Good health encompasses the physical, emotional and spiritual wellness of a person. A healthy body can have a positive impact in all areas of your life from improved mental health, to reduced medical costs and a positive outlook. When people feel good they perform better.
Women tend to play many roles in society juggling responsibilities such that they have little time left at the end of the day to take care of themselves. This puts them at risk of getting into the habit of poor health practices that may be costly down the line.
While preventive health is gaining traction, what has taken time to come to the forefront is conversations surrounding feminine wellness. Feminine hygiene topics are normally seen as taboo topics but women need to practice awareness when it comes to their bodies and health. Self-care should be a necessity rather than a luxury.
If you’re interested in learning more about feminine hygiene and gaining tips to promote your yoni health read on.
What is feminine hygiene?
Feminine hygiene is a poor term because it is vague and may be misleading. It is a blanket term used to describe cleanliness around the vulvar or v-canal. While the origins of the word may have been rooted in shame, it created a platform for newer and more evolved ways of looking at women’s health.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at what the terms vulvar or yoni health mean;
- Vulvar is the external genitalia of a female and includes the clitoris, the labia minora, labia majora and the opening of the yoni
- The yoni or Lady V is the inner canal that leads to the cervix.
They are both crucial in women’s health. Feminine hygiene is not complete if the care of either is ignored.
What is the controversy surrounding the word ‘feminine health’?
To promote inclusivity, many old practices have been questioned in terms of their relevance in today’s society. In the past, women rarely had control over their health and the narrative surrounding their bodies.
The issue raised with the term ‘feminine health’ is that it promoted the idea that there was something wrong with the female body that needed correction. The word was tainted by marketing campaigns promoting products as a way to change the natural mechanisms of the yoni.
Access to information has helped change these views as it is now a known fact that the yoni is self-cleaning and does not require the use of harsh chemicals to give it a “pleasant” odor.
However, even though lady V requires little upkeep some healthy practices need to be maintained to make sure that nothing goes wrong down there.
Here are some hygiene tips that can help promote yoni health;
Cleanliness is key when it comes to your yoni health. While the yoni may be self-cleaning it’s still sensitive. Just like the gut, lady V has an assortment of good bacteria such as lactobacillus that keep it acidic. When the good bacteria outnumber the bad bacteria your yoni remains healthy. There is a risk of getting infections if lady V is not cleaned properly
Use a clean cloth and warm water to clean the external part of your yoni. It is not necessary to wash more than once a day as excessive cleaning may disrupt the normal flora (bacteria). Wiping after using the bathroom should always be from front to back so the yoni does not get contaminated.
There have always been mixed opinions on the grooming of the yoni. Either you’re a remove it all type of girl or not. There is no in-between. Most women fall into the former as it has become more commonplace to groom through shaving, waxing or more recently laser removal. The reason for the growing trend is the belief that it promotes hygiene but research has shown that it may have the opposite effect.
The hair can act like a barrier preventing irritation from clothing and undergarments. It has also been shown to be beneficial in reducing the number of yoni infections. Furthermore, cuts and scrapes can get infected after shaving. If you still decide to groom it is advised to make sure that all your shaving equipment is cleaned before and after use. Trimming can also be a good compromise for those who still feel unclean if they do not groom.
3) Loose Clothing
Nobody likes being in a confined space and neither does your yoni. Wearing tight clothing leaves no room to breathe and may cause sweat to build up. Keeping the area dry is key for feminine hygiene as excess moisture can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
Whether it is your undergarments or clothing opt for looser fitting clothes when you can in the evenings or at home. After exercising make sure you change your clothing right away. Avoid sitting in wet clothing for a long time.
4) Avoid Douching
Beauty trends can be confusing as every day there seem to be new practices that claim to be beneficial. Douching is one of those trends where everyone agrees that it is harmful. Any product that is placed inside the yoni will change the normal flora and lead to more infections. Douching involves using a device to push water into the yoni to ‘clean out’ the natural secretions.
While women who perform this procedure do it to reduce feminine odor they could end up making the situation worse. At no point should you insert anything to cleanse the yoni. An alternative procedure that can be done is yoni steaming where a woman hovers over warm water to allow the gentle steam to flow on the exterior of the yoni. Fivona has great yoni steaming products that can allow you to have a safe and relaxing yoni steam at home.
5) What you eat makes a difference
Your diet is essential in maintaining a healthy body. What you eat affects almost every part of your body and the yoni is no exception. Maintaining a balanced diet helps keep your immunity strong which helps prevent infections.
Probiotics basically mean good bacteria, some foods contain probiotics that are beneficial in maintaining yoni health. Some of these foods include cranberries or yogurt. You should regularly include these foods in your diet to maintain your feminine health. It is also advised to avoid binge drinking and smoking both of which have been shown to increase your chances of getting yeast infections.
6) Hydrate adequately
Women are more likely than men to get urinary tract infections. Adequate hydration can help reduce the chances of getting urinary tract infections by washing out harmful bacteria. Dehydration can lead to yoni dryness, irritation, and an increased risk of yeast infections. Water in addition to exercising and eating healthy will set you on the right track to improving your health.
Being aware of what goes on down there can save you from complications later on. It’s important to know your body and what is normal so that when you see something out of the ordinary you can seek help.
As a general rule, there should not be a foul smell, pain or discomfort, lesions around the yoni area. The discharge should also not be green, profuse, or have a thick consistency like cheese. If you see any of these signs it could indicate that you have an infection that would need to be treated by a medical professional.
8) Avoid perfumed feminine hygiene products
Every yoni has its own natural and unique scent that is normal. You should avoid heavily perfume-scented feminine hygiene products such as yoni scrubs/soaps.
Perfumed products can cause pain and irritation around the area. It can also disrupt the good bacteria in the yoni which would predispose you to infections. Some of the products have harsh chemicals that can also damage the skin.
9) Safe intercourse is key
Protecting yourself is the best thing that you can do for your body. Having healthy habits can promote intimacy with your partner. Caring about your health translates to caring about your partner’s health. Use condoms or abstain from intimate relationships if you are not sure about your partner’s health.
Unprotected intercourse can expose you to sexually transmitted infections. Some of these infections are incurable which would cause life-long irritation and pain. After intercourse, it is advised to clean the area with warm water.
10) Regularly change your pads and tampons
The yoni goes through many changes and during menstruation the same care should be taken to promote feminine health. It is advised to change your menstrual products regularly. How often you change them will depend on how heavy your flow is.
Normally around every 4 to 8 hours for tampons is adequate if you have medium flow. If menstrual products are not changed for a prolonged period of time there is an increased risk of getting infections.
These are hygiene practices that you can easily implement that help promote your feminine health. Learning about your body is something every woman should do as it allows you to take control of your health and avoid costly complications.