Most of us don’t realise just how clever the vagina is – with schemes and strategies to keep itself balanced and healthy. It’s a glorious, self-regulating machine.
But what do pineapples and self-cleaning ovens have to do with it?
Our naturopath shares why vaginas are amazing and should be celebrated. You’ll also find tips and product picks for a happy and healthy vagina.
So how does the vagina keep itself healthy?
For simplicity’s sake, we’ll call the whole kit-and-caboodle the vagina - including the outer petals or vulva. Here are five intriguing ways the whole kit-and-caboodle maintains its delicate balance.
1. A special ecosystem
The vagina has its own ecosystem, scientists call it the ‘microflora’. It protects itself using friendly bacteria, especially the Lactobacilli kind. They’re the good ones – we like them. Science shows when your microflora is healthy - you’re less likely to get vaginal yeast or bacterial imbalances. The friendly bacteria also promote autophagy, or cell renewal – keeping your vagina healthy and luscious.
Plenty of everyday things can throw off the microflora balance too, like stress, diet, alcohol and medications. Here’s the good news, if you have issues with recurrent yeast imbalances - there are special probiotics to support healthy vaginal microflora.
Probiotics for yeast balance - Clinicians Flora Restore
- Has Lactobacilli shown to support healthy vaginal microflora
- Ideal if you’re prone to recurrent yeast imbalances
- A much loved and top rated product
“Great product for gut and vaginal floral restoration. Having to take Flora Restore for a few months, I was really happy to find it available at HealthPost.” - Daniela
2. Pineapple pH
A healthy vagina is moderately acidic (3.8-4.5 pH) about the same as a pineapple. Maintaining this level plays a huge part in whether it’s healthy.
And just like the microflora, there’s a direct link – if you have a healthy vaginal pH, you’re less likely to get yeast and bacterial imbalances. Good bacteria thrive at this pH level too - bad bacteria and yeasts don’t. The ‘pineapply’ acidity stops them adhering to the vaginal walls.
3. Protective ‘vagina saliva’
The same way your mouth has saliva, the vagina has a specialized fluid – it offers immune protection and moisture. It’s kind of like ‘vagina saliva’. Can we call it that rather than the less pleasant sounding ‘discharge’? Yes! And it rhymes too. ‘Vagina saliva’ keeps the tissue moist and comfortable and protects from irritation. If you’re around menopause time, you’ll know this natural moisture reduces. Thankfully there are plant extracts that support vaginal moisture and comfort.
For vaginal comfort - Clinicians Womens Intimacy Support
- Supports vaginal moisture post menopause
- With herbs, sea buckthorn and rose oil for comfort down there
- For your mojo - supports healthy libido too
4. A self-cleaning oven
Ready for another amazing fact? Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. You only need to clean the vulva or outer folds, because the inner part is self-cleaning. The ‘vagina saliva’ (is it catching on yet?), pineapple pH and probiotic microflora all play a part in this clever cleansing process.
Stop the soap
Sounds pretty dramatic. But using soap undoes all the effort your vagina goes to – soap disrupts the delicate balance that it strives to maintain. The three things above that make the vagina such a glorious self-regulating machine can be destroyed by soap.
- Soap mucks with the microflora ecosystem
- It strips the protective ‘vagina saliva’ and immune defences
- It throws off the pineapple pH
Warm water is all that’s needed to clean the outer petals or vulva.
If you insist on using an intimate wash product– opt for a natural formula that’s pH balanced.
Natural cleansing - Kolorex Vaginal Care Wash
- Gentle formula with natural plant extracts
- Cleanses without disrupting the microflora or pH balance
- Has NZ Native Horopito extract for vaginal health
5. It sends messages
A healthy vagina is a comfy vagina. If something’s not right – it’s sure to let you know. Any vagina-owner knows - an itch message is impossible to ignore. That clever little machine knows how to make us take notice, so we can make things right. The most common reason is Thrush, caused by the Candida yeast.
The yeast is part of our normal microflora and is usually fairly tame. But it’s like an opportunistic weed – if given a chance it will take advantage and grow out of control.
What is Thrush?
Thrush is a vaginal microflora imbalance that’s super common. Unless you’re one of the lucky few (25%) who don’t experience Thrush at least once in their lives, you know how uncomfortable it can be.
Have you heard about Horopito? A NZ native herb that supports vaginal yeast balance – it’s popular for women with recurrent issues.
For vaginal yeast balance - Kolorex Vaginal Care Her Balance
- Capsules with NZ native Horopito extract to support yeast balance
- Supports vaginal health
- Restores peace to your intimate care routine
8 ways to care for your vagina
Wouldn’t it be great if your vagina came with a ‘Vagina Owners Care Manual’? Here are some ways to keep your vagina in tip top condition.
- Cleanse once or twice daily with warm water – avoid soap
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria transfer
- Change out of sweaty gym clothes after a workout
- Take a Probiotic to support healthy microflora balance
- Avoid synthetic underwear material, cotton is more breathable
- Use protection with new sexual partners and have regular screening
- See your doctor if you notice abnormal changes in discharge - like consistency, colour or odour
- Take a NZ native Horopito extract to support yeast balance
Your vagina is amazing in so many ways, and sometimes it doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. Here’s to showing it some extra TLC with these naturopath tips.