Back when I was a teenager, I remember going into a health store and overhearing my mother speaking with a homeopath. For whatever the reason, what stood out to me most was the woman saying there was such a thing as "widow's disease". According to her, if a woman hasn't had sex in a couple of years and then does again, it's not uncommon for her body to literally flood with vaginal fluid and the nickname for it is, well, widow's disease. Ever since I heard her say that, I have never forgotten it nor have I been able to Google search it; however, it has caused me to keep an ear out for other "huh?!" things about vaginas that may cross my path. In walks, winter vagina.
If you just scrunched up your nose and/or your eyes got wide while looking at the screen, that's exactly how I felt when I first heard the term. And since apparently it's something that tends to creep up around this time of the year, I figured this would be as good of a time as any to break down what it's all about. Are you ready to protect yourself from ending up with — chile, CHILE — winter vagina? I totally feel you.
What in the World Is “Winter Vagina”?
And just what in the world is a winter vagina? From what I've researched, this is something that a midwife from London has been receiving a lot of buzz about. Basically, since cold weather can lead to lower humidity, brisk winds and less moisture, it's no secret that all of this can cause our skin to dry out. No shocker there, right?
OK, but wouldn't it make sense that if say, the lips on our face can feel extra chapped during the fall and winter seasons that our "lips down below" would as well? Especially since when it's colder outside, we tend to rely on central heat which can totally zap the moisture that is in the air out from whatever room that we are in. Ladies and gents, I give you, winter vagina.
The reason why this is so important to keep in mind is because, oftentimes, whenever the topic of vaginal dryness comes up, it's usually centered around there being a drop in our system's estrogen levels or some other kind of medical condition. However, thanks to the introduction of "winter vagina", now we've got something else that could be the reason for why we're not very moist (or wet enough) down below. And since a dry vagina can lead to vaginal infections and definitely uncomfortable sex, it's important that each of us are proactive about keeping our vagina naturally lubricated, as much as possible — especially around this particular time. Because, as you can see, while winter is cool, a winter vagina isn't. So, just what can you do to stay on top of this issue?
5 Things You Can Do to Prevent “Her” from Experiencing It
1. Eat some phytoestrogens.
If you think that your vagina is dry because your hormones are a bit off kilter, something that can help is to eat foods that are high in phytoestrogens. The reason why is because an even balance of estrogen can help to keep your vagina moist. Some of those foods include dried fruits, sesame seeds, peaches, wheat bran, cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower and broccoli), peaches and alfalfa sprouts.
2. Moisturize with extra virgin olive oil.
If your inner or outer lips feel drier than you would like, something that can bring them instant relief is extra virgin olive oil (oil that is made from pure cold-pressed olives oil). The fatty acids and antioxidants in it are great when it comes to deeply moisturizing your skin, repairing damaged skin tissues and providing antibacterial benefits too.
Just make sure to not use this as a lubricant when it comes to engaging in penetrative sex if you're going to use a condom. The reason why is because oils tend to dissolve prophylactics which is definitely not what you want to happen if you're trying to prevent a potential STD or unplanned pregnancy.
3. Use lubricant during sex.
Now, if you want to use some lube (and I totally get why you would. Check out "The Wetter, The Better: 10 Creative Ways To Use Lubricant"), just make sure to go with one that is silicone or water-based instead. Silicone has amazing slip while water-based is good for your sex toys. Either way, it's probably the best way to combat winter vagina as far as sex is concerned, so make sure to have at least a couple of tubes lying around somewhere.
4. DIY vaginal wash.
You know something else that can dry out your vagina? Perfumed soaps, gels or body washes. Not only that but they are also prone to throw off your vagina's pH balance (check out "Sis, This Is How To Keep Your Vagina's pH Balanced"). This is why it's best to use water only, something that is all-natural (a bar that I got on Etsy that I really like is Kaishasorganic's Tea Tree Yoni Soap) or, you can even make your own vaginal wash. If you're interested in trying "Door #3", I've got you covered. A couple of years back, I wrote "Love On Yourself With These 7 All-Natural DIY Vaginal Washes" for the site. I've made some of them myself. They're dope.
5. Sleep naked with a humidifier on.
Listen, something that I've been telling anyone who will listen is they should definitely invest in a (new) humidifier. Since it's officially cold/flu/COVID season and none of those viruses like higher humidity environments, sleeping with one on can help to prevent you from getting sick. It also can help to keep your skin really moist, including your vagina, especially if you sleep naked. It's something that can effectively help to fend off a winter vagina all fall and winter season long — which is definitely a good thing. Extremely so, sis.
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