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Okay. Let's Make Some Vagina Resolutions This Year

So, now that we’re already a few weeks into the new year (what is time…what is time, y’all?), tell me something: how are your resolutions going? If you’re already feeling a bit defeated because a few things have not gone as planned, go a little easy on yourself. Research continues to reveal that 80 percent of resolutions fail, in part because they are somewhat unrealistic to begin with.

Not so much when it comes to the goal; more like it’s rooted in the belief that something supernatural happens on January 1 when that couldn’t be further from the truth. In other words, today is just as good as any to resolve that you’re going to try something new, break a habit, or reach a particular goal.


Today is also a great time to resolve that you’re going to wake up each and every day and be proactive about taking care of your vaginal and vulvar health. Keeping all of this in mind, since resolution means “a formal expression of opinion or intention made,” how about you nix the “New Year’s” part and put “today,” every day, in front of the word instead? It’ll take the pressure off of you, and when it comes to this particular piece, your vagina (and vulva) will be oh-so grateful for the consistent follow-through of your intentions.

Starting with these 10 suggestions…

1. You Will Take a Probiotic

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Something that your vagina is full of is bacteria — some good and some not-so-good. When your vagina is healthy (for the most part, this means that when your pH balance is where it needs to be), you don’t even notice that there is a slight “war” going on to keep the bad bacteria from outweighing the good. However, when bad bacteria is more present, it can lead to infections like bacterial vaginosis.

A probiotic can help to serve you super well as far as preventing bad bacteria from getting out of line is concerned. That’s because it’s loaded with billions of good bacteria per serving. You can take it in the form of a supplement, kefir (which is basically yogurt 2.0), or other fermented foods, including pickles, cheese, kombucha, and the Japanese seasoning miso. I can always tell when I do take a probiotic and when I don’t, not just when it comes to my vaginal health but my gut health overall. Definitely a must-have when it comes to your overall health and well-being.

2. You Will Eat More Vitamin C-Enriched Foods

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Speaking of bacterial vaginosis, if a chronic case is something that you’re trying to conquer once and for all this year, get more vitamin C into your system. The reason why it’s so effective is it’s a type of nutrient that makes your vagina “too acidic” for bad bacteria to thrive in. And since vitamin C is also great at helping to stabilize your blood pressure, keeping chronic diseases at bay (in part by boosting your immune system), and helping your body to produce more collagen (which can help you to look younger, add hydration to your system and reduce joint discomfort) — you can never go wrong by consuming foods that are high in this particular nutrient. Some of them include citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi, and kale.

3. You Will Consume Less Dairy and Sugar

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Sometimes ice cream really pisses me off. Not because it isn’t delicious; it’s because it contains two things that my vagina isn’t the biggest fan of: dairy and sugar. Dairy isn’t the best thing for vaginas because it contains properties that can actually prevent your mucosal lining from forming; when that happens, your vagina can become more vulnerable to infections. Plus, dairy can contain hormones in it that aren’t the best for your vaginal health either. And sugar? If you’re someone who has chronic yeast infections and you can’t seem to figure out why — if sugar is a consistent part of your diet, that’s more than likely a main culprit.

Sugar feeds off of yeast, and so, in order to fully heal from a yeast infection, your diet has to shift away from lots of sugar intake too. Plus, if you happen to be diabetic (or have high blood sugar quite a bit), that can restrict the blood flow to your genital region, which can result in a vaginal dryness. So…no ice cream? For now, let’s go with less of it.

4. You Will Purchase More Underwear

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Last year, I penned an article for the platform entitled, “10 Women Told Me Why They Stopped Wearing Panties (And They Don't Regret It)." For me personally, sleeping naked is more than enough. If that is your testimony too, I do recommend that you know what kind of panties are best for your body (check out “These Are The Kinds Of Panties Your Vagina Actually Prefers”) and that you “swap them out” on a fairly consistent basis (meaning every six months or so). The cleaner your panties are, the less you will have to worry about vaginal irritation — on any level.

