General vaginal and vulvar care:
- *VULVA* Yup, let’s go there. Our most intimate parts deserve only the *best* care.
- – Wash the inner vulva area with water only. You do not need soap. Seriously. Stop it. No soap! Avoid all soap, fragrances, deodorants, bath oils, etc. Warm water only! Or cold water if that’s your jam?
- – The vulvar and vaginal tissues have a natural moistness that can be dried by using soap and other additives can throw off your pH balance. Do you hear ~yeast infection~? Yeah, let’s avoid those!
- – Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. No need to put anything up or in to clean it.
- – Wear cotton underwear. Thongs are not great because they can be tight on the tissues and not allow them to breathe.
- – Avoid using laundry detergents and dryer sheets on your underwear that have artificial scents and dyes, as these can irritate the vulva.
- – Sleeping *nakey* can help allow them to breathe and not be surrounded by constricted fabric 24/7
Vulvar care for intercourse:
* Wash hands prior to intercourse:
You and your partner should wash hands before engaging in sexual interactions. Washing hands reduces the amount of irritants and bacteria that may find their way to the vulvar area.
Preferred brand: Slippery Stuff (Water based lubricant that is pH balanced with no dyes or scents are recommended for use. Using a lubricant that is not the same pH as the vagina can alter the body’s natural microbiome and lead to bacterial or yeast infections. Dyes, scents, warming/cooling and flavors in lubricants can contain extra ingredients that can irritate the skin. Silicone and oil-based lubricants can both react to and degrade silicone sex toys, condoms, etc. Additionally, silicone lubricant can be clogging to pores.)
* Condom choice:
non-latex, non-lubricated, non-flavored, non-scented, without spermicides are recommended for use. Dyes, scents, warming/cooling and flavors in lubricants can contain extra ingredients that can irritate the skin. Polyurethane-based condoms are recommended.
* After intercourse:
Urinate within 5 minutes of completing intercourse. Urinating quickly after intercourse helps to flush out potential bacteria from the urethra and prevent UTIs. Wash your hands before urination so that you do not transfer irritants or bacteria to your vulva via the toilet paper.