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Vagina owner’s manual: What every woman needs to know

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The care and keeping of your vagina

Chances are that if you have a vagina, you've had to deal with some uncomfortable situations that might have been embarrassing to talk about with docs or pals. Let's see if we can help.
Woman with her hands on her stomach
Photo credit: B2M Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images

Ever feel like by being born a woman, you earned some sort of weird prize called a "vagina" and you're not entirely sure what to do with it? Owning a vagina doesn't have to be mind-boggling, embarrassing or stressful, but it should be properly cared for. Though, keep in mind the way you care for it might change slightly as you age.

Vagina 101

In high school, keeping up with your vagina might have meant: Remembering to mark your period on your calendar to avoid surprises and cleaning up your bikini line for summertime. However, as we age we need to put a little more effort into our vaginas. Make sure you're:

  • Wearing cotton panties

Did you know you have more sweat glands in your vagina than in your armpits? Sexy undies can, indeed, make you feel sexy. However, a lot of times they're made from fabric that can't "breathe," leaving your poor vagina to sweat it out. As regularly as possible, opt for cute, breathable cotton underwear.

  • Use the right products

We won't even try to convince you to avoid tight pants. Still, it's important to make sure you're taking time to come clean up properly after you've spent time cramped inside those skinnies. While any wipe-down is better than nothing, Vagisil makes a wash specifically designed to be gentle on your vagina, even with daily use, but still get the job done.

  • Think of after-shave treatments

Going for a landing strip or the completely bald look? Once you shave or wax, make sure you're properly moisturizing with something that won't clog those pores. Try aloe or green tea oil, both of which will also help with possible razor burn.

As a new mom

Feeling "ruined?" We get it. Post-childbirth is a fragile time for women. Your hormones are out of whack so your emotions are running high, which is bad enough. Add in a lack of sleep and your significant other is working with a deadly combination. To make matters worse, you're probably in severe post-birthing pain and experiencing that weeks-long process of discharging the lochia, which basically seems like a never-ending period. Just managing that mess won't help your situation.

  • Break out the butt paste

With lochia comes maternity pads which are, in essence, the same thing as wearing a pad or diaper for days on end. You're just as likely to end up with a rash as that new sweet baby. Believe it or not, the same thing that helps her diaper rash will help yours.

  • (Carefully) clean up

Another less-than-awesome issue with those maternity pads is that while "containing" the lochia mess, they're also holding it against your vagina (and quite possibly a stitch or two). Use a gentle cleanser or wipes that are specially designed for your vagina to help stave off infection. Just remember to be gentle: You just put your vagina through a very traumatic experience.

As your hormones readjust with maturity, you may start experiencing itching or dryness. Don't let it stress you out or make you feel old. A recent study actually found that 37 percent of women began experiencing dryness before they were 30. Luckily, there's never been a better time to find products to help you with your vaginal issues; Vagisil even has a special cleanser geared toward dryness.

Now... if we could just stop being too embarrassed to hit that section of the store.

This post was sponsored by Vagisil.

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