Don’t let vaginal dryness hold you back from enjoying yourself.
Having to cope with a sore, itchy vagina when you’re out and about is NOT fun, particularly if it’s hotter than usual.
It’s important that you make sure you feel as good on the inside as you do on the outside.
In the same way, we look after the skin on our faces and bodies, lavishing care and nourishment in the form of cleansers and moisturisers, so too do we need to pay some attention to our vaginas.
Our vaginas are amazing.
They have a built-in mechanism for self-cleaning.
They are tough enough to withstand the rigours of childbirth and yet sensitive enough to enable us to experience pleasure.
But they let us down sometimes and can be a complete pain, which is why we need to look after them and not just ignore them.
As Dr Nighat Arif, who recently appeared in the Davina McCall documentary, “Sex, Myths & Menopause,” said in our recent Instagram Live, “We moisturise our face to replenish it - we should moisturise our vaginas’ too”. You can view the whole Instagram Live chat here.
Looking after your vagina - top tips
As our business is all about promoting happy, healthy vaginas, we’ve put together our top 10 tips to help you love your vagina.
1. Eat a vagina-friendly diet
Help to keep your vagina hydrated by drinking lots of water, particularly when hot, and eating foods high in water, like cucumbers.
Green tea has fantastic health benefits, and as well as helping to keep you and your vagina hydrated, it can also help to prevent painful UTIs.
And don’t forget those probiotic treats like plain yoghurt, kimchi and miso.
They help keep the balance of healthy bacteria in our bodies, which could keep those nasty thrush or BV infections at bay.
2. Don't wash your vagina with soap
Using soaps on the inside of your vagina can upset the healthy level of bacteria and pH levels and cause irritation.
You can use soaps on the outside of your vagina around the groin area, but the inside is self-cleaning, so you can really leave it to do its thing.
And while we’re at it - douching is a big no-no too! It can wash out all the good bacteria, which can lead to nasty infections.
3. Have more sex - or use a vibrator
Yes, really! Vaginal secretions produced when we’re aroused help keep the skin in the vagina moisturised and elastic, which can help prevent vaginal atrophy, particularly in post-menopausal women.
Some studies also suggest it can help strengthen the pelvic floors and prevent vaginal prolapse. And it’s the best way to boost your libido! Winners all round……..
4. Avoid frequent use of scented bubble bath
It’s lovely to have a nice long soak occasionally, but frequent use of scented bubble baths can, like with soaps and douching, upset the pH balance in your vagina, which can lead to infections such as thrush or bacterial vaginosis, which can become itchy and sore.
5. Keep some pubic hair - it protects your vagina from getting scratched and sore during sex
It can be a pain, but pubic hair is essential to the health of your vagina, as well as the whole genital area. It protects the delicate skin around the entrance of the vagina and the vulva from friction and scratching during sex.
So whilst there is an increasing trend for ‘Hollywood’ style bikini waxing where everything is removed, it is much healthier to keep some pubic hair ……..go for a Brazilian or ‘tidy up’ instead.
6. Use a natural lubricant
Keeping our skin healthy and moisturised is an important part of our daily skincare regime, but how often do you think about doing the same for your vagina?
Our vaginas do produce natural secretions, which vary through the month, but hormonal changes due to stress, pregnancy, menopause, and various other factors can upset the balance, leading to vaginal dryness.
So look after your vagina the same way you look after the skin on your hands and face by applying a good quality, pH-friendly lubricant like Sylk Intimate as part of your daily regime.
And don’t forget to look after your vulva, too; dryness can also affect the labia and clitoris, so a little bit of Sylk can be applied there for comfort too.
7. Change your tampon regularly
Leaving your tampon in for too long can cause discomfort, create an odour and, worst case scenario, lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome.
The last is very rare; there are only 1 to 17 reported cases per 100,000 menstruating women per year.
If you have left your tampon in for too long, your vagina may feel dry and scratchy.
If this happens, give yourself some tampon-free time and use a pad for a few hours and perhaps even a bit of lubricant, which will make you feel more comfortable.
You should change your tampon around 4-5 times a day and, ideally, use a pad overnight to keep your vagina match fit.
8. Exercise - get the blood pumping
We all know that exercise is good for us, but did you know it’s good for your vagina too?
The increased blood flow will help keep the vagina healthy and in tip-top shape.
Regular exercise can help keep your hormones balanced too, which in turn will help to keep your vagina healthy.
9. Tone that pelvic floor
If you find that, post-kids, you sometimes ‘wee’ a little if you cough, sneeze or do some kind of activity, then you need to do pelvic floor exercises.
These exercises should help improve your bladder control and sensitivity during sex. You can feel your pelvic floor muscles if you try to stop the flow of urine when going to the toilet.
To strengthen your pelvic floor, squeeze those muscles 10-15 times in a row. Do not clench your tummy, bum or thigh muscles.
If, like many women, you don’t know what to do or how you should be feeling when attempting pelvic floor exercises, then take a look at the wonderful Holistic Core Restore programmes offered by specialist instructors around the country who teach you how to look after the whole of your core, of which the pelvic floor is an integral part.
Related: Pelvic floor health - it's no laughing matter (or is it?) with Elaine Miller
10. Get to know your vagina and vulva
Everyone’s vaginas are different. No two are the same.
Just like regularly checking your breasts, it is wise to check your vagina internally and the external vulva area too.
Obvious signs that something could be amiss are irregular bleeding, strong smelling odour, unusual discharge or itchiness.
If you experience any of these, you should go and see your GP.
You should also have a feel around your vulva to check for any unusual lumps or rashes…..even use a hand-held mirror and lie on your back and have a look!
If you do this on a regular basis, then you will know if something doesn’t feel or look right.
To encourage our customers to check themselves regularly, when you buy Sylk online, it comes with a free hand-held mirror!
Love The Sylk Team