At last, there is hope after all learning vaginal health basics as a way of life.
Long gone are the days of “Well, unfortunately, this condition is common to women your age”. Now, we have a choice. There are methods and information that can improve and support life long vaginal health and youthfulness
Vaginal health is an umbrella term. Under that umbrella is a vast universe of conditions, problems, and issues all affecting the vagina. If you take the time to learn vaginal health basics many of these issues can be prevented.
Cleanliness is youthfulness...
The basics of a healthy vagina starts with being clean and dry. Meaning, after you take a shower/bath make sure the vagina area is completely dry (no dampness) before putting on your under garment ( cotton or cotton lining).
Why cotton? Cotton is a breathable material. Meaning it allow the vaginal/vulva area to breathe... allowing fresh air to freely move through this area helping it to stay dry.
It is also a good idea to wear cotton panty liner's for added freshness as long as you change it 3-4 times a day.
It is very important to keep the vagina/vulva area clean because bacteria ( the bad kind) grows in this area everyday. When this area is not kept clean and dry bacteria can fester creating all kinds of trouble.
Washing with water alone will not remove the oils, discharge, skin dust and clothing particles. I personally believe washing with a gentle perfume and additive free soap is best.
Remember... wash only the outer area (the vulva) never insert soap into the vagina opening.
Reduce or even stop using any feminine hygiene products laden with perfumes, synthetic additives and chemicals of any kind.
Good feminine hygiene is the beginning of vaginal health basics...
Vitamins for vaginal health
I know there is much talk about vitamins. It can get very confusing, not only that, there are so many vitamins on the market to choose from.
Standing there... in the middle of the vitamin ales is like trying to read hieroglyphics. You see the words, you see the images but your brain is like an egg in a cast-iron pan frying away brown edges and all... no hope.
Know this, some vitamins are superior than others; it is best to research information about vitamins before running out to your nearest all-purpose-store and picking up any ole bottle of multivitamins.
Vitamins for vaginal health are essential in helping to maintain and support optimum vaginal and overall health.
Include supplements as part of your vaginal health basics.
Click above for more information on how vitamins can aide and add in supporting and maintaining a healthy and youthful vagina.
Exercise does the vagina good
As you would exercise and take supplements to strengthen the muscles of the body well know this, the vagina is a muscle as well and it needs strengthen through exercise and supplements to stay healthy and strong.
Like all muscles of the body, the vagina (including the uterus a muscular organ) becomes stronger with daily moderate movement.
When doing moderate overall exercise clean oxygen-rich blood flows throughout the entire body penetrating the organs and muscles giving them life.
Vaginal muscles can and will weaken just as the other muscles of the body if you don't use them.
Sex alone is not enough to exercise the muscle.
Kegels are specific and isolated exercise that help strengthen the pelvic floor muscle. The PFM support the bladder, uterus, small intestine and rectum.
Click here to find out more about kegels and other exercises that does the vagina good.
Learning vaginal health basics as a way of life.
To douche or not to douche?
This is the BIG question!
Personally, I prefer douching over non-douching...
No more than once a month preferably 3-4 days after your period (wait for drainage to end).
Twice a month if you have multiple sex partners.
Douching is the act of washing out the internal vagina with water or water mixed with other natural liquids.
The popular douches are mixtures of water and baking soda, iodine and (most popular) vinegar.
I personally use organic apple cider vinegar only because I believe it adds to vaginal health.
We have been told by medical experts that the vagina is self-cleaning there 's no need to douche because douching interferes with vaginal acidity and flora.
This may or may not be true for some women but as with anything it depends on the individual. I have never experience a negative reaction from douching.
Just remember, if you have or suspect you have a vaginal infection do not douche. Either go to your GYN or there are natural self-cures/treatments depending on the type of infection.
Click to read more on to douche or not to douche and why I believe douching improves feminine hygiene.
Do you know your vaginal pH balance level?
Vaginal pH... Vaginal Flora... Fancy words right?
What is vaginal pH?... What is vaginal flora?
