The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

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The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:29 am

I started this thread to help inform girls and women about the ABC’s of women’s health (more specifically, vaginal health), and to offer support of women who tend to have problems in this (and other) areas. Any helpful information other members have will be very much appreciated here.

But please note: Nothing substitutes the advice of a medical professional, be it natural and holistic healthcare, or conventional.

I will try to organize this page so that the information will be easy to sort out and read. There are several kinds of vaginal infections, but here, I’ll discuss 2 of the most common types:

* Yeast
* Bacterial (also known as BV / Bacterial Vaginosis)



As well as their causes, and how to help prevent them.



Yeast-- What is it?

Everyone has natural yeast (Candida) in their body. But its not exactly the same kind you find in food, although the yeast in food can encourage bodily yeast problems. The body’s yeast/Candida is basically a tiny, microscopic flora that lives and grows inside you. You have some in your ears, mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, and of course the reproductive area. Some other areas have it too, but the areas I named are the most common problem areas.

A certain amount of natural yeast is good for you. But when you have too much of it, or when the “colony” of yeast grows too large and out of control, you then have a “yeast/Candida infection”. These infections can develop in any part of the body that has natural yeast.

Bacteria-- What is it?

Bacteria is a microscopic living organism in your body. There is both good bacteria, and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria, of course, causes infections and can make you sick. The good bacteria will actually eat up all the bad bacteria, to help heal you. It also eats some of your body’s natural yeast, to keep it down to a safe level and prevent yeast infections. Good bacteria-- is a very good thing!

What makes a “healthy vagina”?

A healthy vagina is one who’s PH levels are normal. This means you have just the right amount of natural yeast, and natural good bacteria, complementing each other and creating harmony inside the vagina. If something happens to upset that balance one way or the other-- the result is an infection.

What causes a vaginal yeast infection?

Typically anything that upsets your PH levels. The following things can either cause or further irritate an existing vaginal yeast infection, as well as yeast problems in other parts of the body:

* Douching (even with water, because it washes away your good bacteria, leaving you defenseless)
* Soap in the vagina (It kills your good bacteria)
* Body lotions, oil-based products and anything labeled “for external use only” going in the vagina
* Dirty hands/toys/foods or other objects going into the vagina
* Sex lubes with oil or glycerin (glycerin is a sugar, which can cause/aggravate yeast infections)
* Poor diet (high in sugar, starch, yeasty foods, acidy foods, mushrooms, nuts, cheese)
* Tight pants or underwear, clothing that does not allow airflow
* Wet clothing
* Sugars touching the vagina (using whip cream, syrups, candy, etc during sex)
* A sexual partner who has a yeast infection (men can get them too)
* Wiping from back-to-front (you are supposed to wipe front-to-back. If not, you can drag germs from the rectum forward and they can get in the vagina)
* Something touching or entering the rectum, and then touching or entering the vagina (for the same reason as above)
* Certain forms of birth control (spermicidal, etc)
* Starting a new diet (for some reason, this tends to upset your PH levels)
* Being allergic to something that touched or entered your vagina
* Poor hygiene
* Your period
* Pregnancy
* Having vaginal sex, with your partner entering "from behind" (it drags the rectal germs forward into the vagina)

What causes a bacterial infection in the vagina?

Either killing off your "good bacteria”, or adding more "bad bacteria". Bacterial infections such as “Bacterial Vaginosis” , or “BV” are actually MORE common than yeast infections, and can be pretty dangerous. When you do something that kills off your good bacteria, one of two things will happen: 1-- Your natural yeast will be allowed to grow out of control and cause a yeast infection. 2-- The BAD bacterial will take over, causing a bacterial infection.

What makes a bacterial infection dangerous, is that 1-- a lot of people do not notice any symptoms until it is REALLY bad. In fact, bacterial infections are usually discovered by accident during a routine vaginal exam, or PAP test, which is why its so important to get them. 2--Many women confuse it with a yeast infection, and self-diagnose because they don’t want to go to the doctor. Then they try to treat it themselves, from home. That’s really a BAD idea, unless you are 100% certain of what it is (like if you‘ve been diagnosed by a doctor before, and you know the symptoms very well).

