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Women's Health

Ever Wonder What Your Vagina Needs Before You Go On Vacation?

I recently read that around 118 million Americans plan on going on summer vacation. For a billion different reasons, that’s good to know because vacations help to reduce stress, improve one’s quality of sleep, give folks the opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, put people in better moods, and, ultimately, make them more protective and happier once they return home as well.


If you happen to be one of the millions who have at least one vacation planned over the next several weeks, as you’re putting your list together of all of the things that you need to do and get— question: have you thought about a plan for your vagina and vulva (the outer part of your vagina)?

No? Yeah, that’s not good becauseit’s actually more common for women to experience yeast infections and UTIs when it’s super hot outside. That’s the bad news. The good news is there are things that you can do to “prep” your vagina/vulva, on a few different levels, before you leave for your trip. That way, “she” can end up having just as much fun as you plan to the entire time you are gone.

Behold, 10 hella effective tips.

1. A Wax

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Personally, I’ve been getting waxed for several years now, and for the most part, I have no regrets. I only say “for the most part” because I won’t lie — sometimes the temperature of the wax can alter the tackiness of it, which can make the hair-pulling process a bit uncomfortable (applying some oil to your skin before heading off to your wax appointment is a great hack for that). Still, when you consider the fact that waxing not only removes unwanted body hair for longer periods of time than shaving, it also exfoliates and softens the skin around the inner part of your vulva (which is the outer part of your vagina), reduces ingrown hairs, helps to prevent body odor (because the less hair you have, the less sweat and bacteria that can get trapped around that part of your body) and that it keeps your bikini line looking pretty amazing (check out “Yes, There Are Things That You Can Do To Get A Smooth Bikini Line”) — it absolutely makes all of the sense in the world to get waxed before going on a vacation.

2. A Menstrual Cup

Listen, sometimes periods don’t want to cooperate with your vacation schedule — and yes, that sucks times a billion. Just in case your cycle is a bit unpredictable (for instance, if you know that you’re on the later side of perimenopause — check out “Perimenopause Has Your Period Being All Over The Place? Here's What To Do.”), make sure to have a menstrual cup in tow. It’s less bulky than a pad and tends to be more comfortable than a tampon.

Plus, thanks to the silicone that most of them are made from and how well they fit inside of your vagina, you can swim, do cartwheels on the beach, wear the sexiest dress, and damn near forget that you even have one inside of you (by the way, if you want to have sex that’s as messy-less as possible, some women do this with the help of amenstrual disc).

3. (Maybe) a Prescription

Technology has caused virtually (no pun intended) everything to change with the times; including how people do prescriptions. These days, there are companies like Wisp and Nurx that let you get certain prescriptions from their online medical team. As far as your vaginal health goes, this can be super helpful if you’ve got a recurring yeast infection and you don’t have time to make a doctor’s appointment or if you want to do something like delay your cycle for a few days.

When it comes to the latter point, in walks a drug known as Norethindrone Acetate; it’s basically a progestin-only pill that can either stop your period altogether or significantly slow down your blood flow if you’d prefer to be as period-free as possible.

Now, it is a drug and drugs can potentially come with side effects. So, it’s wise to run your thought process by your own healthcare professional and you definitely need to be totally honest while the online team is doing their initial assessment. I’m just putting the option out there…so that you know you have it.

4. A Probiotic

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Something that your vagina contains is good bacteria and bad bacteria. When the bad happens to outweigh the good, that’s how irritation and infections start. One way to get a lead on this transpiring is toget some probiotics into your system. If you’ve never shopped for probiotics (especially for your vagina) before, reportedly, the strains that you should look for (most) are Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus; that’s because they are high-effective at giving your vagina the good bacteria that it needs.For the record, foods that are also high in probiotics include fermented ones like yogurt and kombucha along with green peas, apples, bananas, asparagus, and garlic.

5. A Mesh Laundry Bag

Iffecal matter can get stuck in your own washing machine (and it does, which is why you should give it a good bleach or white vinegar rinseon a monthly basis), imagine what it’s like at a hotel, resort, or laundry mat (lawd!). So, if you’re needing to wash some of your stuff while you’re away and, when it comes to your panties and bathing suit(s) specifically, you don’t want to wash them by hand, at least put them into a mesh laundry bag. Not only does the bag help to protect your delicates from the damage that a washing machine could cause them, but it also can help to reduce the amount of bacteria that could cling onto them — even after you consider your clothes to be clean.

