As Valentine’s Day approaches, everyone is bombarded with messages of love. With love follows sex — a lot of sex. It’s become a day of getting some, regardless of your relationship status.
No matter the time of year, it is important to stay healthy regardless of your level of sexual activity. But when engaging in sexual acts, it’s even more important to take care of yourself and your vagina.
The number one thing to know regarding vaginas is that you do not need to douche them. In fact, douching alters the natural pH balance of your vagina.
The vagina cleans itself naturally, but if you feel the need to freshen up, doctors recommend washing the labia area with just warm water and mild soap. Otherwise, it can become irritated and perhaps increase the risk of yeast infections.
There might be times when you think it smells a bit funky down there. Some women resort to using soaps such as Summer’s Eve, but in reality, there are really two possibilities. Either you need to see a doctor for a check up — because it might be a yeast infection or an STI — or you might just be wearing non-breathable fabric that causes sweating.
The best thing to do is take a shower, and if all is well, that smell will be gone in no time. It’s very common to think you smell when you actually don’t, so don’t use that other stuff.
We all want to feel sexy, especially on occasions like V-day. We all want to feel loved, not just from our partner, but for ourselves. As a result, many women resort to wearing a thong. Ladies, wearing a thong once in a while is okay but wearing one everyday is not healthy for your vagina.
Most thongs are made of non-breathable clothes such as lace or satin. These fabrics make it difficult for moisture to evaporate, allowing for more microbes to grow and possibly cause a yeast infection or even urinary tract infections.
Thongs that are too tight can also cause irritation, so it is better to keep them as an option for special occasions. You know, the correct pair of cotton underwear can be pretty sexy, too.
On the topic of pH: if you notice your panties happen to change colour, don’t freak — that’s perfectly normal. It’s a sign of a healthy vagina with a good pH balance.
Let’s flash forward to when the panties are off and you are engaging in sexy times. Sometimes your own natural lubrication isn’t enough, no matter how horny you are. You shouldn’t just jam things, like fingers, inside your vagina and hope for the best because that can ruin the mood real quick.
In such times, lube is your greatest asset. There are many types of lubrication to choose from but stick to a water-based lube, ladies. You can also use it for self-pleasure, with or without toys. Water-based lubricant is perfect for people with sensitive skin, and it doesn’t leave a stain, unlike some other liquids you may encounter between the sheets — if you catch my drift.
After engaging in any type of sexual activity — I am talking any kind — it is very important that you urinate in order to avoid contraction of any possible UTIs. It may seem unsexy to tell your partner that you have to go to the bathroom after a sexual act, but your body will thank you, and so will your partner in the long run if you manage to ward off infections.
As a side note, peeing after engaging in masturbation is good as well.
Now with all this said, remember that sex is to be enjoyed and is about pleasure. I hope all you vagina-owners have pleasurable experiences with the help of a partner or not. And remember, keeping your vagina healthy is important to your overall health.
Graphic: Yashica Bither