Keep Your Vagina pH Balanced - Here's How
How Should I Be Washing My Vagina
It’s really interesting that here in North America we have an epidemic of over-washing everything from our hair to our counter tops, and surprisingly, also, our vaginas. Perhaps centuries of Puritanical influence have gotten us to hand sanitizer and bleach, with a bleak forecast of an anti-bacterial agenda.
But where would our vaginas be without bacteria, we ask? Well, stanky, for one. And functionally limited on the fertility front as well. Because the female anatomy was not counting on Vanilla-Sugar-Sparkling-Exfoliating-Silk-Blast shower gel (now with all day freshness and glow-in-the-dark beads!) to keep its flora fresh. She needs her healthy flora to keep the delicate pH balance. In fact, she does quite well on her own, thank you very much.
You really don’t have to do anything to your vagina for it to reach its optimal health and cleanliness. In fact, the good bacteria within the vagina are so committed to keeping your pH in check that they have a seamless auto-clean system in place, which much like a self-clean oven, gets right to work on any disturbances within. It can actually worsen vaginal odor to wash too much. Yeah.
So how can you support the operation?
- Lay Off The Suds
Many commercial products, i.e shower gels, "intimate" cleansers, and perfumed bar soaps contain endocrine distruptors.* Trust us, when we say these are the last things you want to be absorbing into your TTC golden sperm portal. Water is usually all we need. If you feel you need a little extra magic, then a mild natural soap is fine to use externally on your vulva. We like Antioche natural olive oil soap, as well as their commitment to helping women.
- Keep The Loofah Away From The Vag, NOW!
Contrary to popular belief that you need to exfoliate, like, EVERYTHING, loofahs can actually create minor tears in and around the vagina, making you more susceptible to infections.** Use a washcloth or free-handling when washing.
- Shower Once a Day Max
Tough line to walk, because while over-washing can cause issues, so can sitting around in sweaty or wet knickers (oh hello yeast infection). Try to time your allotted shower post workout. Many people assume that the onset of heavy discharge means they need to hit the showers. Not so! Discharge usually indicates a successful vagina self-clean cycle. All systems in check. Of course, change panties if things get too wet down there, and air on the side of cotton when possible.
- Don't Use Commercial Douches. Ever, Like, Never Ever EVER
If all is functioning accordingly, the pH in your vagina is sacred. Don't F it up. Even the American Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynecology agree, who in a pilot study concluded that bacterial vaginosis was reduced by 95% in woman who ceased douching.*** The anti-douche movement is gaining momentum, as more are finding that probiotics are the best way to ensure optimal vaginal health. Eating a diet rich in fermented foods does the trick, as do probiotic supplements and yogurt. For yeast infections, you can apply plain yogurt directly by spooning a few tablespoons onto a natural pad in your underwear.
- Cut Out The Sweets For A Clean Vag
A good amount of our ailments start in our gut. Vagina ailments are no exception. Cutting out sugar is a good way to make your microbiome happy (a fertility essential), which can be a huge help to a vagina that's out of whack.
She's a self-sufficient and independent gal, the vagina is. If tended to accordingly (no sweat and secretion build-ups in the panties) and is nourished from the inside out (probiotics) then she shouldn't fail you in her natural freshness. So next time your feeling a little worried about the post-coital Tokyo fish market whiffs coming from below deck, have faith in the system- it will kick in soon enough.****
***The effect of vaginal douching cessation on bacterial vaginosis: a pilot study. Brotman, Rebecca M. et al. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology , Volume 198 , Issue 6 , 628.e1 - 628.e7. http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(07)02225-9/fulltext
(No conflicts of interest present in the above sources)
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