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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
7. Purchase a Lubricant Warmer
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
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
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
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
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