Why Feminine Hygiene & Care Matters – Especially in the Summer!

Let’s first get the anatomy correct as it relates to what most women refer to as the “vagina”. Women use the word “vagina” to mean anything down south. When women are talking about their “vagina” they are mistakably including the vulva which includes the labia majora and labia minora. You must get to know your vulva and vagina, up close and personal. Medically speaking the vagina is only the inside and the outside is the vulva-labia majora and minora,  as well as a few other parts. Most women call all of this the “vagina” and don’t separate the two areas.  What women call vagina actually includes the vulva, labia-majora (outer lips) and labia minora (inner lips), the opening to the vagina is called the introitus, the inner vagina, the urethra (small opening leading to the bladder), the clitoris and the protective hood of the clitoris. The inside of the vagina, where tampons go, is a temperamental and ultra-sensitive area.  My first and foremost advice to women is to get to know your lady parts, know what your “normal” is so you will know when a potential problem arises.  If you have not done so already, pull out the mirror and get to know your vagina, your vaginal health depends on it.

Another source of confusion is “what are the areas of the vulva and vagina that need to be cleaned every day?” The external area – the vulva, clitoris and opening of the vagina to be exact – needs to be washed every day with a vagina-friendly wash. The inside of the vagina has a self-cleaning function with the natural white discharge that removes unwanted bacteria similar to what tears do for our eyes.  

During the summer the skin on the vulva may be prone to more dryness from the heat, pool chemicals or more pubic hair grooming. Skin dryness involving any part of your body is uncomfortable and annoying, especially when it comes to the sensitive skin of the vulva.  Persistent vulvar dryness can cause itching, burning, pain and create emotional and physical disruptions in your everyday activities.

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Posted in: Let's Talk Women's Health

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