Beware of Self-Treatments & Bizarre Vagina Trends

The pandemic created a first-rate shift withinside the manner human beings consume – and, extra importantly, trust – facts, especially because it pertains to vaginal fitness. In fact, a brand new survey carried out through OnePoll on behalf of RepHresh of 2,000 American ladies age 24-34 well-known shows that in 5 ladies named Google as their go-to supply of facts over a doctor whilst experiencing pain or vaginal fitness symptoms. Many ladies also are turning to social media for fitness advice. For example, on TikTok, hashtags regarding the words “intercourse education” have over 70 million perspectives.

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A now-notorious TikTok video, presenting an instructional on the way to relieve constipation through “vaginal splinting” has racked up over three million perspectives and today’s popular #icecubechallenge claims to tighten the vagina and diminish bacterial overgrowth. While those trending DIY/at-domestic clinical hacks may be entertaining, a lot of those practices aren’t most effective useless at controlling the herbal stability of true and awful microorganism, however, may be risky and motive extra damage than true. Melting an ice dice withinside the vagina can raise the herbal pH stability and cause bacterial contamination because the pH of water (7.5-8) is better than the ordinary vaginal pH (three.5-4.5). And, at the same time as vaginal splinting is a systematic approach utilized by clinical specialists, specialists warning attempting it at domestic because it poses a hazard of bacterial unfold if now no longer completed properly. The RepHresh survey located that over half (51%) concept a vagina must have an impartial pH, and most effective 12% successfully identified “fairly acidic” as the suitable pH stability.

In addition, the pinnacle 3 maximum Googled terms and questions respondents wished solutions approximately included “vaginal discharge” (44%), “do I actually have a yeast contamination?” (39%), and “vaginal smell” (37%). With an uptick in misinformation, maximum ladies regularly misdiagnose their vaginal symptoms. That’s why it’s extra important than ever that ladies flip to depended on fitness care specialists for advice, the right prognosis, and treatments for the real problem. Here are some crucial matters ladies won’t realize, however want to realize to hold true vaginal fitness:1. The vaginal smell is absolutely ordinary and must now no longer be a motive for alarm. Refrain from the usage of useless scented merchandise, which include wipes and washes that declare to remove the smell with fruity or flowery fragrances, as this could now no longer clear up the foundation motive of the issue, that is an unbalanced pH. Do a search for clinically-sponsored and doctor-advocated merchandise for vaginal fitness, which includes over-the-counter RepHresh Gel, which rebalances pH to a wholesome range, removes the smell, and lasts up to a few days.2. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections can gift comparable symptoms, which include uncommon vaginal discharge and pain, so whilst ladies run to the drug shop and purchase an OTC yeast medicine which includes Monistat, they may be now no longer addressing the foundation motive of the problem.

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Two out of 3 instances it’s miles BV, which ought to be dealt with with an antibiotic from their fitness care issuer. But, antibiotics can kill the coolest and awful microorganism and motive yeast contamination, so make certain to take a vaginal probiotic as soon as an afternoon which includes RepHresh Pro-B because it consists of 2 lines of vaginal lactobacilli to maintain the vaginal flowers instability and devour ingredients excessive in probiotics like a wholesome no-sugar-introduced Greek yogurt, kefir, kimchi, or miso. three. High sugar and alcohol consumption can raise pH imbalances and make contributions to an overgrowth of yeast. Maintain a wholesome moderation of sugary beverages and junk meals as extra quantities now no longer most effective effect vaginal fitness, however common weight benefit and wellness.4.

Vaginal discharge is a totally ordinary feature wherein the vagina evidently gets rid of antique cells to maintain the surroundings wholesome and clean. Some ladies have extra discharge, at the same time as others may revel in very little, and it could extrude in color and thickness relying upon the ovulation cycle. However, discharge followed with itching, burning, fishy smell, swelling, uncommon color, or pelvic ache must be added to a doctor’s interest as it could be bacterial contamination or STI and ought to be dealt with appropriately. Before attempting something new, discuss with your healthcare issuer especially whilst matters appear off to make sure the protection and efficacy of the approach or product you’re considering. And, don’t leave out your annual OB/GYN visit. Maria Sophocles, MD, OB/GYN is the Medical Director of Women’s Healthcare of Princeton in Princeton, NJ.

By now, you’ve heard about all kinds of things you shouldn’t put on or in your vagina—baby powder, intimate sprays, and powdered sugar are all on the no-no list. So it’s natural to be a little wary when you hear a recommendation to take something out of your pantry and put it down your pants.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop newsletter released its first-ever sex issue on Monday and one story, in particular, suggests that you should apply something to your vagina that you’ve probably never thought of: olive oil and vitamin E.

In a Q&A, naturopathic doctor Maggie Ney says it’s a good idea to regularly use olive oil as a lubricant instead of store-bought lubes that, she argues, contain known endocrine disruptors. “Topically, you can apply vitamin E oil or olive oil to the labia to help moisturize and strengthen the vaginal tissue,” she adds.

Ney isn’t the only person to recommend this—the University of Iowa Health Care website says that applying extra virgin olive oil “as often as needed” to your vulva will help “protect the skin” and “decrease skin irritation during your period.”

The idea of regularly massaging anything into your labia seems a little weird, but experts say there’s actually something to it.

“Both oils can work well as a natural lubricant,” Niki Pearce, a clinical nurse midwife at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF. “Women who suffer from painful intercourse or vaginal dryness may also benefit from the application of a type of moisturizer daily.”

This is great for pregnant women as well, Pearce says. “Studies show that perineal massage with any type of oil decreases the incidence of vaginal tearing” during delivery, she says. “Vitamin E oil, as well as olive oil, is perfect for this because of its consistency and moisturizing capabilities.”

They can also be good for your vulva as a whole, women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., tells SELF. “Some doctors recommend small amounts of extra virgin olive oil, zinc oxide, vitamin E, or plain Vaseline to be applied to the vulva to protect the skin,” she says. However, she notes, this is usually recommended more if you’ve been experiencing chafing or some other form of irritation down there.

As for the claim, it can strengthen vaginal tissue, Brett Worly, M.D., an ob/GYN and female sexual dysfunction expert at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF that’s not something most women need to worry about. “Most women have sufficiently strong vaginal tissue that does not need strengthening,” he says, adding that that’s especially true for women who aren’t near menopause yet. Those who are nearing menopause, though, might benefit from vitamin E oil because the vaginal tissue can get thin from the related drop in hormones. “Vitamin E helps dry or thin skin in other places, so it may be helpful for vaginal tissues as well,” Worly explains.

Jason James, M.D., medical director at Miami’s FemCare Ob-Gyn, agrees that this is more of an issue for women as they age. “Natural lubricants like vitamin E or olive oil certainly can help with the lubrication issue,” he tells SELF. “By increasing lubrication, you may be helping with the hydration and elasticity of the vaginal and vulvar tissues.”

Before you start regularly applying olive oil to your labia, there are a few things to keep in mind. Pearce notes that women who are already prone to yeast or bacterial infections should be wary of this remedy since it may increase their risk of future infections. James also says it’s important to apply the oils in moderation since using too much may irritate things down there or increase vaginal discharge.

Finally, Wider strongly cautions against using oils with condoms: “Any oil, oil-based product, or lubricant can break down the integrity of a condom and should never be used together.”

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