Great Sex Secrets

Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Health

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So, if I don’t douch, what is the healthiest and safest way to clean the vagina?

Because the chemical balance of the vagina is very sensitive, it is best to let the vagina clean itself the way nature intended.  The vagina secretes  mucous, so we don’t nee to upset the delicate balance.

Warm water and gentle, unscented soap during the bath or shower is the best way to clean the outside or external areas of the vagina.  Products like feminine hygiene soaps, powders and sprays are not necessary, and some studies suggest they may even be harmful.

It is important to see your health care provider right away when you have any vaginal pain, itching, burning, or a foul odor; pain when urinating; a vaginal discharge that is not normal, such as thick and white (like cottage cheese) or yellowish-green.  You may have a yeast infection, urinary tract infection, or bacterial infection, all of which can be treated.  Do not clean the vagina or douche before an exam with a health care provider.  This will wash away the vaginal discharge, which helps the health care provider to determine the type of infection.

Diagram of the menstrual cycle (based on sever...

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Well actually it is quite normal. And the secretions change over the course of the month. Of course we all know about the discharge and flow from our menstrual periods that last 3-5 days on average. But women do have daily secretions all month to keep the vaginal area clean and healthy…it is kind of like our own self cleaning oven!

Women also release lubrication vaginally during arousal, can release large amounts of fluid with orgasms…particularly g-spot orgasms,  and another notable secretion change is about 2 weeks after your period when you ovulate. Your secretions become sticky or stringy and clear in color when you are fertile and ovulate.

One special note – if you have a discharge with a foul odor, or color or is associated with itching or burning you may have an infection or STD. That is time to see your medical professional.

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Well, most health care providers do not recommend douching to clean the vagina.  Douching changes the delicate chemical balance and ph (the acid base balance) in the vagina, which can increase the liklihood of vaginal infections.


Research shows that women who douche on a routine basis tend to have more problems than women who do not douche or who rarely douche.  These problems include

  • vaginal irritation
  • infections
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)


What effects will douching have on pregnancy?

The National Women’s Health Information Center indicates that:

Douching after sex does not prevent pregnancy.  But, research has shown that douching may affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.  In women trying to become pregnant, those who douched the most often (more than once per week) had the lowest pregnancy rate.

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Douching is a practice that is thought to have been around since ancient times.


According to The National Women’s Health Information Center, US Department of Health & Human Services, 37% of American women between the ages of 15 to 44 douche regularly.  Of these women, about half douche on a weekly basis.


When an woman douches, she cleanses or rinses the vaginal canal with a solution containing water, vinegar, baking soda or a comercially prepared solution.


Women give the following reasons for douching most commonly:

  • Cleanse the vaginal canal following the menstrual period
  • Cleanse after sex
  • Reduce odors
  • Wash away semen
  • Prevent pregnancy
  • Avoid STDs
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Estrogen plays an important role in vaginal lubrication. Estrogen production begins to decline before menopause, and many women who had no trouble producing lubrication in their twenties and thirties notice decreased lubrication during their forties, when menopausal changes begin. After age fifty, many women experience persistent vaginal dryness.

The menstrual cycle
Because estrogen influences vaginal lubrication, women often produce different amounts of lubrication at different times of the month.

Again, because of hormonal fluctuations, some women have difficulty lubricating for a while after delivering a child.

Every kind of stress, from job hassles to relationship tensions can impair sexual response in both men and women. In men, the result may be erection impairment. In women, stress can reduce lubrication.

Many, many over-the-counter and prescription medications decrease vaginal lubrication. Some women report that birth control pills reduce lubrication. Antihistamines, cold formulas, and other medicines that dry the mouth also impair lubrication. Alcohol is another lubrication inhibitor. Cigarettes and marijuana can have a similar effect. How is that making your weekend look?

Everyone knows that flying across time zones induces jet lag, but the pressurization and dry environment of the plane along with jet lag can interfere with lubrication.

Extended sex
Even women who produce a good deal of natural lubrication sometimes need more during extended sex.

Few people understand that some women don’t produce much natural lubrication, and that those who do may not under the circumstances above. Just as a man can love a woman deeply and not be able to raise an erection because of diabetes or heart disease, a woman can love a man and feel very turned on by him, yet be unable to produce much vaginal lubrication—especially after menopause, when vaginal dryness becomes common.

If you’re a woman who does not produce much natural lubrication, mention this to your lover. Tell him it’s no reflection on him, or on your feelings for him. It’s just the way you are—and it’s not a problem if you use a lubricant.

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