Online shopping may be (a little too) easy, but finding proper health and personal care products can present a challenge. There’s seemingly something for everything these days, and it’s difficult to decipher which products are worth the plunge, versus those you can go without. Particularly when it comes to the things in your medicine cabinet as a person with a uterus — useful, necessary and just-for-fun or comfort products — it can feel overwhelming to sort out the things you want and need from the things that aren’t worth the hype.
To help make the process a little easier, we asked actual OBGYNs and gynecologists which products they keep in their own medicine cabinets, plus what they recommend to their patients.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
Happy V Probiotics
“I love products that are functional and purposeful as well as eco-friendly and socially conscious,” says. Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, M.D., board certified gynecologist and director of Global Women’s Health at NYU’s College of Global Public Health. “I love a good probiotic because I think many women suffer from recurrent BV [bacterial vaginosis] and yeast infections, [like] happyV. It’s eco-conscious in its packaging and was developed by a woman who herself had recurrent BV.”
Nourish Stretch Mark Cream
“I love NOURISH stretch mark cream,” Dr. Shirizian adds. “It is developed by an OBGYN, is chemical-free, free of sulfates, parabens and is safe and effective. It’s used throughout pregnancy and postpartum to hydrate the skin and avoid unwanted stretch marks. As a bonus, proceeds benefit Saving Mothers so a gift for yourself is also a gift of decreasing maternal deaths around the globe.”
First Response Pregnancy Tests
“I am a big fan of the First Response Home pregnancy test kit,” says Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale University Medical School. “I want my patients to have accurate information about pregnancy as soon as they can get it. I know that nothing reinforces ‘good behavior”’ like an accurate pregnancy test, and First Response tells you earliest, accurately.”
First Response Ovulation Predictor Kits
“I like the First Response ovulation predictor kits because I like my patients who are trying to conceive to accurately know when they are ovulating, [and] to maximize their chances of conception,” Minkin adds.
Pre-Seed Fertility-Friendly Lubricant
“When having sex at ovulation, I suggest that if [my patients] need a lubricant — timing sex at a certain time may not be the most romantic — they use Pre-Seed, which is a truly sperm friendly lubricant,” Minkin explains. “I want to maximize good eggs and happy sperm!”
Replens Moisture Restore External Comfort Gel
“For folks who may be dealing with vaginal dryness, I recommend Replens Vaginal Gel as a moisturizer. It’s over the counter and works quite well,” Minkin concludes.
The Lily Cup Menstrual Cup by INTIMINA
“[I recommend] a menstrual cup: For those times when your period takes you by surprise, a menstrual cup can save the day for hours of leak-free protection. The Lily cup from INTIMINA is one of my favorites,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., a gynecologist at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y.
AZO Bladder Control Supplements
Dr. Dweck also suggests an over-the-counter bladder aide. One I personally love is AZO Bladder Control. “Just in case those horrible UTI symptoms start at 2:00 a.m.,” she says. “These supplements can calm and ease the urgency and discomforts associated with early onset UTI until you have time to check in with your HCP.”
“My favorite women’s health product is Acidophilus tablets,” says Dr. Kecia Gaither, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.O.G., Director of Perinatal Services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln and Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine. “These [supplements] contain Lactobacillus bacteria, which help to keep the vaginal microbiome in balance, and prevent the growth of yeast.”
Mira Fertility Tracker
Dr. Lauren Rubal, M.D., an Infertility Specialist and Reproductive Endocrinologist in Newport Beach, Calif., suggests the Mira Fertility Tracker for people trying to conceive, or simply keep tabs on their cycle. “It helps determine exactly when ovulation is occurring, and since our cycle is our fifth vital sign, it’s important to overall health,” she says. (Plus, I use this to track my cycle and love it!)
Phexxi Birth Control
“A birth control product that I love for my patients is Phexxi,” says Dr. Charis Chambers, M.D., “The Period Doctor,” a board-certified OB/GYN and fellowship trained Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecologist. “Phexxi is appealing to a lot of women who are looking for a contraceptive option that is convenient and easy-to-use. Whether it’s a woman who has moved beyond hormonal birth control, prefers using contraception in-the-moment versus ingesting or implanting a device in her body, or who may be in between pregnancies and looking for an easy-to-use option, Phexxi gives women another option in birth control. “
“Another consideration would be for women who are relying on withdrawal or rhythm methods and want to combine those options with Phexxi.”
Ginger Root Powder
Dr. Rubal has also exchanged many products in her cabinets once she started her Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the Andrew Weil Center at the University of Arizona. For example, she now opts for ginger root powder to help relieve pain and other ailments. “Ginger helps with cramps, inflammation, and nausea,” she explains.
Dr. Rubal also suggests the berry Uva Ursi for UTIs. “Uva ursi is what I use to help with bladder infections,” she says, but reiterates that you should always check with your doctor before trying any new supplement.
Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water
“I have several favorite skincare products that I actually buy again and again,” says Dr. Kelly Culwell, M.D., a fellowship trained OB/GYN who has worked with the World Health Organization and Planned Parenthood. “First is Bioderma Sensibio Micellar water. This has been a game changer for getting me to cleanse my face twice a day.”
VEGAMOUR Gro Hair Serum
“I use Vegamour gro hair serum,” Culwell adds. “It has helped me to regrow hair lost due to crash dieting, stress, [and] hormones.”.
LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask
Culwell also loves giving some TLC to her lips in her bedtime beauty routine: “Every night before bed. I use [the] Laneige lip sleeping mask.”
Before you go, check out our favorite vagina-friendly wipes that won’t mess with your pH: