
- Health forums: Like Women's Health, Everyday Health, and MedHelp for shared experiences.
In conclusion, while we've all faced our share of "down there" dramas, it's possible to pivot and prioritize your vaginal health. Whether you've faced one issue or many, remember: you're not alone. By staying informed, making wise choices, and seeking support when needed, you can pave the way for an optimal vaginal health.