I had no idea, these were new words for me... at least, pH and flora were.
Well first, what does pH stand for?
The "p" stands for potential and the "H" stands for hydrogen.
Therefore, vaginal pH is the potential of the vagina to pull hydrogen ions to lock in health and balance.
In other words, pH measures the secretions of the vagina. It tells us if our vagina is alkaline or acidic.
Normal vaginal pH is somewhat acidic between 3.8 to 4.5. Anything above or below this range there's definitely an issue of concern.
The vaginal environment is delicate and sensitive; there can be disruptions (good or bad) that cause changes in the environment ( see: To douche or not to douche... click here).
Keeping a well balance pH level in the vagina is vital to maintaining vaginal health and youthfulness.
Click here for more information on vaginal pH balance
Understanding the internal vagina
The vagina is an elastic expandable and collapsible tubular shape canal in structure. The vagina is a muscle; most women do not realize that the vagina is flat ( like an un-blown/new balloon) when not sexually active.
It starts from the outside opening of the vagina (hidden between labia minora/inner labia) and stretches inward to about three to five inches (vaginal canal) to the cervix or bottom of uterus.
Starting from the vagina opening inward there's the vaginal canal, the cervix, the uterus, the ovaries and the fallopian tubes these are the 5 major components of the reproductive system.
The vagina is the female sexual organ created for several functions... the main functions are for sexual intercourse, child-birth and menstruation.
Click here for more information on Understanding the internal vagina
Three layers of the vagina
I believe that women should learn about the three (3) internal layers of the vagina/uterus as part of vaginal health basics... Why?
It is these layers of tissue that are affected during aging, giving birth, pregnancy, irregular periods, menopause and/or sicknesses affecting the reproductive and vaginal canal area. So, it is important to know the internal structure of your vagina/uterus.
Endometrium/mucous membranes: Innermost Layer:
Myometrium/uterine muscle: Middle Layer
Perimetrium/serous membrane: Outermost Layer
Click here for more information on The three layers of the vagina
Endometrium/Mucous Membranes: Innermost Layer:
The first layer of cells/lining that lines the uterus is the Endometrium. It surrounds the uterus. It is the inner mucous membrane of the uterus.
Meaning, the Endometrium is a gland or mucous membrane made up of epithelial tissue that absorb and secretes a thick sticky fluid.
This fluid from the mucous membrane act as a barrier and moisturizer.
The Endometrium/Mucous Membrane lines the internal organs (lungs, kidneys etc.) and the body cavity such as the mouth, eyes, nose, ears, anus etc., keeping the tissue in these areas moist.
It is this same lining that lines the vaginal canal. Although, the lining is smooth in the mouth or hairy in the nostrils it is not the same in the vagina.
In the vagina the lining is filled with many deep folds and waves.
It is these deep folds and waves that gives the friction during intercourse.
Click here for more information on The Endometrium
Myometrium/Uterine Muscle: Middle Layer:
The next layer of cells/lining that lines the uterus is the Myometrium. It is the middle layer that surrounds the uterus. It is the muscular wall of the uterus.
Meaning, the Myometrium is a thick smooth muscle with connective tissue and blood vessels. The structure/wall of the uterus is made up of the Myometrium muscle that provide structural support for the uterus.
The Myometrium's'/ Uterine Muscle main purpose is to induce uterine contractions.
In pregnancy, this muscle expands and stretches to house the growing baby and to carry blood to feed the placenta that nourishes the baby.
It is this muscle that contracts during labor pushing the baby out of the womb down the birth canal and out of the vagina opening. It also pushes out the placenta.
The Myometrium is a common place where fibroids grow in some women.
It is this muscle that allows the gripping and massaging during intercourse.
It is also the muscle that contracts/tightens during an organism that causes the sensation.
Click here for more information on The Myometrium
Perimetrium/Serous Membrane: Outermost Layer:
The third layer of cells/lining that lines the uterus is the Perimetrium. It is the last layer that surrounds the uterus. It is the serous coat of the uterus.
