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Vaginal Health 101: How To Properly Clean Your Vagina

Vaginal Health 101: How To Properly Clean Your Vagina

Let’s face it — between the unsolicited advice and old wives’ tales, vaginal health can be confusing. But here's the thing: Understanding your body shouldn't be this complicated. While you might have heard a list of do's and don'ts about cleaning down there, it's time to break down the myths and get to the facts.

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How Should You Clean Your Vagina?

First things first, a vagina is not a vulva — the vagina is the inside. Everything you see on the outside? That's the vulva, which includes the labia and clitoris. And here’s the key: The vagina can clean itself. The vulva, on the other hand, can sometimes use a bit of TLC.

Protect Your pH Balance

It all comes down to pH balance. Think of it as the silent guardian of your vaginal health. When it's off-kilter, things like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis may pop up — but it's not all on pH alone. Good bacteria also help keep harmful bacteria in check, although the good bacteria need to be in an optimal environment in order to thrive — which includes having a healthy vaginal pH. So, nurturing this balance can be a big deal.

Cleanse the Right Way

When it comes to taking care of your vulva, it's not about a complicated routine with a million steps. In fact, simpler is often better. Let's sift through the noise and focus on what really matters.

Here are a few tips to support your vaginal health:

  • Go Unscented: Always lean toward mild, unscented soaps. Fragrances can disturb your pH balance, potentially leading to dryness or irritation.
  • Use the Right Cleanser: Our pH Balancing Cleanser™ was designed with the intimate area in mind. It offers a refreshing clean without shaking up your natural balance, making it a daily routine game-changer.
  • Ditch the Douching: Your vagina has self-cleaning powers. Douching can disrupt the good bacteria that keep things in check. With this in mind, it’s best to skip it.
  • Keep It Gentle: Use a soft washcloth for the vulva and rinse with warm water — no aggressive scrubbing required.

Looking after your vaginal health doesn't require a degree in gynecology. It's about understanding the basics, making informed choices, and trusting in products that support your body's natural rhythms. 

Pay Attention to Discharge

Discharge is your body’s way of telling a story about your vaginal health. It's natural, and every woman experiences it. Discharge changes throughout the menstrual cycle and can indicate everything from ovulation to potential health concerns.

Typically clear or milky white, vaginal discharge plays a key role in keeping your vagina clean. Changes in consistency might signal ovulation or approaching menstruation.

However, sudden changes in color, consistency, or a strong vaginal odor might hint at an imbalance, like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. If you notice changes or anything unusual, always consult with your OB/GYN. Being proactive supports your overall health.

Trim With Hygiene

The choice of going natural, trimmed, or totally bare down there is entirely personal. But regardless of your grooming preferences, maintaining vaginal hygiene is vital.

Pubic hair offers a natural barrier, safeguarding against friction and external irritants. It can also trap bacteria from entering the vaginal area.

If you opt for removal, whether shaving, waxing, or lasering, ensure it's done safely. Watch for ingrown hairs, avoid fragranced products, and choose hypoallergenic options when necessary.

However you manage your hair, comfort should be your top priority. Listen to what feels right for your body.

Practice Safe Sex

Let's chat about intimacy. How does this tie into vaginal health?

  • Lubricants: When choosing the right lubricant for you, always choose products that don’t disrupt your pH level. Avoid those with added fragrances or harsh chemicals.
  • Protection: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can significantly impact vaginal health. Always practice safe intimacy and communicate with your partner.
  • Post-Intimacy Care: Urination after intimacy can help prevent UTIs by flushing out bacteria that may have entered the urethra.

Product Pitfalls To Avoid

Navigating the aisle of feminine hygiene products can feel overwhelming, but not every product has your best interest at heart. 

Here’s where caution becomes your best friend:

  • Scented Soaps and Washes: They might promise a day-long freshness, but they can actually disrupt the natural pH balance of your vaginal area.
  • Sprays and Perfumes: While it might be tempting to freshen up with a quick spritz, many contain chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Vaginal Douching Products: We've mentioned it before, but it's worth repeating. The vagina is self-cleaning. Douching can wash away the good bacteria and cause more harm than good.
  • Body Wash as Feminine Wash: Regular body wash is great for your body but might not be ideal for your vulvar area. The requirements for each are different.

Everyday Tips for Optimal Vaginal Health

Taking care of your vaginal health is not about drastic changes but instead integrating mindful practices into your daily routine. 

Here are some tips to keep you feeling great:

  • Moisturize Wisely: Just like you hydrate your face, your intimate skin can benefit from some moisturizing love. Reach for our Comfy Cream®, which offers hydration tailored to your intimate area's unique needs.*
  • Wear Cotton Underwear: Breathable and gentle, cotton is your vagina's best friend. It wicks away moisture, allowing your intimate area to breathe.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water supports your overall health and keeps your vaginal secretions healthy.
  • Avoid Tight Clothing: Let things breathe down there. Opt for looser pants and skirts when you can.
  • Know Your Cycle: It’s always helpful to track your menstrual cycle. Being aware of the changes your body undergoes monthly can help you anticipate and understand vaginal discharge and other symptoms.
  • Check Ingredients: Whether it's a lubricant, a wash, or a moisturizer, always glance at the ingredients. Go for those with lists that respect and understand your body's needs.

Your vaginal health doesn’t exist in isolation — it’s a part of your overall well-being. Being proactive, making informed choices, and tuning into your body’s signals can help nurture this essential aspect of your healthcare routine. 

Wrapping Things Up

Navigating vaginal health is about listening to your body, understanding the signs, and making informed decisions that prioritize your well-being. Love Wellness is here to provide clear, expert-backed guidance to help you make choices that support your vaginal health. 

Remember, you know your body best, and with the right knowledge, you can take control of your vaginal health with confidence and ease. At Love Wellness, we're with you every step of the way. To stay informed on the best tips for vaginal health, visit our blog.

Sources:

Female Sexual Anatomy | Vulva, Vagina and Breasts | Planned Parenthood

Physiology, Acid Base Balance | NCBI Bookshelf

Vaginal Discharge: Causes, Colors, What's Normal & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

To Shave or Not to Shave: An Ob-Gyn’s Guide to Pubic Hair Care | ACOG

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