In our years as cosmetic gynecologists, we have realized that women actually know very little about their lady parts. For instance, many of them will call everything the vagina, when in fact, the vagina is the internal organ and the rest is called the vulva, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and opening to the vagina. However, misunderstanding the terminology for their body parts isn’t the end of the lapses in women’s knowledge. Many of them don’t know how to properly care for this important part of their body.

At Sarasota Cosmetic Gynecology, we are dedicated to providing women with solutions and knowledge that makes them confident and comfortable in their own bodies. A large part of what we end up doing is helping women learn more about themselves, and in today’s blog, we are going to discuss a few ways your body will tell you that you’re not caring for your vulvar area correctly. Read on to learn more!

Five Things Your Vagina is Telling You

You don’t need feminine hygiene products. 

Unfortunately, many of the products that claim to deodorize, clean, and groom your area don’t really make anything better. In fact, they can make things worse. Generally, they are full of preservatives, dyes, fragrances, chemicals, and anti-itch anesthetics that can cause allergic reactions. The skin of the vulva is relatively thin and therefore more sensitive than other parts of the body. Additionally, the tissues of the vagina and vulva are responsive to hormones, which means they get more sensitive during some parts of the menstrual cycle and after menopause. Give your area a break and just use water to clean up.

You need different birth control. 

If you notice everything is more sensitive or dry down there after having sex, there may be something up with the birth control you’re using. Some hormonal contraceptives, especially progesterone contraceptives, can end up drying and thinning the vagina, which makes sexual activity unpleasant. Additionally, many women are allergic to spermicide and latex, ingredients common to most condoms. There are latex-free condoms you can use instead, so don’t brush off burning sensations or irritation as nothing.

You’re using the wrong laundry detergent. 

There’s nothing like a basket of fragrant, clean laundry. Unfortunately, the best-smelling laundry detergents usually are chock full of perfumes and dyes that irritate the sensitive skin of your vulva. Choose detergents that say “Free and Clear,” which are often free of perfumes and dyes. We also recommend you eliminate dryer sheets and fabric softeners completely because they are full of irritating chemicals.

Your pretty lingerie isn’t helping things. 

Wearing a piece of pretty lingerie under work clothes can do wonders for your confidence, but it may be undermining your sexual health. Both the style and material of your underwear can cause issues. Thongs and synthetic fabrics are infamous for causing irritation, and even an elastic waistband can make trouble for women with rubber allergies. The good news is, you can still find beautiful styles in 100 percent cotton fabric. Believe us, it is worth it!

You need help dealing with post-menopausal dryness.

When menopause hits, all women deal with some degree of vaginal dryness. The skin gets thinner, dryer, and quicker to be irritated by sex. Urinary tract infections are also common. You can invest in vaginal moisturizers from drugstores; they will help retain moisture while preserving the vagina’s mucous membrane. If you decide to use a moisturizer, be sure to dab some on your inner thigh first to make sure it won’t irritate your skin.

Let Us Help

While moisturizers can be temporary solutions, they aren’t your only option. At Sarasota Cosmetic Gynecology, we provide the Mona Lisa Touch, a gentle laser therapy with proven abilities to renew the tissues of the vagina, relieving dryness and irritation. It was developed in 2012 and has a 97 percent satisfaction rate among patients.

When your body changes, it can be difficult to roll with it. However, you don’t have to just accept the dryness and irritation that can result from menopause. You have options with Sarasota Cosmetic Gynecology. We are here to be your allies, providing options and solutions that empower you to make the best choices for your quality of life. Contact our compassionate staff in Florida to start a conversation about how we can help you!