Quantcast

Ready To “Prep” Your Vagina For The Fall & Winter Seasons?

Yep. "Winterizing" our vagina is actually a thing.

Women's Health

I don't know about y'all, but autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year. As I was thinking about all of the things that I adore about it, I reminded myself that it's now time to get my va-jay-jay ready for cooler weather. What? Is there a light chuckle coming out of you as you stare at your monitor like I've completely lost my mind? While it might seem that way at first, you might be surprised how "winterizing your vagina" can actually do wonders for your overall health and well-being.

So, take a moment out of your crazy day to check out some of the things that I do to get my vagina in gear for fall and winter. Things that makes even "her" happy that this time of year has finally arrived—and can actually do wonders for your own if you're open to giving these tips a shot.

1. Up Your Probiotics

Shutterstock

Yeeeeeah. Let's not act like October 31 (Halloween) through January 1 (New Year's Day) doesn't officially mark the time when a lot of us tend to consume more sweets than we do the rest of the year. When there's too much sugar in our bodies, that can actually trigger something that absolutely none of us want—a yeast infection. If you've ever wondered how in the world that happens, it's because, when sugar gets to a point of compromising our immune system, that can make it difficult for our immunity to prevent the overproduction of yeast within our body.

Something that can help to keep the good bacteria thriving in our system (so that sugar doesn't overtake our system) is upping our probiotic intake. First, try and get into the habit of taking a probiotic supplement that has somewhere around 10 billion colony-forming units (you can check out a list of 2020's best probiotics for women here). Also, it definitely can't hurt to consume foods that contain probiotics too. Some of those include fermented foods like pickles, kefir, miso, kombucha, Gouda and cheddar cheese and even beer.

2. Drink Some Hot Apple Cider

Shutterstock

I don't know about y'all, but to me, a signature drink for fall (and winter) is hot apple cider. If you've ever wondered what the difference is between it and regular ole' apple juice, the long/short of it is apple juice goes through a filtration process that hot apple cider does not. Anyway, if you happen to be someone who knows that your estrogen levels are naturally low, that could throw your pH balance off which could also trigger a yeast infection. Drinking cider (or juice or eating apples) can help to keep your estrogen levels at a good place because apples contain phytoestrogens which are basically a plant compound that mimics how estrogen affects your body. (By the way, some other foods that contain phytoestrogens include pomegranates, garlic, carrots, potatoes, cherries, dried beans and even coffee.)

3. Watch the Alcohol Intake

Shutterstock

Listen, I'm all for y'all turning up with a glass or a bottle from time to time. But balance is key. If you decide to use the fall and winter seasons to turn into a lush in these streets, it could end up wreaking havoc on your vagina and your sex life. The reason why is because too much alcohol consumption can actually lead to vaginal dryness as well as fatigue. So, anything more than a cup or two of mulled wine or glass of spiked eggnog a day might be pushing it. Either drink two glasses of water per serving of the booze or go without more than you initially planned to this year. Your va-jay-jay and libido will be thankful.

4. Keep Some Olive Oil in Tow

Shutterstock

Here's something that you might've noticed but not given a ton of thought to.

It's actually pretty common that your vagina can end up feeling dryer during the colder months of the year. The reason why is because things like too much alcohol, taking cold/flu medication or sleeping without a humidifier on in your bedroom (more on that in a bit) can all contribute to your vagina not getting the moisture that it needs. Something that can counter all of this is rubbing your vulva down with a little bit of olive oil.

Not only does it serve as a great moisturizer and natural lubricant (so long as you don't accompany it with condoms; oil oftentimes breaks condoms down), olive oil contains loads of antioxidants, a respectable amount of Vitamin E and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe any minor irritation that your vagina may be experiencing at any given time. Just make sure that you use extra virgin olive oil because, the purer the oil is, the better it will be for your sensitive genital region.

5. Grow Out Your Pubes

Shutterstock

Personally, I see my vagina as being a big girl like the rest of me, so I prefer to have some hair on "her". The couple of times when I tried going totally bare, I felt like I was in elementary school again. But, as with most things in life, to each their own, right? Earlier this year, I wrote a piece for the platform on how even pubic hair has trends (you can check it out here) and yes, even when it comes to our pubes, there are all kinds of routes that you can take. However, since pubic hair does help to cushion the friction caused by penetration, it reduces the risk of getting an STD (because the hair can help to keep tiny nicks from occurring that could lead to transmission of infected bodily fluids), it helps to keep debris from actually getting into your vagina and, as an extra bonus, it helps to keep "her" warmer—if you're someone who goes bald or even has a little strip, why not grow it out, just a little bit more, this fall season? You might be surprised by how much you like it and how much more comfy you will feel if you do.

6. Get Some Wool Underwear

Shutterstock

OK, so here's something that I bet you never contemplated before. While it's great to wear cotton (preferably organic cotton) panties so that your va-jay-jay can breathe, if you want to keep her extra warm, get yourself a few wool ones.

