Vulvar and Vaginal Hygiene
By: Michael Krychman MD
Some helpful hints to keep your vaginal and vulvar area healthy.
The labels for all products that may come in contact with your intimate area. Avoid sudsy bar soaps, body washes, fabric softeners, and fragrant tampons that may contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your gentle areas. Lubricants with warming, flavors, fragrances, colors, bactericides or spermicides can irritate sensitive skin. Some prefer specialized products with soothing hydrating ingredients maybe with hyaluronic acid, elastin, etc.
Eat a healthy diet. Avoid high sugar and alcohol if you are susceptible to yeast infection. Add a probiotic to your diet and make sure to have adequate vitamin D. Stay hydrated. Use hypoallergenic laundry products and double rinse undergarments. Be careful and use proper techniques when removing hair in the genital area. Treat your vulva with respect, gently clean the area rather than using abrasive cloth or loofahs.
Certain behaviors can make you more prone to vaginal irritation and may lead to infections. Remove wet bathing suits, wear breathable fabrics, and change soon after sweaty work outs. Do not douche as this can impact the natural acidbase balance of the vagina. Choose cotton undergarments over tight panty hose, thongs and G strings. Avoid pantiliners. Commando is always an option as well. Be mindful of spinning exercise, bicycle riding, and horseback riding too much pressure on the genitals with an improper seat can be problematic.
Should you have any concerns about your vulvar and vaginal health, or experience symptoms that are concerning, it is always advisable to seek medical care from a trained health care professional.