Some of the same things that cause a vaginal yeast infection, can also cause a bacterial infection in the vagina. Other things as well:

* Soap, lotions or “external use only” products in the vagina
* Dirty hands/toys/foods or other objects going into the vagina
* Douching (even with water, because it washes out your good bacterial, leaving you defenseless)
* A sexual partner who has not washed properly
* A cut, tear, or other injury inside the vagina
* A rub-raw irritation in the vagina, particularly near the cervix (cervical infection is called “cervicitis”)
* Using over-the-counter yeast infection cures, when you don’t really have a yeast infection (please do not self-diagnose. Go to a doctor and get tested, to be sure).
* Wiping back-to-front (you are supposed to wipe front-to-back. If not, you can drag germs from the rectum forward and they can get in the vagina).
* Poor hygiene
* Thong underwear (because the string rests so close to the rectum, germs and moisture from the rectum travel forward through the fabric to the vagina, and introduce germs-- especially when the underwear shifts and moves about with you)
* Having vaginal sex, with your partner entering "from behind" (it drags the rectal germs forward into the vagina)

What are the symptoms of these infections?

First, please be aware that not everyone’s body works the same way. Knowing these symptoms does not mean you are prepared to self-diagnose. Sometimes these infections can have similar symptoms, sometimes not. Sometimes it is neither yeast nor bacteria; other types of infections and sexually-transmitted deceases have these symptoms too. So it is always important to see a doctor.

However, in many cases, medical professional have found the following symptoms:

Vaginal Yeast Infection:

* Discharge that looks white and clumpy, like cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese
* A yeasty odor in the vagina, such as a “beer” or “bread” smell.
* Itching and burning in the vagina, outer labia, and groin area
* Redness and irritation around the vagina, outer labia, and groin area
* Skipped periods (with no chance of pregnancy)

Bacterial Infection in the vagina:

* A strong, “fishy” odor in the vagina.
* Discharge that is milky-white, yellowish, or greenish in color
* More discharge than usual
* Skipped periods (with no chance of pregnancy)
* Pain in the lower abdomen (in very severe/untreated cases)

Please be aware that an untreated bacterial infection in the vagina can travel up into the cervix, the uterus, even the ovaries, and cause PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). It can also damage your reproductive organs, taking away your ability to have children. In some cases, the organs may need to be removed. It can also increase your risk of cancer in the area.

In other severe cases, it can even cause nausea, feverish feeling in the pelvic area and the rest of the body, vomiting, dizziness, etc.

What can I do to prevent or fight these infections?

First off, you should always go see your doctor. Again, never try to self diagnose. Different infections need different treatments, and using the wrong treatment can make your infection worse, or even start an additional one.

Now-- your doctor will diagnosed you, and prescribe some treatment medication. But that will only take care of the problem this time. Unfortunately, and for some odd reason, after you‘ve had your first vaginal infection, it is VERY easy to develop another one later. You will need to make some changes at home, to keep your vaginal PH healthy, and your natural yeast and good bacteria in balance.

Contrary to popular belief, conventional medicine usually only treats the surface of the problem. What you really need to do is treat the problem from the INSIDE, which is where it begins. So here are some things you can do at home, in addition to your doctor’s prescription, that will help a lot:

Vaginal yeast infections:

* Do not use soap on the inside of your genitals.
* Cut out (or at least greatly reduce) certain foods, such as: Alcohol (beer especially), starch (bread, rice, pasta, corn, potatoes-- they all turn into sugar in your system and make yeast infections worse), acidic foods (citrus, vinegar, etc), cheese and mushrooms (both are related to fungus growth, and aggravate yeast infections), sugar (yeast feeds on sugar).
* Never put any objects in your vagina that aren’t clean, or meant to go there (don’t put foods or drinks in there, strange objects, etc.)
* Don’t douche (it washes away your good bacteria)
* Do not use an oil-based lubricant, or one that contains glycerin (oil based is not biocompatible with the vagina, and glycerin is a sugar, which is what yeast feeds on)
* Don’t wear wet or damp clothes for long periods of time
* Don’t wear tight pants / underwear, or clothing made from material that doesn’t “breathe” (leather, etc.)
* If you wear pads during your period, change them often, and wipe yourself as dry as possible.
* Dry in and around your vaginal area and rectum with toiled paper, after getting out of the shower. Yeast LOVES warm, moist areas. But hates dry, oxygen-rich areas. So the more dry you are, the more you prevent yeast growth.
* Eat yogurt (plain, no added flavors-- at home, you can add low-sugar fruit, or artificial sweetener)
* Don’t use harsh soaps or fabric softeners on your underwear.

