We all know how to wash our hair, our face, underarms, legs, legitimately every part of our body, and we also know how to care for it and keep it healthy.
Like for our hair, for instance, the main tips are to use shampoo and conditioner and not to use too much heat on it. Simple, right?
But what about sexual hygiene and our vaginal health, why doesn’t anyone talk about that as much? It’ just another body part- and here is how to maintain yours and keep it healthy.
1. Preventing UTI’s
If you have ever had a UTI then you know how uncomfortable they are. A UTI is a Urinary Tract Infection, which is an infection women get in the urethra or bladder.
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It is extremely uncomfortable, and if you have one you tend to feel a lot of pressure, burning and pain down there and also a constant urge to urinate.
UTI’s can also lead to kidney infections if they go unnoticed so it is definitely something you want to get checked if you think you may have one.
Urinary Tract Infections can be caused by something as simple as not cleaning yourself down there well enough, but if you are sexually active, it is important to realize that there are quite a few things you can do before and after sex to prevent UTI’s since sexual activity can be a cause for them.
If you can, pee before and after you have sex, but especially after. I always try to pee before I have sex, I mean it is uncomfortable in general to have the feeling of a full bladder during sex, but it also flushes out your system and cleanses it, having bacteria leave your body.
But it is extremely important to urinate after you have sex, right after if you can. Even if you have the safest sex ever, condom and all, bacteria still enters your urethra and urinating will help eliminate any of that bacteria.
This doesn’t just go for vaginal sex, if someone performs oral sex on you, it is important to urinate after as well. One other tip is to use lubricated condoms- using unlubricated condoms or no lube, in general, can cause irritation and spread bacteria.
Urinary Tract Infections are not fun- at all. If you are sexually active, make sure you take the necessary precautions to preventing them.
2. Maintaining Hair “Down There”
As all of us women know, once we hit puberty, we start to grow hair down there. Which at first, can be extremely uncomfortable and even embarrassing when we are younger. But it is a fact of life, we all have pubic hair.
It is important to know first of all that there is no “normal” way to maintain your pubic hair. Some women shave it all off, some trim it, some keep a landing strip, and there are many that just keep it all natural and don’t remove any of it.
I even knew a girl that would dye her pubic hair pink. Don’t ever feel like you have to keep your pubic hair a certain way- always do what is most comfortable for you.
No matter how you maintain your hair down there, it is important to keep yourself clean so you prevent bacteria from entering inside of you, so always make sure to wash down there.
If you prefer to shave all your pubic hair off, always shave in the exact same direction. For example, I always shave in gentle, upward strokes.
I won’t interchange and shave a bit downwards, a bit upwards, and also from side to side. That can cause irritation. Also, dry shaving can cause extreme irritation and razor bumps.
Make sure you use some kind of moisturizing shaving cream. Honestly, I just use conditioner. That may sound weird, but it keeps the skin very smooth and soft. (Tip: also use hair conditioner when shaving your legs- they will be so smooth.)
If you wax, make sure you go somewhere that has a reputation for being clean and sanitary. However you choose to maintain your pubic hair, never let anyone make you feel ashamed for it, especially someone you are sleeping with. It is your body, your vagina. Do what you want with it.
3. Maintaining Cleanliness- what is good and what is not?
There is always some controversy around products that are supposed to “cleanse” your vaginal area, like douching and other products such as vaginal wipes and washes.
For those that do not exactly know what douching is, it is a method of washing out the vagina with antiseptics and fragrances which are then sprayed upwards into the vagina and are supposed to cleanse it out. So, is douching good for you and will it really clean your out?
The answer is no. It is actually a good idea to stay away from douching. It really does not clean you out for one, and speaking of UTI’s- douching can be another cause for them. Douching can affect the natural balance of vaginal flora- which is the bacteria in your vagina.
Douching can increase the amount of vaginal flora- causing infection. Also, douching will not make you smell better down there- in fact, it can do the opposite, if you upset the vaginal flora, it can cause some not so great odors down there.
The washes may not be something you want to use every day, but it doesn’t hurt to use them sometimes. I personally like scented vaginal wipes- I keep them in my car and use them after the gym and work.
They come in handy if you know you’re about to have sex and you can’t shower- they do freshen you up down there. You don’t want to go through ten in a day, but once in a while, they are fine.
Really, all you need to keep yourself fresh and clean down there are some soap and water. The vagina actually cleans itself as well- I think that’s pretty cool.
4. What is a normal vagina?
I feel as though in some ways, males have it pretty easy for when it comes to talking about what their genitalia is supposed to look like- they tend to just talk about size and girth. Of course, to them, the bigger the better.
Often, women will always wonder if their vagina looks normal- and the answer is, yes, it does. That is because there is no “normal” for what a vagina is supposed to look like. This probably sounds corny, but like snowflakes, every vagina is different.
Never let someone you are having sex with make you feel as though your vagina is weird or not what it is supposed to look like. I promise the right person will never make you feel as though what you’ve got down there is not normal.
No vagina is “ugly” or “gross”. Every woman is different, and that should be embraced. Never be embarrassed about what you look or feel like down there. I promise you have a normal vagina. Every female does.
Do you have any other tips on maintaining sexual hygiene, vaginal health, and cleanliness? If so, leave a comment. This can be very helpful for those who feel embarrassed to talk about this with someone- even though none of it is embarrassing.
Embrace being a woman, and make sure to keep yourself as healthy as possible!