With age and subsequently menopause, you may one day find yourself feeling a bit different down there. As you get older, your body chemistry changes and hormones can have an effect on how your vagina feels as well as how it looks. Here are some tips to help you keep your vagina in tip top shape after 50.
Say no to scented soaps
Most scented soaps contain chemicals that can dry out and irritate the already sensitive skin of your vagina and labia, causing discomfort and even infection. Stick with a gentle fragrance-free bar soap and warm water. Some women may be able to skip the soap altogether and just wash with water, or at least limit it to a few times per week.
Though you always want to be sure to minimize bad bacteria in your genitals, you also have to be sure that good bacteria—the kind that protects you from infections and keeps your pH balanced–is allowed to thrive. Douches don’t discriminate, so while they may wash away some of the bad bacteria, they also wash away the good, leaving you vulnerable to all sorts of nastiness. Besides, the vagina was designed to be self-cleaning, and does a pretty good job of getting rid of bacteria it doesn’t need all on its own.
Remember your annual
Your childbearing years may be well behind you, but that doesn’t mean you can start skipping your annual gynecological exam. Your gynecologists will help you stay abreast with any hormonal changes your body may be experimenting as well as make sure that you are receiving proper preventative care, as well as screening for certain cancers, STDs, as well as a number of other diseases and disorders.
Mind your panties
To keep your vagina healthy, you need to make sure it’s getting fresh air, and since you’re likely not walking around naked or even going commando all that often, the next best thing is to wear breathable, cotton underwear daily, and save the silky, satiny varieties for special occasions. Even when you do bring out the sexy lingerie, try to make sure it has a cotton panel inside, especially if you’ll be wearing them for more than a few minutes. Remember, bacteria breed in warm, moist, dark environments, so keeping things aired out is important.
Plummeting estrogen levels can wreak havoc on your vaginal tissues, and while some women don’t experience discomfort, many do. When the skin in and around your vagina becomes dry and your body is producing less natural lubrication, friction can become an issue. Try applying coconut oil a few times a day to keep things soothed, soft and supple.
Snack on soy
Soy is a mild source of estrogen and you may find that simply incorporating it into your daily diet, gives you enough of a hormonal boost to notice a difference in the natural lubrication of your vagina. Just be sure to discuss this with your physician, especially if you are already being treated for hormonal issues.