Since the dawn of time, women have been finding different ways to keep the vagina healthy. Vaginal steaming, affectionately known as V-Steaming or Yoni steaming has become a popular trend in the world of vaginal care. It has recently been made popular by many celebrities who swear by this “treatment” and the practice has been engaged in by many women around the world.
In fact, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find a group of women where at least one of them hasn’t tried this alternative medicinal practice at some point or another.
It is believed that V-steaming has a myriad of benefits. Such as – but not limited to – relieving menstrual cramps, promoting hormonal balance, cleansing the vagina and preventing yeast infections, promoting womb health, relieving the symptoms of menopause and helping the womb and vagina to heal postpartum.
I could go on and on about the list of benefits, but you can read more about the proposed benefits in my post: V-Steaming: Everything you need to know – Benefits and all . Or you can read more here: Everything you need to know about vaginal steaming.
There is, however, no clinical evidence to support all the purported benefits of vaginal steaming. I am not an OBGYN, nor am I a medical professional and like I always state in my post about health, please consult your doctor before trying anything that might affect your health.
I am however a woman with a perfectly healthy vagina and there are a few things I do – and not do – to keep my vagina healthy. If you want to know how to keep your lady bits healthy, keep reading.
Here are 10 ways to ACTUALLY keep the vagina healthy.
Tip #1: Get to know your vagina.
And I mean really know it. Know what the different parts are called and what they do. How can you expect to take proper care of your vagina without first knowing and understanding the physiology of it?
You need to know what the parts are, how yours look, feel, smell. You need to treat it with care and pay attention to how it reacts to different situations at different times of the month.
For example, did you know that your vaginal discharge is different depending on where you are on your menstrual cycle? It’s different at different times of the month (and this applies to women who have irregular cycles too).
Related read: Vaginal discharge: what abnormal?
Tip #2: Do not under any circumstances insert anything up into the vagina to “clean it”.
It cleans itself. No, seriously. It really does. The discharge that you see excreting from your vagina is exactly that. The vagina cleaning itself.
One key thing to note though: while the whole thing is usually referred to as the vagina, when I talk about the vagina cleaning itself I mean the actual birth canal, the vaginal cavity, the part where you insert fingers, penises or toys.
The part that leads to your cervix. That is called the vaginal opening and that is the part that cleans itself.
Tip #3: Do not steam your beautiful lady bits!
Please don’t ??. Here’s why steaming does NOT actually help promote womb or vaginal health. The vaginal cavity is a canal of tissue walls folding over and onto each other.
It’s very soft and supple – as I imagine you already know – but you can’t actually see your womb or cervix by just positioning yourself over a mirror (unless something is wrong with the vagina). In which case, please see a gynecologist.
In order for the steam from the yoni steaming products to actually reach the womb, it would first have to pass through all those folds of tissues and go up past your cervix – which by the way remains closed except during childbirth or during your period when it opens just a little so the blood can flow past it.
So if steaming were to actually reach your cervix, you would have to be sitting over the bath with an open speculum inserted into your vagina. (Please DO NOT DO THAT!)
Tip #4: Wash daily.
I personally aim for twice a day, in the morning before heading out and at night before going to bed. When you wash your vagina, try to avoid soaps.
If you do use soaps, please – for the love of everything that is good about the vagina – use a gentle, unscented soap if you must. Be sure to read my post about how to properly wash the vagina.
Tip #5: Do not insert anything that has not been properly cleaned.
That includes toys, fingers and penises. This will throw off your pH-balance and promote the growth of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (BV), or even urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The pH-balance is very delicate but the vagina does an amazing job of maintaining that. Assuming we do not mess with that. And yes, your partners’ penis can throw off the balance if it is not properly cleaned before being inserted. Do not be ashamed to ask a man if he’s clean and even check for yourself before allowing him to put his fingers or member into your lady bits.
Tip #6: Only use clean high-quality toys.
If you use toys for self-pleasuring or during sex with your partner, please ensure that you are reading the reviews for the toys before buying them and check if they are made from materials that are indeed safe.
Also, understand that your body is different from everyone else’s, so while a silicone toy may be all the rage for others, you might need a glass one because of how your body reacts to silicone. There is no shame in this, there is only: be aware of your body and ensure you completely wash and clean your toys before and after each use.
Tip #7: Eat healthy foods.
This advice is a cliche as it gets but it is also as true as it gets. What we eat affects our bodies. There is no secret behind the fact that if we eat more fruits and vegetables then that will affect not just your vagina but your entire body.
A healthy body equals a healthy vagina. While I understand that not everyone is able to eat a completely healthy diet all the time (I sure as hell don’t) I know it is important for you to try and incorporate some fruits and vegetables in your diet at least a few times a week. It is still better than not at all.
Tip #8: Learn your cycle.
As mentioned above, your vaginal discharge is different at different times of the month. So is the natural smell of the vagina. Pay attention. When you wash it, check it.
Whenever you can, inspect the discharge and make note of it. Learn the different colors, smell, texture and consistency of discharge at different times of the month. This way, you will be able to notice the slightest change as soon as possible so you can quickly address any problems before they become colossal.
Tip #9: Learn your natural smell.
Contrary to popular belief, the vagina is not meant to smell like a field of roses. It is meant to smell like a vagina. That smell varies from woman to woman.
Learn what YOUR vagina smells like. In my post about how to properly wash the vagina, I talked about smelling the vagina so you can become familiar with its natural scent.
Tip #10: Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate!
Last but not least, it is vital that you are hydrating your body. This tip is not only for vaginal health but because we are on this topic let’s just focus it there.
The vagina needs you to hydrate your body so it can get enough fluids to produce the discharge needed to maintain the delicate pH-balance. It’s as simple as that. Challenge yourself to drink enough water every day. Your vagina will thank you for it.
The idea of vaginal cleansing and vaginal steaming only promotes miseducation regarding the vagina. These fads do nothing more than promote the negative belief that the vagina is this breeding ground for all kinds of nasties that cannot be left unchecked and must be properly managed.
This is far from the truth. The vagina does not need your help to keep itself clean. The only thing it needs from you is that you refrain from disturbing its pH-balance and simply eat healthily, hydrate and wash daily. Quite frankly, if it could just exist on its own, away from your body, it probably would. It can take care of itself.
If you have any doubts about your vaginal health, please visit a gynecologist. Getting professional advice will always be better than taking advice from some random person writing a blog on the internet.
Remember sharing is caring so feel free to share this with all the women in your life. Also, don’t forget to join the discussion over in my Facebook group.
What are your tips, advice and best practices? How do you keep your vagina healthy? What are your horror stories? What are some of the most ridiculous pieces of advice you’ve received regarding vaginal health and care? I’d love to hear them.
Catch you in my next post ladies.