So without further ado, we’ll let Dr. Jackie take it from here and share answers to the most popular questions she receives as a gyno.
How should I properly wash my vagina?
“Ditch the soap and just use warm water to wash the vagina. I tell all my patients not to let suds go past their clitoris and certainly not up inside the vagina. Just use a soft cloth (or better yet, your hands) with warm water to cleanse the folds of your vagina and the hood of your clitoris. Like a self-cleaning oven, your vagina has its own cleansing process thanks to the secretions it releases.”
What should I do if I notice a strange odor?
“If you really have an infection that’s causing a smell, you need a diagnosis from your gynecologist to figure out the cause. If your vaginal pH is off, it can cause a strange odor. Stay away from things like deodorizing scents or perfumes—they are a big no-no. Instead, I recommend a safe over-the-counter gel to bring back balance. Also, keep in mind that certain foods can affect the smell of your vagina.”
How can I prevent BV?
“BV occurs when the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina is thrown off. Suddenly there’s too much of a certain bacteria, resulting in a thin white, grey, or green discharge; a fishy vaginal smell; itching; and perhaps burning while urinating. Not having a healthy balance of bacteria in your vagina puts you at risk for BV. I recommend taking a vaginal probiotic supplement to help balance pH, yeast, and bacteria—something that contains strains of probiotic lactobacillus can help with that. Also, remember that having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners can also increase your risk, so always use condoms.”
How can I increase my libido?
“There are plenty of natural alternatives on the market. Ready-to-go options with hormone-free topical blends of botanical oils and extracts, have been shown in studies to increase not only your desire but also your sexual satisfaction. Other libido-lifters include ginseng, maca, fenugreek, red clover, and arginine. However, be sure to work with your doctor to develop a plan for working supplements into your diet as part of a whole-body approach that evaluates your overall physical health, stress levels, hormones, nutrition, and gut health.”
Why is my vagina so dry all the time?
“The key is to find out the cause of vaginal dryness. It can be due to a variety of reasons like hormonal imbalances, chronic yeast infections, or soaps. For my patients who are having painful sex because of vaginal dryness, I recommend a water-based lubricant during sex.”