Bacterial infections in the vagina:

(please be aware that in the case of a bacterial infection, doctors often use antibiotics for treatment, to kill the BAD bacteria. The problem is, antibiotics also kill your GOOD bacteria, leaving your vulnerable to a yeast infection. So you will want to do things at home that prevent yeast over growth, and encourage your good bacteria to grow back as soon as possible)

* Practice all the tips in the Yeast Infection prevention list, to counteract the negative effects of the antibiotics.
* Take a garlic supplement EVERY day. Garlic is a true, medicinal miracle food! Not only is it wonderful for heart health as it reduces cholesterol-- but it also contains an ingredient called “Alicin” which is a powerful natural antibiotic. But Alicin only kills BAD bacteria, so your good bacteria will be safe. Some medical professionals and natural healers will even compare garlic’s power, to that of penicillin. Many cultures have been using crushed fresh garlic to heal infected wounds for centuries. A supplement / pill is best, because otherwise you will have to eat large amounts of raw garlic (cooking garlic takes away the Alicin). Your supplement should have an Alicin count of 3,000-5,000 per serving. Take as directed.
* Drink plenty of (sugar-free) fluids, to cleanse your body.


Last edited by Melissa569 on Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:09 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  quitterie on Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:08 pm

Melissa, that's a wonderful, useful and very instructive post - - Basketball hé..
I'm also sending a "thank you" to Sharon as I read a related topic of hers, "Health Advantages to Cup Use" in the general discussion section of the forum.
It was very interesting too, and above all, that allows us to feel optimistic bounce
Cheers!!

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Feminine soaps and contraceptive devices

Post  quitterie on Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:36 am

Would you encourage.. or not really, the use of specific soaps (or lotions..) for women, that one finds in the “feminine hygiene” corner of a supermarket and in pharmacies ?

I quite often read several gynecologists just didn’t approve or didn’t recommend them _ The said gynecologists even say they shouldn’t be used by women, or at least with parsimony ; That is, mild perfume-free soap should be sufficient, or in France, we often hear the “savon (soap) de Marseille” is a very good one…

Nowadays we find several types for those special soaps for women, (kind of alike the myriad of products for hair, ah) :.. One is for everyday use,
A typical one is for soothing light or more severe dryness,
Another for irritation = The product I once tried actuate by a pressure (as for the foams for hair), and the alleviating soap exits being an inflated, sparkling texture….


In the Tv ad for one of these soaps, it is said that it brings comfort or relief : “When one becomes a woman” (= at puberty), “during pregnancy” or “when the body changes” (that is an euphemism, but a rather pretty and eloquent one to indicate menopause Smile ).

In another ad, it is said that our vaginal flora can be disturbed easily and so, the feminine soaps can help us and/or are very indicated for : When we have our periods, after sexual intercourse,.. hum, zut! there are 1 or 2 other facts that I forgot..

So, could that mean that an average woman would need them pretty often ? scratch



As regards the contraceptives which form a local barrier, such as condoms or daphragmes : What’s great today is that we now find ones that are not made of latex rubber (..since pretty numerous women are very sensitive to it, or allergic).. but are made of silicone, just like our cups ! queen
And they look like they are well conceived.

For condoms, for instance there are some biological ones, still with latex but made of biodegradable natural latex.. Nevertheless, it is precided well on this French site, at the end of the article, to beware and to not throw them anywhere =
http://www.consoglobe.com/ac-etonnant_3350_preservatifs-penetrent-ecologie.html


“Do not throw your ecological condoms !

It’s not because your condom is out of biodegradable natural latex that it is 100% ecological ! Thus the French Letter brand admitted they had to use dimethicone, poison for the environment, like lubricant, explaining there did not exist natural lubricants to produce condoms that’d have a sufficient lifespan.

Then do not throw your ecological condoms in nature, nor in the toilets, but in a dustbin !”

It’s great they write so elephant ..


I had seen some biological lubricants too I think, made with kiwi juice, notably…



And I was thinking of the feminine condom, called “Femidon” in France, of which the raw material should be available for eveyone.. (It doesn’t contain latex..)

Also, it covers a larger surface of both feminine ( = covers a part of the vulva) and masculine sexs, which provides an additional protection.
So the material is a little more thicker (= that constitutes one of the reasons why I’m not sure they are comfortable to wear and use ?), which means they are more resistant than the traditional (masculine) condoms…

On this point, some health professionals wonder if these feminine condoms could be cleaned and then re-used ! héhé Smile


And of course, the whole handling of it is in a woman’s hand (.. An important thign for women’s protection and self-sufficience.. Wink ).

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  lunastar on Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:51 pm

Thanks Melissa and Quitterie this is a wonderful list ! that's so interesting !!! I always wanted to know more about infections and their possible origins !

