It’s silly season, people. That means days spent in the pool, tanning sessions on the beach, and hotel room sex. And also maybe pool sex. And also even maybe beach sex. It does NOT mean attempting to tan your asshole or vagina, but that’s a conversation for another day. In a nutshell, while we’re out living our best lives, our vaginas are exposed to things that they might not usually be.
Here are three ways to give your vagina (AKA, your best friend) the A-grade treatment it deserves this holiday season
Let’s be honest, out vaginas pretty much invented ‘self-care’. But while they may be experts at regulating themselves, there are certain things, like chlorine, which can throw off their pH balance. Our vaginal canal has a natural pH level of between 4-5 and the pool-cleaning chemical chlorine kills not only bad bacteria but the good bacteria which our vaginas need to thrive. Stripping your vagina of its good bacteria can result in a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis, and vulvitis.
Keep your vagina happy by rinsing off with chlorine-free water after a swim, or changing out of your wet, chlorine-soaked cozzie bottoms if you’re unable to rinse off thoroughly.
Rinse off your vagina after the beach
In a world where a lone piece of sea sand could result in a vaginal pearl, we might be more chilled about this. Alas, that’s not the case. Even if beach time to you doesn’t involve digging some dank ass holes or rolling around on the foamy shore (in which case wtf are you even doing), it’s highly likely that some sand will end up in you.
‘Sand acts as an abrasive, so if you get it around the genitals, on the vulva, or even in the vagina, it can actually lead to irritation and chafing,’ Leah Millheiser, MD, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University tells Health.com. Thankfully, our vaginas are wondrous miracles and mostly know how to take care of themselves. ‘Women’s bodies are constantly producing vaginal lubricant, which cleans out the vagina – that sand will eventually make its way out.’
Nonetheless, sea sand can lead to micro-tears in the vagina which makes swimming in saltwater super uncomfortable. Be sure to rinse yourself with fresh water after a day on the beach. Be gentle, don’t use harsh soap, and for the love of god, please don’t douche.
Think twice and then a third time before having sex in a pool (or a jacuzzi or the ocean… we’re talking any body of water)
‘Bacteria can live in pool water, and we know that if somebody has a GI virus, like diarrhoea, and they go swimming, that viral material can get into the pool and spread,’ says Dr Millheiser, scaring the living bejeezus out of us. While we’re by no means trying to keep you from cooling off with a dip in the hotel pool, be wary of the pools you might be tempted to have sex in. Hotel pools, hot tubs, and spas are notorious for carrying diseases – especially gastrointestinal conditions.
Assuming the pool you want to bang in is a private and clean one, you’ll also want to keep your vag happy by having some silicone-based lube on hand. ‘Vaginal lubrication is water, the majority of what you’re in is water, and so when water meets water, that natural lubricant dries up really quickly,’ Dr Millheiser explains.
Having sex in water without a lubricant can result in vaginal tears, which can be uncomfortable during and potentially dangerous after. ‘When you get a tear, it’s easier to transmit infections from the water or from one partner to another.’
Read more health