From swishing sesame oil to eating clay, actress Shailene Woodley is no stranger to living an alternative lifestyle — and her latest health tip suggests we lose our bikini bottoms to avoid much more than tan lines.
I was reading an article written by an herbalist I studied about yeast infections and other genital issues. She said there's nothing better than vitamin D. If you're feeling depleted, go in the sun for an hour and see how much energy you get. Or, if you live in a place that has heavy winters, when the sun finally comes out, spread your legs and get some sunshine.
I'm trying to picture what a tanning position like that would look like, but I think my mind is suppressing it for my own protection.
We caught up with Christine O'Connor, M.D., gynecologist at Mercy Medical Center, to find out the truth. Her recommendation? We should hang onto our panties.
"'Sunning' the groin area doesn't cure vaginal infections," she says. One of the primary risk factors that leads to infections down yonder is a warm, moist environment, such as being bundled up in winter layers or sitting in a wet bathing suit at the beach. "Allowing the area to air out and breathe can help reduce the risk of infection and irritation, but the sun is not a necessary component of that treatment."
Plus, there's also the risk of sun damage: "The skin in that area is thin and unaccustomed to sun exposure, therefore it can be prone to sun burns and sun damage if not appropriately protected."
So to recap: While there's no scientific proof that a vitamin D deficiency causes yeast infections, if you want to increase your vitamin D levels, you can do so by exposing your hands, arms or legs to direct sunlight — you don't have to flash your neighbors (you know, unless you're into that sort of thing).
Regardless of the media's WTF reaction to Woodley's candidness, big props are in order for the way she's blazing her own trail in Hollywood, yet not letting her authenticity waver:
I think there's something to be said about switching up old paradigms, but you have to turn the wheels slowly. You have to pick and choose where you're going to represent you and the things you keep sacred, and then there are the things you have to do for the public… I respect the establishment, but I don't sacrifice my own integrity… It's always me — just maybe the public, pretty-in-a-Cinderella-dress me.
Can I get an amen?
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