Care of Your Vulva and Vagina Part II:11 Commandments For Vulvar Care

Proper Care

If women respect their bodies and allow their body to care for itself there is little if anything they must do to care for it. Your vulva and vagina are not "dirty" so they do not need "cleaning." The only things that should come in contact with your vulva are air and plain water; your vagina is best left alone. Everything else is a potential irritant.

Here is a list of recommendations for caring for your vulva and vagina. It is mostly a list of what not to do, as many women and girls have been misinformed about their body and commonly do things that may harm it.

Do not use soap: Soaps may irritate and dry out the delicate mucous membranes of your vulva. Antibacterial soaps will kill all bacteria, not just the harmful ones. Do not use scented soaps. Use only plain water to rinse your vulva. Be aware that the water out of your faucet often contains chemicals like chlorine that may irritate your vulva, especially if you have sensitive skin. You may have to use filtered water.

Do not use scented products: Scents, perfumes, and deodorants all contain chemicals that are more likely to irritate than benefit your vulva. Deodorant pads and tampons contain chemicals that are unnecessary and they can cause irritation. If you are concerned by or aware of odor, change your pad or tampon more often. Your vulva should not smell like a flower, but like a vulva!

Do not use colored or scented toilet paper: Use only plain white toilet paper, though rinsing your vulva with plain water would be better, as is simply air drying. Toilet paper is too fragile and is made of ground up wood fibers that can get into places they do not belong. Do you want sawdust trapped in your vulva and vagina? Toilet paper fragments have even been found in the vagina of preadolescent girls. Europeans are more likely to have and use bidets.

Do not use panty liners: While panty liners may absorb moisture and protect your under garments they prevent air from getting to your vulva and the moisture and bacteria are trapped in the pad positioned directly against your warm vulva. By using these products you are wasting your money and potentially abusing your body.

Do not wear undergarments made of synthetic materials: Your panties should be made of 100% cotton to allow moisture out and air in. If you cannot go without make sure they do not trap moisture or body heat. Thongs and G-Strings may indicate sexual sophistication but given they cover so little anyways going without is perhaps a wiser choice. Wash your undergarment in detergents meant for delicate skin or infants. Chemicals in regular detergents may irritate your vulva.

Do not wear damp or wet clothing: Do not wear wet clothing like bathing suits and gyms cloths. As soon as you are done swimming or exercising change your cloths. If your panties and undergarments are normally moist you are more likely to get an infection and suffer from irritation. If you are a woman whose body produces an abundance of vaginal fluids see it as a motivator to wear loose fitting clothing and going bare bottomed.

Wear as little as possible: The more layers of clothing you wear covering your vulva the harder it will be for excess moisture and heat to escape your body. Cloths made from thick fabrics like denim will trap more heat and moisture. If you wear pants, make sure they fit loosely and are not made of a heavy fabric. When you wear a dress, do not wear pantyhose, as they trap heat and moisture; wear stocking and garters instead. At night, sleep nude.

Regular unscented pads and tampons can also be a source of irritation: The synthetic materials many of these products are made of can irritate the vulva and vagina and may contain chemical residues. The Always brand of sanitary napkins has been found to cause irritation in some women, perhaps because of the dry weave lining. It is recommended that women use pads and tampons made from natural products, as they are gentler on the body. Women can limit their exposure to these products and possible irritation by sleeping nude on a menstrual towel. If you use reusable cotton pads, wash them with a detergent meant for delicate skin or infants.

Do not douche: Douching washes away the natural body fluids and destroys your body's own natural defenses. Their use has been found to cause rather than prevent infection. Your vagina cares for itself and does not need your help. If your vulva or vagina has an unpleasant odor or discharge, time to see a doctor.

Do not self diagnose: Using over the counter antifungal, yeast, treatments can damage your vulva and vagina if you do not actually have a yeast infection, or have a resistant form. Do not believe that just because you can buy them without a prescription that they are harmless. I am aware of women who have severally damaged their body when they incorrectly used these products. Teens and young women may misdiagnose the cause of their vaginal fluids and/or irritation. Going to a doctor may be expensive or embarrassing but imagine life when you suffer from chronic vulvar pain and irritation and cannot comfortably walk, sit, masturbate, or engage in partner sex!

Avoid the feminine hygiene isle: If you can buy it in the "feminine hygiene" isle of your local store you do not need it. These items have existed for less than one hundred years which means women do not absolutely positively need them; despite what the ads on TV and in magazines have told you. Keep in mind that mass advertising has exploited your negative feelings about your body to get you to buy their products. Many of these companies want your money, not your good health. If your body was or is in good health and treated with respect you do not need their products.

All that a woman needs to do to care for her vulva is to rinse it with plain water at bath time and wear loose fitting clothing. Just slip your fingers between your labia and retract your clitoral hood and gently rinse away any accumulated body fluids. A washcloth and soap are not required and are advised against. Frequent bathing is not wise and can actually cause problems, so do not feel it necessary to rinse your vulva daily. Perhaps a quick sniff test can tell you if it is necessary; you need to be in tune with your body prior to doing this. As mentioned above, accumulation of sebum is not harmful. Sleep nude or while only wearing a nightshirt to allow your vulva to breathe while you sleep; you also do not want to wear a bra at night. When at home, slip into loose fitting clothing that does not come in contact with your vulva. Remember, your vulva and vagina are naturally clean and do not need "special care."




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