5. You Will Keep Your Undies Out of the Washing Machine

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If you’re someone who seems to have an irritated vulva (and vaginal opening), no matter what you do, a hack that I’ve been shifting into that you may want to try is washing all of your panties by hand instead of relying on the washing machine. The method behind the madness is washing machines contain their fair share of bacteria and fecal matter (which is why you should run white vinegar through a hot water cycle once a month), which can stay on your clothes and get onto you. And since your vulva is super sensitive, you want to make sure to keep it as clean as possible. One way to do that is to wash your undies by hand. It will take a bit more time; however, since it’s gentler on your fabrics and better for your skin, it’s time well spent.

6. You Will Ramp Up Your Vitamin D Intake

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If you’re anything like me, when you were growing up, you probably learned that vitamin D was good for maintaining bone health. And while that certainly is true, it’s also a nutrient that helps to prevent heart disease, reduce depression-related symptoms, and it can even help you to lose weight.

As far as your vaginal health goes, it’s a winner in that department because vitamin D helps to reduce vaginal dryness, decrease vaginal discomfort that is oftentimes associated with menopause, and can help to prevent you from getting urinary tract infections (UTIs) as well. So, make sure to get plenty of sun and make sure that vitamin D is in your multivitamins, too.

7. You Will Clean Out Your Clitoral Hood

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If you ever want to read up on just how much your clitoris and a man’s penis has in common, check out Shape’s article, “The Surprising Anatomical Similarities Between Penises and Clitorises,” sometime. For the sake of time and space today, I’ll just say that I need all of the folks who think it’s cute to tease uncircumcised men to realize that their clitoral hood is also a type of foreskin — and just like men need to make sure to keep their foreskin clean, the same applies to our “hoods” too. In fact, back when I wrote the article, “7 Reasons You Should TOTALLY Be In Love With Your Clitoral Hood,” something that low-key freaked me out was reading about a woman who got so much gunk (including pubic hair) caught up in her hood, that she ended up having to get some of her hood removed (chile).

The moral here? About once a week, put some olive oil on a Q-Tip, gently pull back your clitoral hood, and swab the inner parts of it. That will prevent your own hairs and dried-up discharge, lubrication, etc., from lodging up in there and irritating it.

8. You Will Get (At Least) One Vagina Facial

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Although some health experts frown on vaginal facials (“vajacials” as some call them), if you’re someone who gets waxed down below, look into an esthetician who’s been trained in how to give them. It’s a special kind of pampering treatment that will prevent and/or remove ingrown hairs, exfoliate your vulvar skin (especially your pubic mound), soften your pubic hair, reduce hyperpigmentation, and help to keep that part of your body well hydrated too. The main things to keep in mind with vajacials are a professional needs to do them, “less is more” as far as the chemicals that they use, and 2-4 times a year is more than likely all that you will need.

9. You Will Apply Fennel Oil to Your Labia

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If you’ve got digestive issues, something that you might want to consider adding to your diet is fennel oil. The reason why I say that is it contains properties that are great at treating constipation, bloating, and gas. However, the reason why it made the “vagina resolutions list” is because it is packed with the kind of antioxidants and antimicrobial benefits that can help to soothe your labia if there is any type of minor irritation going on (like what you might experience on the day before or right after your cycle).

Plus, fennel is classified as being a phytoestrogen food; this means that it is a form of plant-based estrogen, which can do wonders for a woman who may be low in estrogen due to things like menopause. My two cents would be to mix 2-3 drops to a tablespoon of a vagina-sensitive carrier oil like carrot seed, hemp, or grapeseed and then apply it directly to your vulva (the outer layers of your vagina) or your abdomen — or both. Soothing-wise, you should notice almost immediate results.

10. You Will Use Condoms (More) Consistently

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I’m hoping that everyone knows at this point that when condoms are used correctly, they help to prevent pregnancy and STIs/STDs. However, if you’re someone who is sleeping with more than one person at a time or you’ve been abstinent for a while and are about to sleep with someone new, you also should use condoms for another reason — to prevent different or new semen/sperm from irritating your vagina. Although it’s not as common for women to have a semen allergy, what the change in fluid can do is alter your pH, and that can lead to an itchy or swollen vagina and vulva.

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See…these things aren’t hard to implement. Just make sure to remain consistent. If you resolve to follow through, your vagina (and vulva) will be in great shape — this year and every year that follows. Take care.

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Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

 

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