Vaginal smell and issues. What to do if your girl parts are out of sorts?
It’s one of those questions I get asked about in whispers and on behalf of a friend. Vaginal health is a topic that many women often are too embarrassed to ask about. Keeping your vagina healthy, fresh smelling and delightfully tasty is vital if you want to be comfortable getting horizontal and sweaty.
We all want to feel clean. Perceived vaginal pleasantness has us open to receiving oral sex (which in my opinion should be a mandatory public service provided by your partner). If the opportunity to frolic naked presents itself, we want to be ready. Given the cold of Canadian winters, most of us spend the darkest months bundled up against the elements. Houses are dry and very little fresh air is getting to our squishy parts. But what can you do if your girl bits are out of sorts this winter?
Prevention is best. You don’t want to be at a point where a doctor’s appointment is critical. So here is my list of the essential things a vagina shouldn’t be without in order to stay at its peak health, and be able to perform on demand.
1. Probiotics for feminine health. These are different than the probiotics you take for tummies. Healthy bacteria are essential for keeping yeast at bay. These are similar to the probiotics in yogurt but specifically help target yeast. If you are prone to yeast infections, then feminine probiotics need to be part of your a daily ritual. Probiotics also help keep away any of the “fishiness” of too much bad bacteria. My favourite is the rePHresh brand Pro-B iotics.
2. Cleaning out the corners with a minimum weekly bath. Showers are great, but they don’t get into the crevices the way that a good soak does. Epsom salts are great for leaving you feeling fresher longer. Most gynecologists suggest bathing a few times a week.
3. Masturbation. Most of my clients laugh when I start writing prescriptions for more masturbation. But I’m not kidding. Self-pleasure is like a genital sneeze. Healthy vaginas are self-cleaning, and discharge is your body’s way of getting rid of the gunk (bacteria, menstrual remnants etc.). But discharge can be slow. An orgasm will flush all the bad things away and leave you with a smile on your face.
4. Lubrication. The vagina is designed to be moist. If it is on the dry side you feel uncomfortable and itchy. I think all women need lube at different times of the month, or at different times during their lives. Nursing mothers need lube, menstruating women need lube, and peri-menopausal and menopausal women definitely need lube. If you are a little dry then a few drops of a great silicone lubricant (I like the Swiss Navy brand) in the morning works well. Replens is an internal lubricant that lasts up to three days by adhering to the walls of the vagina if you are feeling a little like the Sahara.
5. Douching/Bidet. The French women have it right by having bidets in most of their bathrooms. It’s a small genital bathtub with a fountain that gets into the corners. Douching with water (and possibly a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar) can achieve the same results. Do not buy the pre-packaged douches that upset your natural pH levels and make your odour problem worse. I have a couple of reusable vaginal syringes that are inexpensive and effective. I bought mine for $6 online at medicalsuppliesofcanada.ca