Life as a female entails myths, misconceptions, half-truths and truths. One advice off the line can potentially damage you as everyone is not the same and what works for one does not necessarily have to work on the other.
We grow up and the point we start to differentiate ourselves from boys, we realize too much comes with it. How to handle periods, pimples, nasty odours, how to bathe and bathe well.
I remember vividly the phobia of showering. Hell, there is no way the damn cold water was going to touch my back on a damn cold evening! You know how the water would be splashed all over the bathroom then you walk out like a rabbit on the hunt. And Mom would be right at the corridor “Ee kuja hapa! Umeoga kweli? Hebu geuka!” …need i say the mighty slap that would land on that poor back lol…
So much for that, learning how to bathe goes down to how to clean our vaginas too(well, i just have to call a spade a spade).
So much is said about this sensitive topic and today on Truth Tuesday we are going step by step to know what really should we do or know about our “downtowns”.
Vaginal secretions or discharge.
Other than periods as part of our natural menstrual cycle, it’s normal to produce clear or white secretions (discharge) from the vagina.This is produced naturally from the neck of the womb, known as the cervix.Vaginal discharge is not ‘always a bad sign’ as stereotyped.There is a myth that copious clear or white discharge is associated with sexually transmitted infections. Changes in the amount of discharge can be 100% hormonal – in other words, linked to the menstrual cycle,
pregnancy or menopause.
The character and amount of vaginal discharge varies throughout your menstrual cycle. Around ovulation your discharge usually becomes thicker and stretchy, like raw egg white.
Healthy discharge doesn’t have a strong smell or colour. You may feel an uncomfortable wetness,
but you shouldn’t have any itching or soreness around your vagina. If there are any changes to your discharge that aren’t normal for you, such as a change in colour or if it starts to smell or itch, see a gyna as you might have an infection.
Bacteria in the vagina
There are lots of bacteria inside the vagina, and they’re there to protect it. Scientifically and biologically the vagina contains more bacteria than anywhere
else in the body after the bowel, but the bacteria are there for a reason.
The good bacteria inside the vagina:
1.Provide “numerical dominance”: they outnumber other potential harmful bacteria that might enter the vagina.
2.Help to keep the vagina’s pH balance (how acidic the vagina is) at an even level, which helps to keep the balance of bacteria healthy.
3. Can produce bacteriocins (naturally occurring antibiotics) to reduce or kill other bacteria entering the vagina.
4. Produce a substance that stops
invading bacteria sticking to the vagina walls, which prevents bacteria from invading the tissues.
If the balance of bacteria is disturbed, this can lead to infection and inflammation. Bacteria called lactobacilli (do not mind the strong biological terms) help to keep the vagina’s pH balance at its normal low level (less than pH 4.5), which also prevents the growth of other
organisms. If the pH of the vagina increases (in other words, if it gets less acidic), the quality or amount of lactobacilli can fall and other bacteria can multiply. This can result in infections such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush, which can cause symptoms including itching, irritation and
Washing your vagina
It’s a good idea to avoid perfumed soaps, gels and antiseptics as these can affect the healthy
balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina and cause irritation.
Use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) gently every day.
The vagina will clean itself inside your body with natural vaginal secretions (discharge). I know that really clashes with what we know but that is how it is. During
your period, washing more than once a day may be helpful.
Keeping the perineal area (between the vagina and anus) clean is important too. Good perineal hygiene is necessary, by washing that area at least once a day using your normal bathing
routines. All women are different though. Some may wash with perfumed soap and not notice any problems. But if one has vulval irritation or symptoms, then one of the first things you can do is to use non-allergenic plain soaps to see if that helps.
A douche flushes water up into the vagina, clearing out vaginal secretions. Some women use
a douche to “clean” the vagina, but using a douche can disrupt the normal vaginal bacteria so it isn’t recommended that you use one.
There of any circumstances where
douches are helpful, because all they do is wash out everything that’s in the vagina, including all
the healthy bacteria. There is no evidence that douching protects
against STIs or vaginal infections, and it may even increase the risk.
Scented vaginal wipes and deodorants.
These perfumed products can disrupt the vagina’s healthy, natural balance.
If nature had intended the vagina to smell like roses or lavender, it would have made the vagina smell like roses or lavender.Washing with water and a plain soap should be all you need to keep your vagina healthy. It’s normal for the vagina to have a scent. Vaginal odour can change at different times of the reproductive cycle and shouldn’t always be thought of as being a sign of infection or illness.
If you’re worried about the way your vagina smells, if the smell is unpleasant, or you’re using
perfumed products to cover up your vagina’s smell, you should see a gyna. You might have
an infection that needs treatment.
The most common cause of unusual vaginal discharge is bacterial vaginosis, which can cause an unpleasant smell. It’s easily treated with antibiotics.
Some bacteria and viruses can get into the vagina during sex. These include the bugs that cause chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital herpes,genital warts, syphilis and HIV. You can protect yourself by using a condom every time you have sex.
People take this so much for granted. Prevention is better than cure that is all i can say.
All women aged from 25 to 64 are invited for cervical screening. Being screened regularly means that any abnormal changes in the cervix can be identified early on and, if necessary,treated to stop cancer developing. Screening is not something for the rich nor is it time wasting. It is done for free annually just get to know the dates. January is the cervical cancer awareness month.
Now do you love your vajayjay? Take good care of it. Hope this has been helpful. Have a great week ahead.