The vulva is the external part of the female genitalia. It protects a woman’s sexual organs, urinary opening, vestibule and vagina and is the center of much of a woman’s sexual response. Below are some things one can do to keep the vulva healthy.
- Use only 100% natural cotton or silk undergarments; even small amounts of synthetic material can be irritating to sensitive skin.
- Avoid pantyhose or any synthetic tight-fitting garments such as workout pants, jeans and tights. Cotton is always best. When wearing workout gear try to find clothing with the lowest Lycra or synthetic amount, ideally less than 10% synthetic material.
- Avoid the use of daily pads. They contain synthetic materials that can worsen irritation and will not make your vaginal area “cleaner.”
- Use thigh-high or knee-high hosiery. If support pantyhose are needed, vent the crotch by cutting a slit down the middle, leaving the seams intact.
- Do not douche unless instructed to.
- Avoid any and all feminine hygiene products, flavored or fragranced lubricants, oil-based lubricants, bath oil, salts or perfumes.
- Wear no undergarments when possible, especially at night.
- Avoid antibiotics unless needed. If you are prone to yeast infections and must take antibiotics, request medicine for a yeast infection “just in case,” and be sure to take probiotic supplements.
- If you need lubrication for intercourse, use water-soluble lubricants such as K-Y Jelly® or Astroglide.® Oil-based lubricants may disturb your pH balance.
- For bump or boil-prone skin gently exfoliate with an exfoliating glove when you bathe or shower.
Take probiotic supplements to help balance the pH of your skin.