In the past century, we’ve moved ahead in leaps and bounds when it comes to breaking the taboo on women’s health.
But what about when it comes to talking about our vaginal health? Kolorex are here to grow confidence in talking about vaginal health - because it's just as important as any other area of health.
Kolorex Naturopath Chloe Chivers, explains how to know if everything is all good down there and provides holistic tips for vaginal health.
Why we need to start talking about vaginal health
Vaginal health can, at times, be a touchy subject - and we get it. But by opening up the discussion, we’re able to understand vaginal health a whole lot better – so we can feel comfortable and confident talking about it when we need to.
So, let’s start the conversation with some of the most common questions the Korolex team are asked about vaginal health.
What’s the difference between the vulva and vagina?
The word “vulva” refers to all the external organs found on or around your pubic bone, including the labia, clitoris, the pubic mound, and the vaginal and urethra opening. The vagina is a muscular canal that connects the uterus to the vulva. It allows menstrual blood to flow out, and it's where a baby is 'seeded' with probiotics during the process of a vaginal birth.
Is the vagina self-cleaning?
The vagina is designed to keep itself clean with the help of natural secretions known as vaginal discharge, and our friendly vaginal bacteria. Together, they keep the vagina healthy and harmonious.
After a sweaty workout, sex, or during our period, it’s safe to wash the vulva or outside area around the vagina with a pH balanced wash like Kolorex Vaginal Care Wash but it isn’t necessary to wash internally (otherwise known as douching).
What is normal vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge plays a significant role in keeping your vagina healthy and clean. Discharge is a combination of vaginal fluids and mucus from the cervix. The glands inside your vagina and cervix produce small amounts of fluids, known as vaginal secretions. These cleanse old cells that have lined the vagina to keep it clean and healthy. But discharge is different for every person. It’s normal to see and experience different types of discharge throughout your cycle, so just be sure to keep track of what’s normal for you. If you notice any changes to this, see your GP.
Why do I get vaginal itching?
Vaginal itching could be a sign your vaginal microflora is out of balance, and you may have an over-production of a yeast called candida. If you’ve noticed prolonged itching followed by yellow, grey or green discharge that is thick in consistency or smells different, reach out to your local GP to make sure you don’t have an infection that needs clearing up. It can be common after antibiotics.
How to tell your vaginal health is tip top
A happy, healthy vagina releases a moderate amount of discharge, which changes throughout the monthly cycle. This discharge helps keep everything healthy and balanced.
At different phases of your cycle, your discharge may vary in appearance, texture and volume.
Your vagina has a delicate pH balance that can easily become unbalanced, so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs. This might include vaginal itching, dryness, burning or just general discomfort . If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor if you notice any unusual changes. We’re all unique - so when it comes to discharge, keep track of what’s normal for you. Research shows that 75% of women develop thrush in their lifetime, so you’re not alone.
In general, if everything is healthy down there, you’ll feel comfortable (no irritation or itching), and discharge and scent isn’t unusual. If you tick these boxes it’s time to celebrate, and if not, don’t worry – help is at hand. And there’s always more we can do to show our vagina some love.
How does Horopito benefit vaginal health?
Horopito is an amazing native New Zealand plant renowned for its ability to survive in dark, damp environments like our New Zealand rain forest. It has built up powerful properties that allow it to do this - something which Kolorex has been researching for over three decades.
Thanks to their studies, we now know this unique plant can help balance and support the health of our vaginal microbiome.
Kolorex is one of the only sustainable, commercial farms of Horopito - which is grown on the edge of the Kahurangi National Park. Located next to a rain forest, it is an amazing environment for Horopito to thrive – making them perfect to harvest and extract for vaginal care products.
6 holistic tips to keep your vaginal health in check
Understanding how to monitor your own vaginal health is essential. Everyone is different, so it’s important you get to know your own natural balance.
1. Manage your pH balance
Ditch the douche. This outdated feminine hygiene technique isn’t helpful – and can upset your natural vaginal pH. Remember, your vagina is self-cleaning. Opt for a gentle pH balanced wash instead, specifically formulated for the vulva, and don’t worry about washing inside the vagina.
Try Kolorex Vaginal Care Wash: Certified natural and dermatologically tested for gentle everyday use.
2. Wear breathable clothing
Cotton underwear is a great option to help absorb moisture, and keep you cool and comfortable during times of high humidity. After working out, be sure to swap tight, gym clothes for clothing that encourages better airflow and breathability.
3. Soothe a sensitive vulva
The skin of the vulva is extremely delicate. When you need to soothe the sensitive skin of the vulva, choose options that are natural, and free from synthetic fragrances and preservatives.
Try Kolorex Vaginal Care Cream: A soothing and replenishing formula that contains Horopito, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera, to help you find your happy balance.
4. Support your microflora
Keep your vagina and the bacteria inside it in check with a flourishing microflora. When your vaginal microflora is balanced, immune defence is strong. Things like a healthy diet, good water intake, and proper hygiene help support this.
Try Kolorex Vaginal Care HerBalance: Sustainably grown and harvested, this liquid extract contains Horopito to help restore peace to your intimate care routine and support vaginal health.
5. Wipe front to back
It might seem obvious, but it’s important. Wiping front to back can make a world of difference. Going the other direction can introduce bacteria and things like candida yeast from the bowel to the vagina.
6. Nourish yourself, inside-out