All women should be concerned about their vaginal health. And there’s no time like summer – that season of wet bathing suits and sandy beaches – to keep on top of our “V-game.” Here are 3 ways to keep your vagina’s naturally acidic pH level, rich quantities of beneficial bacteria, and natural, erm, “secretions” in check, so you’re fending off infections all summer and yes, keeping your suitors happy with the way things taste.
1. Don’t Douche – Just Wash
When it comes to keeping our hair and face healthy, we know what we’re supposed to do, but when it comes to staying healthy “down there”– how many of us are really in the know?
The fact is, your V’s ideal pH is different than the rest of your skin (3.8 as opposed to 5.5) and regular soaps and showers, certain clothing, diet and even sex all affect that balance. So what can we do to achieve balance “down there?” Number one – don’t douche. Instead, use gentle cleansers like Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash, or Sebamed’s Feminine Intimate wash. This infographic should help spell out why. (Note that proper washing doesn’t necessarily enhance “taste” since it doesn’t impact your “juices.” But it definitely promotes cleanliness and freshness – key aspects of controlling the state of things “down there.” )
2. Diet Choices
That’s right. Vaginal health is highly impacted by diet. And while it’s MOST effective to think of what you eat as a way to prevent bacterial imbalances that can lead to infection (cuz what you eat can do that), there is some research out there that says certain foods can alter the flavor of your “juices.” It’s easiest to think about it like this: what makes your breath good? That will make your vagina good, too (the vag’s secretions are similar to saliva, which helps keep your mouth clean). Whatever makes your breath bad is going to make your vag bad (coffee, beer, that amazing chili dog – all of those are good to avoid before sexy time).
So far, what internet research says about the foods that “improve” the taste “down there” are: pineapple, apples, celery, yogurt, red grapes, cranberry juice, water, mint, watermelon, strawberries. You should be aware that none of these things are proven to make a big difference, and should never be relied upon more than a good washing. Still, it is pretty interesting.
3. Wear Breathable Clothing
Anything that stays moist or doesn’t let air flow through is bad, bad, bad. Sitting around in your wet bathingsuit after hitting the pool or keeping your workout gear on for a long time after you work out might be more convenient, but it’s the easiest way to get a yeast infection (which leads to yecky odors!). Make sure when you leave the house in a bathingsuit, you bring a pair of clean cotton underwear to slip on. Your vagina should stay clean and dry — and certain types of fabrics and styles can prevent that. Remember, not to be gross, but your vagina is basically an armpit between your legs, so do what you can to keep air flowing through there to make it smell (and taste) the best it can. Check your collection of hot weather undies and try to make room for more cotton.