Meaning, the Perimetrium is a smooth thin fibrous membrane join together with connective tissue known as ligaments that dangles the uterus in your pelvis.
The Perimetrium/Serous Membrane separates the uterus from the abdominal environment. It also connects to other internal structures of the body to provide structure and support.
It secretes a fluid called Serous Fluid that is fortified with proteins and water.
This fluid lubricates and reduces friction from moving muscles. It acts as a barrier and lubricant between the Myometrium (muscle) and the Perimetrium.
The Perimetrium membrane not only line and surrounds the uterus it line and surround other body cavities such as the heart, lungs and the abdominal-pelvic cavities.
Click here for more information on The Perimetrium
Understanding the external vagina/vulva
The External Genitalia or the Vulva is the outer layer of the vagina that is visible to the eye. It covers the vaginal canal. It is not the vagina itself.
The vulva is made up of major and minor parts.
The major: mons pubis (the place where pubic hairs grow), the outer/major labia and inner/minor labia, the clitoris and clitoral hood, the urethral (opening where urine passes from the body), the hymen and the vagina opening.
The minor: vulvar vestibule, the pudendal cleft (vulva split), the frenulum labiorum pudendi, the perineum, the sebaceous glands and the vaginal glands.
The vulva is a sensitive area for many women; many if not all, do not like the look of their vulva. The vulva greatly range in shape, size and color. Remember your vulva is unique to you; it was design for you and to fit you.
The vulva area should be kept clean and dry at all times. The vulva itself is naturally soft however as you age, have babies or other issues the texture and look changes making the vulva dry, flaky, rubbery, saggy, wrinkle and /or easily torn. Can anything be done to naturally restore and/or maintain the youthfulness of the vulva? I believe it can.
Read on, you will be surprised and pleased at what you will learn.
Click here for more information on the vagina/vulva
The vulva major
Mons Pubis (where pubic hair grows): The fleshy triangular shape skin above the vulva. It divides into the major labia...
Major Labia (outer lips):Divides from the mons pubis and extends downward and backward to the perineum.
Minor Labia (inner lips): Located of both sides of the vaginal opening. Extending and dividing downward from the clitoris nestled between the major labia.
Clitoris Hood: Clitoral hood is a fold of skin much like the foreskin in males. It protects and surrounds the clitoris glans. It extends downward and split into part of the minor labia.
Clitoris: The clitoris is a sexual organ. It is located at the top and front of the labia minor just above the urethra opening.
Urethral: The urethral is the urination opening. It is located between the clitoris and the vaginal opening. It is not a sexual organ.
Hymen: The hymen is a thin membrane the covers or semi-covers the vaginal opening. It is located at the surface and bottom within the vaginal opening.
Vaginal Opening: The vaginal opening is located under the urethra and above the anus. It is the entrance that leads to the vaginal canal.
Click here for more information of the major vulva parts
The vulva minor
vulvar vestibule: The vulvar vestibule is the soft solid skin that surrounds the urethra and the vaginal opening between the minor labia. It is part of the vulva.
Pudendal cleft (vulva split): The pudendal cleft starts at the base of the mons pubis where it then divides into and forms the major labia. It is part of the vulva.
Frenulum labiorum pudendi: frenulum labiorum pudendi is a small gathering of tissue that secures the minor labia to the back or end of the vulva. It is located just under the vaginal opening and above the perineum.
Perineum: The perineum is the skin between the thighs that’s located below the vaginal opening and the Frenulum labiorum pudenda and just above the anus.
Sebaceous glands: Sebaceous glands are tiny glands within the skin where there is hair. They are located in the major labia as well as other area of the body.
Vaginal glands: Vaginal glands are the Bartholin's and Skene's gland. There are two of each gland located in the vulva vestibule on each side of the urethra and the vaginal opening.
Click here for more information on the minor vulva parts
Learning vaginal health basics for a healthier vagina is one of several keys to maintaining vaginal health. Women should take the time to learn about their vagina.
Vaginal Health/ Learn vaginal health basics