Do you suffer from an intermittent burning, sore, itching vagina? Recurrent thrush or BV, especially around your period?
Our wonderful vagina’s are such sensitive things, and need to be treated sensitively and gently! Show your vagina some love and appreciation, and in return you may feel much more comfortable. I am speaking both as a nurse and from personal experience here.
1. Stop using feminine washes, deodorants’ and wipes!
I am definitely one of those women who thought I was doing my vagina a favour by not using shower gels in that area and using feminine intimate washes instead….. the truth is all of these washes, deodorants and wipes are doing more harm than good! Anything that lathers into copious amounts of bubbles is not going to do your vaginal skin any favours and vagina is going to become very unhappy. Most of these washes claim to be ‘sensitive’ however, any ingredient that is capable of causing a lather is damaging and stripping to the thin vaginal skin… the biggest culprits that you will find among any ingredient list are ‘parfum’ and ‘fragrance’ I challenge you to find one that doesn’t contain either of these, and if you do, I would still advice against it due to its lathering properties.
So what can you use as an alternative? Because lets be honest, we do not feel clean and refreshed after just splashing some water down there do we?
I was told by a dermatologist to use diprobase to wash with, I tried it a couple of times and my response was “no, thank you very much” my vagina felt coated and unclean, and the cream smelt medicinal – who wants a medicinal smelling vagina!? I certainly don’t, thank you. Many of the similar type of creams, were much the same.
SO.. to cut this short for you, after trying LOTS of things, the one thing I have found that doesn’t leave my vaginal skin feeling coated and unclean, or smelling of something medicinal and actually leaves it feeling clean and soothed is an aqueous cream made by ASDA! Yep a basic ASDA brand and it does not break the bank either, also lasting a long time. My Vagina has definitely thanked me for using this cream as a wash. I also find that I cannot use bubble bath etc., again this is because of the perfume and fragrance in them, but I don’t enjoy sitting in plain bath water – if you swirl some of this cream into the running water it will also create a few bubbles for you (not fantastic but better than nothing). When I shower I use normal shower gels on the rest of my body and make sure using the aqueous cream as a vaginal wash is the last thing I do before I get out – rinse well.
2. Change the products you use during your period.
The mainstream sanitary products out there contain bleaches, dyes, fragrances and many other chemicals, all of which can cause an inflammatory response in the vulval skin. I definitely felt that this happened to me – the horrible burning I felt every time I was wearing sanitary towels – as if being on my period wasn’t bad enough! Yet this only started to happen in my mid twenties -perhaps my skin built an intolerance over time.
Alternative options which are more natural and more gentle to the vulval skin:
100% cotton pads:
Completely different approach – menstrual cups:
Re-usable machine washable pads:
3. Rebalance your PH levels.
You will probably find initially, that you will benefit from a PH rebalance, to restore your natural balance before you then continue to follow the above tips which will not upset your PH. If you find that you are still getting some discomfort with the hormonal changes around your period. You can continue to rebalance your PH every month too. The products that help to balance your vaginal PH are usually marketed as BV treatments, though you do not need to have BV to use the product as its sole action is to restore normal PH.
- Boots – Balance Active BV – My preference for ease of use
- Multi-Gyn ActiGel
- Canesbalence BV Vaginal Gel
Please be aware that I have linked all of these products from mainstream websites that you may be familiar with, however you will be able to find these products cheaper in alternative online stores so shop around!
Go enjoy your comfortable and healthy vaginas!