“Tara’s Top 5 for Vaginal Health”

After doing the Vagina Mini Course I realized: Even if the very BEST things in life are FREE…there are still some things you can BUY that are great for your vagina. Whether it’s for pleasure, healing, hygiene or preventive health we here at feminology have our opinions and top picks along with science and experiences to back them up!

1. First let’s talk about the fun stuff…SEX! As I mentioned in the mini course: ALL SEX TOYS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL! Whether you’re new to the game or you have a toy chest full of different gadgets its important to note one major thing: Material matters! I strongly recommend splurging a bit when buying sex toys because though they cost more, non porous materials are the safest. This would include 100% silicone such as the material used in our favorite brand, Lelo. Another great option is borosilicate glass. It may seem odd but the smooth texture is a unique experience…just give it a whirl!

If you have a sex toy and you’re not sure if it’s porous, it’s best to use a condom with it as porous sex toys (such as those made of rubber) can NOT be sterilized and may increase your risk of infection. Regardless of the material it is HIGHLY recommended to wash every sex toy between every use. If your toy isn’t water proof use wipes!

2. Whether for sex or just for soothing and healing we unapologetically play favorites when it comes to Curious Intimacy products! Here’s how it happened: We first stumbled across the products via the master herbalist behind them, Elizabeth Moriarty. At first I thought…”Ok great, free samples of lube?” but THEN I read the ingredients. It turns out that these products, specifically the Afterplay used for post sex and the massage oil that can be used as lubrication, contain MEDICINAL herbs and oils! Many of the herbs that I prescribe women internally to support healing, dampen inflammation, and promote tissue regeneration are right here in these regenerative topical products! Dr. Ginger and I quickly realized that this company is a hidden gem! With ingredients like gotu kola, chamomile, shiitake, and pomegranate sterols these oils are potent both as preventive vaginal skin care and as treatments for uncomfortable situations or damage to the genital tissues. My personal experience with these oils are that they feel great and SMELL even better!

3. The bloody problem with vaginas is figuring out how to deal with menstruation, right? There are so many things to consider…as we mentioned in the course! The potentially carcinogenic effects of bleached and scented products is enough to make me want to find an alternative, not to mention the impact menstrual hygiene products have on mother Earth AND the unjust “pink tax” menstruating women are charged when purchasing them.

In experimenting with reusable washable period panties I just haven’t been impressed. They don’t seem to cover it ALL on days of heavier flow. Next up was menstrual cups which just made my vagina feel “full” of something. So far the best option sensation wise has been the Flex Cup. Downside: It’s plastic and you need to artfully remove it so as to not release the flood gates of blood everywhere! Upside: It’s the most comfortable AND single use so you can recycle it rather than having to wash it out like the silicone cups. The search will continue and we’ll keep you posted if we find anything better!

4. Jarrow Femdophilus Probiotics contain two very important strains of Lactobacillus, the pH balancing bacteria that helps reduce risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis AND improves vaginal lubrication! This is one of the best and only probiotics that contains L. reuteri AND L. rhamnosus. Both of these used in conjunction have been shown in studies to restore normal vaginal microbiomes in bacterial vaginosis patients after just 28 days of ORAL treatment. That means you can take these by MOUTH to improve your VAGINAL microbiome! Though Dr. Ginger and I often prescribe both oral AND vaginal probiotics to pack a one two punch approach to grabbing the reigns of a vaginal microbiome spun out of control.

We know that vaginal microbiomes are healthiest when Lactobacillus species are high. Jarrow femdophilus probiotics are often my go to for instructing women to insert probiotic vaginally for healing.

5. In addition to anti-microbial mechanisms it’s also important to consider HORMONES in regards to vaginal health because estrogens have been shown to support supple, healthy vaginal tissues. Probiotics with a wider range of bacterial strains, such as Klaire Women’s Therbiotic promote the healthy metabolism of sex hormones because after all, bacteria are a HUGE part of their detoxification. Some bacterial species actually break down plant estrogens and make them active in our systems while others bind to estrogens and remove them from our bodies via our stool. I often use this product with greater bacterial strain diversity ORALLY because this way it will land in the digestive tract. We know that when it comes to the GUT microbiome, the more diversity the healthier it is! This product is my favorite for overall maintenance in women’s health!

Knowing that the vagina is a BARRIER and an organ of protection for our bodies, it’s important to consider how you’re treating yours. The above are just a jumping off point to start considering how to pamper your vagina and keep it in great shape 🙂

Now that we’ve shared with you some of our favorite things for the vagina (both out and in!) we’d love to continue the conversation on how to approach other women’s health issues in our next mini course on the BREASTS! Look out for registration ??