Lets Talk About Feminine Hygiene And Health

Today I realised that my 7-year-old menstruation cup needs to be replaced immediately and I rushed to the DM to get a new one. While standing in line I realised that ever since I've been using the cup, I haven't had a vaginal infection, not even a it-could-be-one kind. It's because the cup doesn't interfere with the pH balance and the beneficial bacteria (unlike tampons), and it doesn't create a wet environment where germs could breed (unlike pads), and doesn't leach chemicals (unlike both).

Anyway, today I wanted to share a couple of tips related to feminine care and hygiene. But first I just want to say that I'm going to be using the anatomically correct words here, vulva means the outer parts, and vagina means vulva + the canal till the cervix. 

The vagina is self-cleaning, the vulva is not.

When the vagina is healthy, it has a light vagina smell which is normal. Douches and internal cleaning just disrupts the delicate ecosystem. 
However the vulva can get swampy and smelly if not kept clean. The outer lips should be washed thoroughly with a mild cleanser or soap that is pH neutral.

Probiotics against recurring vaginal infections:

If you keep on getting infections down there, you might want to try out taking probiotics to reestablish a healthy bacteria culture. These are available without a prescription. There are hundreds of different strains of bacteria out there, as well as different type of vaginal infections, so it might take you a bit of trial and error to see what works best for you. Try to look for ones that have the strains L. rhamnosus and L. reuterii, L. acidophilus and L. casei. Also remember to not take these at the same time as antibiotics, as the latter will just neutralise the former.

Magnesium for easier periods

Most people in the west are magnesium deficient, so you probably should be supplementing this anyway. Magnesium makes cramps lighter.

Air circulation

Cotton underwear is healthiest since it allows air to circulate. Bacteria breed in moist environments! For the same reason it's a good idea to sleep sans underwear or to wear loose boxers that allow air circulation.

Avoid perfume and other irritants:

Switching to natural laundry detergents is always a good idea because there is almost always some of it left on our clothes. Also never use scented toilet paper -- most synthetic perfumes are highly irritating.

Let me know if you can recommend something or if this post was useful. Or maybe you have some questions?

Photo credit: Kira Ikonnikova

Check these out: