When it gets right down to it, a substantial part of our daily work here at Overlake OB/GYN revolves around keeping vaginas healthy. For the most part, vaginas are pretty impressive anatomical parts. They do all kinds of fun things, from the obvious pleasures of sexual activity to the hormonal responsibilities that come along with menstrual cycles and ovulation. And on top of that, they are fully capable of birthing a 10-pound baby. They’re amazing!
The good news is that your vagina is empowered, smart and efficient. She knows – for the most part – how to take care of herself and she is a self-cleaning machine. However, based on your day-to-day habits and lifestyle choices, or as the result of nothing more than life in general, she might find herself underwhelmed by healthy bacteria or overloaded with itchy yeast. Your vagina depends on you to do things like eating well and wearing a condom to protect her from STDs – – and so on.
Let’s note that if you are concerned that something is going on “down there” please don’t hesitate to contact us. (425) 454-3366. In almost all cases, the sooner you get in the better if any OTC or prescription meds will be needed.
Vagina Dos and Donts to Keep Your Lady Parts Happy and Healthy
Here is a list of our top 5 Vagina Dos and Don’ts to keep both of you feeling great!
DO wear cotton panties. Those beautiful, slinky itty-bitty thongs and panties are often made of anything but cotton, it seems. The problem is that synthetic fibers don’t breathe very well. When you’re vagina can’t breathe, she gets hot and sweaty (not the good kind) and her natural balance between bacteria and yeast can get all out of whack. The end result is a very uncomfortable itching and burning that is almost always diagnosed as a yeast infection.
DON’T wear dirty or sweaty undergarments for any length of time. It would be better to wear no underwear than it is to wear a dirty pair two days in a row because you haven’t been able to get to the laundry mat, or even to run an afternoon’s worth of errands after a good couple of hours at the gym. Both of those scenarios put you at risk for yeast or bacterial infections because they keep your vagina in close contact with sweat, dirt, urine and bacteria. And, continuing with the “better to wear no underwear…” train of thought – go ahead and skip wearing undies to bed, or whenever you can get away with it, to enhance air circulation even further.
DO add kegels and other pelvic floor exercises to your exercise routine. Unfortunately, the word on the street is that kegels will help you post-birth. Actually, healthy and strong vaginal wall and pelvic floor muscles will help you whether you’re planning to have kids or not. Firstly, the stronger and more “fit” your vagina is, the better orgasms you will have (bonus!) and the better pleasure you will be able to provide for a male partner (another bonus!). If you do plan to have a baby or two, a strong pelvic floor will help during labor – and will also help you recover faster. It’s never too early – or too late- to add kegels and pelvic floor exercises to your regular exercise routine.
DON’T bike without extra padding on the seat. Your labia and the rest of your vaginal tissue are very delicate and you don’t want to do anything to damage those parts. That same “delicateness” is partially related to all of the sensitive nerve endings that make sexual activities so pleasurable. Riding a bicycle without extra padding – by way of good bike shorts and/or a bike seat design for female anatomy – can cause chronic damage that leads to labia numbness – and that’s no fun for anyone.
DO schedule an annual exam with your gynecologist. Annual well-woman visits are totally free with any health insurance plan and are also free or extremely low-cost at health clinics in your area. Don’t neglect this important appointment each year. In addition to your pap smears – which screen for cancer – we will also screen you for STDs and keep abreast of your recent goings on so we can do our part to keep you and your vagina in good shape. You also have a chance to ask important questions no matter how embarrassing they may seem.
Looking for an OB or GYN in the Bellevue area? Contact us here at Overlake and schedule you’re first appointment. We provide compassionate and proactive care for women at all stages of life. (425) 454-3366.