By Lady Marmalade, September 15 2017 —
The world is full of vaginas. Around half of the Earth’s population has them and you likely entered this world through one. Even so, they can be confusing, frustrating and complicated. Being an adult involves knowing your body pretty well and it’s never too late for a vagina review session. There’s a lot to know but here are a few important steps that can be taken to keep your nether-regions in tip-top shape.
Discharge is an important aspect of having a vagina. Its main purpose is to self-clean by ridding the vaginal canal of bacteria in order to avoid infection. It also helps create a moist environment — especially during ovulation when discharge is thicker. If you produce a lot of discharge, wearing panty-liners or a thin pad can help contain the situation. It’s worth noting that douching to eliminate odour or to “freshen up” the area can be harmful to vagina health. It causes imbalances in the pH levels and can lead to infections. The best way to feel cleaner is just rinsing with warm water.
Be mindful of what you are putting in and around your vagina. Wearing tight underwear or ones that have been washed with harsh detergent can irritate the vulva. Try to wear breathable fabric that is cleaned gently to stay comfortable and healthy. Even if you really want to just run to class after going to the gym without changing, it’s not worth it. Keep clean underwear with you just in case.
Menstruation can be a tough time, but don’t let sanitary products make it worse. Disposable tampons and pads aren’t the only way to contain your menstrual madness. Menstrual cups and reusable pads are relatively unknown options that not only serve their purpose, but are environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Having a period is an important time of the cycle where the vagina cleans and resets itself. It’s healthy and normal.
During sex of any kind, a lot of foreign bacteria can be introduced to the vagina. Wear condoms. Use dental dams. Use water-based lube that is made specifically for what you’re doing. Never mix anal and vaginal penetration with fingers, dildos or penises. And always remember to pee after sex. Listen to your body — if something hurts, it hurts for a reason. Seek professional help if something feels wrong, stop. Even though a UTI will probably pass, go to the doctor. Many complications can happen within the delicate confines of vaginal walls, so don’t risk it.