what you need to know to survive having a vagina

the vagina is awesome.

acknowledge this truth. understand this truth. anything about the human body is marvelous but the vagina is simply awesome! it’s the toll gate to life and yet one of the most neglected and misunderstood part of the body.

so here’s your guide to survive having a vagina.

use the right panties.

do not scrooge up when buying panties. never. always buy good quality cotton (pure cotton, no polyester mixes etc). highly recommend JOCKEY, which is my go to and most favourite brand of all.
i am all down with the lace. but make sure that comes from a good brand too. splurge! most often than not, it’s about feeling good for yourself!
the two most important factors about panties are – material and fit. make sure you have the right fit. dont choke your lady bits by wearing a size too small. oh also, always have separate sets for periods. i dont mean reserve the old rags for aunt flo. i mean size up a little to accommodate sanitary pads and some fresh air.

use the right menstrual products.

whether you are a pad, tampon or period panty kind of person, make sure it’s the right fit for you. a majority of women in india, use pads (if that), so please make sure it’s the right one for you. don’t go by brands, recommendations from peers. borrow a sample from someone, see if it’s works for you and buy the product.
i have used cotton pads with no wings to the ultras with gel. it took me more than a decade to settle down with a brand that i was atleast averagely satisfied with.

change your pads frequently!!!

understand that a pad doesn’t just soak up menstrual blood. its stays there, with the soaked blood in complete contact with most of your lady parts including the urinary meatus (pee point, if you will). so please make sure you change it every 2 – 3 hours. this stays-put-for-12-hours nonsense is great for the rare occasion that you are travelling or stuck in space. even then please make sure to change as often as humanly possible. you DO NOT need to wait for the whole pad to be soaked up in order to change. change every 2 – 3 hours, if not more. thank me 10 years later.

ditch the tampons!

tampons were invented by the brother of the devil that invented heels and bras! using tampons makes you more susceptible to infections such as vaginal thrush (go google and be disgusted!!)

menstrual cups are my new BFF

i have always suffered with pads. but i felt optionless until a year-ish ago with the m-cup boom in india. i was super pumped about the ecological benefit of zero waste and no-pads-in-landfill concept too. but as with anyone, i was very skeptical and only kept satisfying the researcher in me for several months.
i finally took the plunge and i can not put into words my actual feelings of liberation that came with the menstrual cup.
i will be honest and tell you that i suffered with swollen and tender privates after most periods, inspite of all precautions. my skin is just super sensitive, the only thing that worked was diaper creams and coconut oil. but m-cups have solved the problem for me with zero downsides!!!

i’m on the fence about cloth pads

cloth pads are great ecologically. they are zero waste and also support small business. and let’s not forget the fact they they are SUPER cute!
i am on sure about them. medically speaking, they are not the most hygienic of options. they have almost the same downside of sanitary pads and if you don’t wash and dry them right, then all the more.
having said that, being a recent m-cup convert, i do plan to use cloth pads on heavy flow days to compensate for any leaks.

vaginal is self cleaning!!

the vagina is self cleaning and thus awesome! you DO NOT need intimate washes and wipes! Oh GOD no!!!!!!!!!
the vagina is super acidic, so it cleans itself regularly and expels as need be, in the form of vaginal discharge. intimate washes are a marketing gimmick that serve no purpose than to interfere with an already awesome system, as designed by nature.
also vaginal discharge is normal. just be aware of how much and color etc. consult a good gynaecologist.

let her breathe.

you do not need panty liners everyday. your panties are bleached because that’s how acidic the vaginal discharge actually is. so don’t suffocate your lady bits in a bid to save a few panties. also sleep commando when you can.

precaution, caution and care.

– have a good gynaecologist on call.
– understand the difference between vagina and vulva. vagina is the canal inside your body. it has it’s own magic powers. do NOT use soap, washes, wipes, talcum powder or even attempt the clean your insides!
vulva is the medical term for your actual lady bits and that’s all you need to clean and be concerned with.
– if you are over 25 years, get a pap smear done every three years. it’s barely a pinch and much more the need of the hour than intimate wipe ads.
– get the HPV vaccine. it’s INR.10,000 for a set of 3 vaccines. but you are protecting yourself against cancer, so think about that!

~ in this series~

* what you first need to know about your vagina
* menstrual cup 101 : the best guide you need now
* typical concerns and questions
* tips and tricks for using your menstrual cup.
* menstrual cups – brands and options.

Image Source: 1,