6. A Moisture-Wicking Bathing Suit

Here’s something that you may not know: If you’re planning onswimming in saltwater or chlorinated water, it’s best that you wash your bathing suit after every use; that way, sweat, and bacteria won’t get locked into the fabric and end up irritating your vulva/vagina. Another swimsuit tip? Get one that is moisture-wicking. That way, any moisture in your swimsuit will dry faster, which can ultimately help prevent a nasty yeast infection from occurring. Just go to your favorite store or site and request moisture-wicking suits or put “moisture-wicking” in the search field.

7. A Cover-Up

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Listen, even though a lot of our people don’t tend to be as intentional about tanning as other (eh hem) demographics, let’s not act like we don’t like taking in some rays.

And when you find yourself lying on your stomach and basking in the sun by the beach, whether you realize it or not, there’s a term for that: it’s called “perineum sunning” — and just like the rest of your body can experience damaging UV rays, so can your va-jay-jay (and the area that’s in between your anus and your vaginal opening which is your perineum), if you’re not careful.

However, unlike the rest of your body, being able to use sunscreen to shield it from the sun because your vagina, vulva, and perineum are far more fragile; help them out by putting on a cover-up if you plan on being out in the heat for more than 30 minutes at a time. Cover-ups are a really cute way to reduce heat exposure, as it protects your perineum in the most subtle way possible.

8. A Proactive UTI Plan

Did you know thatas temperatures increase, you up your chances of experiencing a UTI (urinary tract infection)? A big part of the reason is that the less hydrated you are, the easier it is for bacteria to post up somewhere inyour urinary system. One way to stay on top of this is to, of course, drink lots of water. Also, urinate regularly (especially before and after sex), and yes,take cranberry supplements or drink pure cranberry juice (not the cocktail stuff; that has loads of sugar in it). Studies reveal that the properties in cranberries help to fight off the bacteria that lead to UTIs. So no, it’s not a myth; cranberries are the absolute truth as far as maintaining vaginal health is concerned.

9. A pH Balance Plan Too

Your period can throw offyour vagina’s pH balance. If you recently did a round of antibiotics, they can throw off your vagina’s pH balance.Stress can throw off your vagina’s pH balance.Hormonal fluctuations can throw off your vagina’s pH balance. Know what else can? Sex with a new partner (due to their bodily fluids coming into contact with your body for the first time) can throw off your vagina’s pH balance. And when your pH is not where it should be, it’s a pretty fair bet that your vagina and vulva are not going to be very happy with you. That’s why you should also have a pH balance plan in place.

Some of the things that you should do are againdrink lots of water (to keep your vagina’s ecosystem balanced), meditate (to keep your stress levels down), consume less sugar (yeast thrives in sugar), wear breathable panties (check out “These Are The Kinds Of Panties Your Vagina Actually Prefers”) and use condoms (again, sperm/semen can throw your vagina’s pH off). If you do this before you leave and while you’re on vacation as well, your vagina and vulva should remain chill while you’re trying to enjoy yourself.

10. A Pretty Ass Muumuu

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If sleeping naked is healthy for your vagina when you’re at home (and it is), it also is when you’re on vacation. Honestly, between all of the sweating, swimming, and whatever other moisture that your vulva and vagina are about to encounter, the less time “they” spend trapped up in moisture and fabrics like nylon, spandex, and polyester blends, the better. A remedy? A muumuu. Yep, you heard me. LOL. Get you a semi-sexy one that is made out of organic cotton, so that your body can breathe, it’s not see-through and you can comfortably be naked (underneath) as you’re enjoying drinks on your resort deck or taking a stroll on a cruise ship. You’ll thank me later. Trust me.

___

Yep. Follow these tips and I can almost guarantee that your vagina/vulva will treat you right. And since the last thing that I think you want to deal with is pissing her off…now you can focus on other things. Now “she” should be good.

Enjoy your time! “Both” of you. LOL.

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Featured image by jacoblund/Getty Images

 

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