You might think you know everything about keeping your lady parts in tip-top shape, but you could be wrong. From douching to ditching your annual exam, there are tons of common misconceptions about what you should do to maintain a healthy vagina. Allow us to enlighten you:
- Use Condoms
You know that rubbers are great at protecting against STDs and pregnancy, but one study found that using condoms helps keep your vagina’s pH level at the status quo so good bacteria, like lactobacilli, can survive in there. And this is super important since those little bacteria help prevent yeast infections, UTIs, and bacterial vaginosis. Just in case you needed another reason to wrap things up.
- Wear Cotton Underwear instead of synthetics
When it comes to your underwear selection, your vagina has a preference: cotton. That’s why most underwear comes with a thin strip of cotton fabric in the crotch. Since it breathes and absorbs moisture, it’s the ideal way to clothe your lady parts, says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University. And when you’re laying around the house, feel free to go commando so you can let things air out, says Minkin. Just don’t go to the gym sans undies, because you’ll want that extra layer between you and germy gym equipment.
- Work it Out Doing kegels is crucial for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, which are key in producing stronger, mind-blowing orgasms—not to mention bladder control. Note to self: Include kegels in every workout. (There are even geniuses creating a nifty app to make it easier to remember.)
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