If you’re like most women, the health of your vagina isn’t something you think about on a day-to-day basis. Most hardly give a second thought to how they’re caring for their lady parts, but what they don’t realize is that their vaginas require plenty of TLC in order to stay healthy.
Today, we’re going to break down the basics of caring for your vagina and noticing when something’s wrong.
Think about it this way: your vagina is covered almost 24/7 in close, sweaty underwear. Because it doesn’t get the chance to breathe well, bacteria can build up over time and cause infections or bad odors.
Thankfully, preventing these problems can be fairly simple. Whenever you shower, use warm water and unscented soap to wash the area, but not too much because the vagina is self-cleaning.
Wet swimsuits can also be damaging to your vagina. After heading to the pool or lake, change into dry underwear as quickly as you can so that your vagina isn’t exposed to a moist environment that’s perfect for bacteria growth.
Additionally, wear boring underwear. Yes, that sounds terrible, but 100 percent cotton underwear in light colors are a thousand times better for your down-there bits than dark, sexy thongs. Make sure to change underwear regularly, and when you’re on your period, switch out pads and tampons every few hours.
After Sexual Activity:
Peeing and then showering after getting hot and heavy with someone is the best way to flush out bacteria that may have invaded. Also, while everything is moist in that area, you might want to avoid wearing tight underwear. Feel free to go commando for a little while as everything airs out.
When you find yourself scratching the area around your vagina, it might be because you have a yeast infection. This type of fungal infection will need to be treated by a medical professional.
As soon as you spot a red blister on your vagina, schedule a doctor appointment so you can get tested for a sexually transmitted disease. If you have contracted a disease, the sooner you get it treated, the easier your life will be.
Most women will get a UTI at one point in their life, or many many times, but it’s a little concerning if you feel like you’re constantly dealing with them. Talk to your doctor about finding a way to get your lady bits back in tip-top shape.
Sure, it’s normal to have periods that fluctuate by date and heaviness a little bit, but spotting that occurs when you aren’t close to getting your period can be caused by hormone imbalances that should be treated.
It shouldn’t hurt when you pee. If it does, it may be because you’ve developed a urinary tract infection, which will need to be treated with antibiotics.
Your vagina may have a distinct scent that’s completely normal, but if it’s fish or concerning, you may need to head to a doctor who can check for an overgrowth of bacteria or other problems.
As long as you’re changing your underwear and cleaning regularly, you probably won’t take too much note about the discharge that pops up. However, if you do see that it looks a little off, it could be indicative of a larger issue within your genitals. Here are some common problems you might notice with your discharge and what it means.
When it’s clumpy:
Sometimes, your discharge may not seem a thin and clear as it normally does. White, thick, and sometimes itchy discharge can be a sign of a yeast infection. Doctors often compare this discharge to cottage cheese, which is pretty clearly not a normal type of discharge.
When it’s wet and slippery:
This actually isn’t a bad thing. Your discharge becomes stretchier and clear or white when your body is ovulating. This is to make it easier for sperm to make their way to the egg.
When it’s yellow or green:
Strange colors like these are a red flag. Common bacterial STDs can cause the discharge to become a sickly color that may even hurt a bit. As soon as you notice this, head to a doctor straight away to get tested.
Taking care of your vagina isn’t hard, but it’s certainly necessary. Watch for signs of unusual discharge, pain, itching, or bleeding, and be sure to schedule regular checkups with your OBGYN to ensure everything is in good shape.