I know, it might sound crazy but the reality is that wool is a fabric that doesn't hold onto moisture which means that they are actually better at keeping your vagina from trapping in too much moisture which could lead to infections up the road. As a bonus, it doesn't hold on to odor either.

Who knew, chile? By the way, if you want to treat yourself to some wool drawers, Ice Breaker and Woolx are two sites that sell them.

7. Purchase a Lubricant Warmer

Shutterstock

How cute is this? If you're someone who's getting more and more into using lubrication during sex, first, check out "If You've Always Wanted A 'Lubricant Cheat Sheet,' Here Ya Go". Then, do yourself a big favor and pick up a lubricant warmer. Love My Pulse is a company that actually sells massage oils, condom-friendly lubricants and yep, a lubricant dispenser that warms up your oils and lubes. I won't lie, it ain't cheap ($199). But again, if you are a fan of lubricant, I don't see how this couldn't be the kind of gift that just keeps on giving. Straight up.

8. Cop a Sex Toy Warmer Too

Shutterstock

While you're out here shopping for your vagina, if sex toys are totally your thing, why not get yourself a sex toy warmer as well? Experience Warm is a company that offers a sex toy warmer (that looks a lot like a wallet) that will warm up, pretty much any sex toy you've got, in 15-20 minutes. This one will run you around a hundred bucks, but if you're sick of using your hands to make your favorite toy of choice feel even a little bit like room temperature, this could be the perfect solution.

9. Sleep with a Humidifier

Shutterstock

Dry air is a major issue in the fall and winter season, in part, because we tend to rely more on the warm air that flows out of our HVAC units. But when that dry air doesn't have any moisture in it, not only can that increase the air pollution in your house, it can also make you more susceptible to colds, cause your sinuses to clog up, and definitely dry out your hair, skin, scalp and yes, your vagina. You can combat this by putting a humidifier in your bedroom. It's one of the best ways to give your skin (and genitalia) the moisture that it needs while promoting a better quality of sleep in the process.

10. Invest in Some Flannel Sheets

Shutterstock

I don't care what time of year it is, you should make it your ambition to sleep in the nude. One of the benefits mentioned in our article, "Yes, Sleeping Naked Could Help Your Anxiety & Sleep Pattern" is it's another way to reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection because your vagina is able to breathe (and not accumulate excess moisture) throughout the night. Sleeping naked can also help your body to regulate your hormones and metabolism while increasing your melatonin levels, so that you're able to sleep more soundly. If you're hesitant to do this during the fall and winter because it's colder and you don't want to turn up your electronic thermostat to the point where you'll be dead ass broke come March, get yourself some flannel bedding or some jersey knit ones. Both are warm, mad comfortable and make sleeping naked a pleasure from now until the spring season arrives. You'll love 'em, your vagina will love 'em and it'll be all good—no matter how cold it gets. It's one of the absolute best ways to winterize your vagina. Trust. Me. #wink

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Juneteenth aka Freedom Day aka Emancipation Day aka June 19, 1865, commemorates the actual end of slavery. Contrary to popular belief, July 4, 1776, was not inclusive of all people per America's modus operandi; the 4th of July only represents the day that white male Americans became free. Thanks to social activists and the movement that is Black culture, Juneteenth's history, meaning, and importance have become more prevalent over the past few years.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Despite 2020, and the beginning of 2021, being the endless dumpster fire that it was, we have to admit one thing: it did a hell of a thing for one's creativity. With all the time in the world to be stuck at home, musicians put paper to pen, voices to mics, and now we can reap the benefits of its creative wonders. Kicking the summer off right, artists have released new music to fit all of your sunny adventures.

Keep reading... Show less

A father-daughter business is something that we all can be proud of especially at a time like Father's Day. And who doesn't love a girl dad? (They definitely get more than their share of love on social. Just look up the hashtag, sis. There are millions of tear-inspiring, super-sweet images to swoon about on Instagram alone.)

Keep reading... Show less

Every day, Black women elevate the world. We are trendsetters and visionaries; the shapeshifters that lead by virtue of presence alone. In a world that sells our identities for consumption, we remind everyone that joy is our birthright and the grace we carry will always be authentic. Our existence is not a social experiment but a crafted emblem of perfection. And for that, we deserve everything good this world has to offer.

Keep reading... Show less

Here's something that will make you wonder where the time went: Ciara and Russell Wilson welcomed their third child Baby Win to the world almost a year ago. Ciara, who's also mother to Sienna (4) and Future (7) couldn't be more excited to watch him grow and she's opening up about life after baby number three and the transition of going from two kids, to three.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Michelle Williams On Depression, Healing & Why It’s Important To Check In With Yourself

"Now, the only label I've got that matters is God's: God's creation. God's work. God's child."

Latest Posts