How to look after your vagina when you…

Vagina care
Our vaginas give us pleasure, allow us to have children, go through menstruation once a month and then, eventually, menopause. We shave them, wrap them up in trousers and tights and, if we’re really brave, subject them to a thong.

Which makes it even more important to pay special attention to day to day hygiene when it comes to this female area. It’s our most sensitive organ, after all.

This is what you need to know to ensure you don’t knock your natural flora and fauna out of balance and maintain a fresh, healthy vagina.

Have just exercised

Exercising makes the vaginal area sweat – but every woman is different when it comes to how much. Women who have a lot of pubic hair, for example, can sweat more and might need to pay more attention to the pubic area during their post-workout shower.

Have just had sex

During sex, we secrete natural lubrication, ejaculation, and sweat, and are likely to feel like we need to shower afterward, which is fine (still no washing inside, though).

However, if you are unable to wash straight after intercourse, having semen inside your vagina for a longer period of time will not harm you or your pH balance. It’s natural after all.

When it comes to products you might use during sex, such as lube, gynecologists use the law that ‘what goes in, must come out’. So it’s important to rinse the outside your vagina after using lube – standing up after sex will help gravity do its job too.

It is also important to note that, if there is any trauma during sex, this will need to be kept clean to avoid infection. Women should also monitor their discharge after sex to look for signs of infection or symptoms of other conditions.

Have been through the menopause

Women experience the menopause differently, but it’s common to feel a lack of elasticity on the skin around the vagina and internal dryness – this is due to reduced estrogen.

Although this may mean that women use more lubrication during sex, the menopause doesn’t generally require a change in hygiene routine. We can carry on as normal.

Are on your period

Female hygiene during menstruation depends on the woman’s flow. Gynecologists advise women with a heavy flow to increase the amount they wash to avoid the smell that comes with the oxidization of blood.

When it comes to sanitary products, none is more hygienic than others, and all women use them completely differently.

Have sex on your period

While having sex during a period is completely down to personal preference, it does not cause any harm or trauma to the vagina. You may just need a shower straight afterward.

Have thrush

Most of the time this can be treated with a simple over-the-counter remedy, and washing won’t make much difference. If the situation persists after treatment, visit a GP.
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