Winterize Your Vagina: How To Keep Your Lady Bits Healthy This Fall And Winter
As we start to really get into sweater weather, everyone knows the usual health concerns. Dry skin! Weight gain! Depression! But fall and winter can also be hard on your ‘nether regions. Wrapped up in tight, synthetic clothing (I'm looking at you, tights) and subjected to unhealthy foods (which matter–and we'll get to why in a minute), your vagina and vulva kind of hate the most wonderful time of the year. Don't worry, though. There are ways to ward off winter yeast infections and other uncomfortable situations.
Basically, there are two ways to ensure that your vagina is in tip-top shape throughout the chilly months: By eating the foods that keep it happy, and by wearing the right clothing near it. There's no need for medication, wipes, or any kind of special stuff–just good old-fashioned care.
Probiotics (like yogurt and specially-formulated products) are often touted for their ability to keep yeast at a minimum. And, according to author and educator Dr. Sara Gottfried, that's absolutely the case.
“Probiotics help keep your gut healthy and protect you from yeast,” she explains. “There are probiotics formulated for the vagina that I think are good.” Or, she says, you can “just go with yummy fermented foods like artisanal sauerkraut.” But you'll want to eat it, not…you know…apply it. Which, actually, goes for a lot of things.
Raw garlic is another food that's sometimes noted for its pro-vagina powers. But Dr. Gottfried says that's just not the case.
“This is an old wives tale and I haven't seen data proving it. But I've done many pelvic exams and found garlic in the va-jay-jay and I can say that I don't think that's proven and…ouch!”
There are also foods that you can eat which can harm the health of your vagina and vulva
“Too many refined carbohydrates feed yeast and can tip you over the edge into yeast overgrowth,” Dr. Gottfried told me.
When it comes to clothing, says Dr. Gottfriend, there's no need to ditch your pencil skirts and skinny jeans–as long as they're made out of the right stuff.
“Body hugging is fine as long as your lady parts can breathe. No synthetics near the vulva, please,” she says. Which especially goes for underpants, the closest piece of clothing to your parts on most given days. And while style doesn't matter (thongs are A-OK), quality does. Dr. Gottfried recommends organic cotton.
“It's funny – we've bought the message on organic food, yet we put nasty toxic cotton, full of pesticides and herbicides right up against the most sensitive skin of our body.”
At the end of the day, Dr. Gottfried says, common sense and a back-to-basics approach is your best friend.
“Wear the fibers against your skin that your great-grandparents wore, and eat the food that your great-grandparents ate.”
Image: YuriyZhuravov via Shutterstock