Improving Your Vulvovaginal Health
Improving Your Vulvovaginal Health
Vulvovaginal health is extremely important for all women – no matter what age. However it becomes more important to maintain and monitor the older we get.
When a woman starts to experience menopause or goes through cancer treatment, vulvar elasticity (stretchiness) diminishes and typically the vaginal area is much dryer than it used to be. Taking estrogen can help to slow down or aid in this process, but work with your healthcare practitioner to make sure that estrogen is safe for you to use.
If you’ve ever had a vaginal infection, you know how uncomfortable it can be. If you feel as though something isn’t right in your vulvovaginal area, that is not the time to start practicing vulvovaginal healthiness. Make sure to see a medical professional for whatever may be going on and get your vaginal area back to a healthy environment. Once you are healthy it is time to begin maintenance of the vulvovaginal area.
The most common vulvovaginal infections you may encounter are:
Tips and Tricks for Vulvovaginal Care
There are some easy habits you can try that promote vaginal healthiness.
Use warm water when washing your vaginal area and dry it thoroughly every time you wash. Only wash the outer vulva area, as the vagina itself is a self cleaning machine. Washing inside the vagina could cause an imbalance of the hormones and bacteria the vagina needs to keep itself clean.
Wear cotton underwear and always make sure to wash new underwear before you wear it. Cotton is a very breathable material, and therefore is best for your vaginal area. Allowing your vagina breathing room throughout the day helps it regulate itself.
Use softer toilet paper if you can. The rubbing motion of paper on the vagina is better if the toilet paper isn’t overly harsh.
Do your best to regularly change pads if you use pads during your menstrual cycle, or avoid them all together and use tampons instead. Tampons are ultimately better for your vulvovaginal health as long as you change them at the appropriate times. Pads can cause infection if you leave them on for an extended period of time due to the blood and bacterial discharge is sitting in your vaginal area.
If you’re comfortable doing so, don’t wear underwear at night. Allowing your vagina to breathe while you’re sleeping is a great way to help keep it healthy. Instead wear loose fitting pants or boxers.
Here are some other suggestions on how to maintain vulvovaginal health
Vaginal moisturizers are a great way to support your vaginal elasticity and keep vaginal dryness at bay. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants are different because vaginal moisturizers are meant to be used anytime of day or night. Lubricants are promoted typically to be used during sexual activity. Moisturizers are just for you and your vaginal health. Vaginal moisturizers should be used every day for the best results.
Vaginal moisturizers can be purchased over the counter and online and don’t contain any hormones.
Rosebud Vulvar Moisturizer
Honor Everyday Balm is Rosebud Woman’s all natural, plant-based vulvar moisturizer. It’s meant to be used everyday to moisturize, and it doubles as a lubricant too – so no need to buy anything else! It can be used both inside and outside of the vulvovaginal area - there are no harmful ingredients that could affect your vuvlovaginal health negatively.
How to Use Vulvovaginal Moisturizers
- Some vulvovaginal moisturizers come with an applicator. If you buy a moisturizer with an applicator, you can fill the applicator and insert it into your vagina to get the product into that area.
- You can also massage the moisturizer into your outer vaginal tissue including both the inner and outer labia. To perform this application, put some moisturizer on your finger first and use your fingers to massage the oil into the area you want.
- It is advised that vulvovaginal moisturizers be used at night before you go to bed. This time of day is the best because the moisturizer has the most time to be fully absorbed while you’re sleeping.
Rosebud Woman’s Advice on How to Use
Massage yourself starting at the hip bones, working into the pressure points on the pubic bone, the inner thigh, and the groin, then onto the inner and outer labia and, finally, the inner fold including the clitoris. This is a great time for a little loving affirmation, too! Leave the balm on, allowing its active plant ingredients to work overnight.
Another way to maintain vulvovaginal health is estrogen. There are many different kinds of estrogen available for use. Estrogen is only available with a prescription as it’s not safe for everyone to be using. If you want to be prescribed estrogen, talk to your doctor first.
Here are some examples of vaginal estrogen you may be prescribed:
- Yuvafem - Inserted into the vagina once a day for 14 days using an applicator, then twice every week after the 14 days.
- Imvexxy - An oil based vaginal suppository inserted once a day for 14 days and then twice a week.
- Estring - A vaginal ring inserted into the vagina for 90 days before being replaced.
Long Lasting Vaginal Comfort
Vaginal health and comfort is essential to a healthy and comfortable life as a woman. Whatever stage of life you may be in, check in with your vagina regularly. Your vagina is sacred. It’s a place of pleasure and reproduction. Taking care of it should feel rewarding.
*This post does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.*