I dunno if this has been listed but I often get infections when I use a perfumed toilet paper, it's certainely quoted in the "allergy" part. It's very embarassing and boring but it has the quality to get better by getting another brand Embarassed

I'm quite against hygiene soaps for our intimity, I think the less you put "down there", the better it is for your vagina alien I put saforelle (french brand - sorry ! only after the miscarriage) rabbit

thanks girls in the name of every woman for giving us the chance to fully enjoy our feminity sunny

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  quitterie on Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:26 pm

lunastar wrote:I'm quite against hygiene soaps for our intimity, I think the less you put "down there", the better it is for your vagina alien I put saforelle (french brand - sorry ! only after the miscarriage) rabbit
Dear Lunastar, we share the same feeling and opinion here ! cherry

(And I also used the Saforelle product these last days -- it was the cream for vulvar irritation.. ah Wink ).

I've been thinking about you geek hihi and wish you are spending splendiferous times with your beloved ones !!, from the bottom of my heart.
Q.

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  michelleke on Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:23 am

lunastar wrote:I dunno if this has been listed but I often get infections when I use a perfumed toilet paper, it's certainely quoted in the "allergy" part. It's very embarassing and boring but it has the quality to get better by getting another brand Embarassed
I've found that perfumed toilet paper dries out my skin.

lunastar wrote:I think the less you put "down there", the better it is for your vagina alien
I totally agree! Smile

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:53 pm

As to the first reply, I usually don't recomend that women use anything that wasn't meant for use in or around the vagina. Weather it is soaps, lube, etc. And even then, with cup use, there are other things we have to consider. For example, silicone based lubes can ruin silicone cups or toys, because the agent used to liquify or thin out the silicone in the lube can damage the cup or toy.

So for lubes, I say water based and glycerine free (just to be safe). For soaps, I say store-bought feminine wash or any wash made by a cup manufacturer.

As for lotions, I would tell any woman not to put lotions on or near the vagina. Sexual lubes are ok, but lotions contain oil, perfume and many many other chemicals that are not good for you "down there". Most of those things can cause yeast infections, so in general I would say no on lotions.

Also a GYN knows much more than I do about what is safe, so if a GYN doesn't recomend it, then I probably wouldn't either... Smile
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Mint-perfumed tissues, disposable wipes and amenorrhoea caused by a yeast infection or a BV.

Post  quitterie on Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:39 pm

1. I always have a packet of tissues in my handbag, each time I’m outside.. I inherit this habit or even mania from my mother..
And at school and college, very very often, there wasn’t any toilet paper anymore in the loos (.. This paper in schools which is rarely soft _ it is the opposite actually, well ah).
So everytime I went to the loos I took at least one tissue with me. I had either some usual, not scented white tissues (most of the time), or the green ones that are mint-perfumed Wink..

It occurred that I had to use a mint tissue to wipe my skin as I only carried a packet of green tissues in my bag. You might have tested it too.. wiping with a mint-perfumed tissue Razz ?
I remember that immediately after my wiping, I felt sort of a burn sensation = but an extremely cool, freezing sensation ; and right after that, it just felt very fresh on the vulva and between the buttocks, even after when I had dressed up and walked back to the class room _ it lasted a bit, so..

I guess this must be pleasant particularly for women that have the sensation they don’t feel “fresh” or feel too wet.

It has some kind of a soothing effect or even a kind of emollient impression on the skin and the mucous membranes, for both the nose and the sex parts (.. I heard men liked it too, when then wipe their buttocks with it Smile ).


[On a different note, the use of these mint tissues, as some specific anaesthetizing cream for sex parts or lubricants.. tey can certainly play a nice part for erotic games, for several couples _
But doing so in a reasonable way, only occasionally Smile.. ]


And during that school period, it was fairly always pleasant to wipe with mint tissues, even (quite strangely), when at first I was very slightly irritated _ just a superficial irritation, without a peculiar reason..
The sort of burn sensation was then a little sharper as was the following super refreshing sensation – (besides, this usually also is coupled with a sensation of being “light” at this part of the body lol ; kind of as the sensation of being slimmer/lighter after having been depilated..) _
And afterwards, it finally felt nice ; that didn’t trigger a more severe irritation.


But I guess a frequent/regular use of a mint-perfumed tissue, or of a toilet paper with a strong perfume isn’t recommended ?



2. I’m not sure but I think it’s the Always brand that includes a small disposable wipe with each pad..
I think I read one shouldn’t use this kind of wipes more than once per a day and shouldn’t use them daily ; (As one shouldn't take a soapy shower 5 or 6 times a day, as actually that makes the skin more fragile and less suited, able to defend itself.)
And some women do change their pads very often, even when they have a light flow, and so they are tempted by using the filled with various agents, chemical wipe.. having the sensation they are “cleaner” _ Then some of them notice they are irritated or suddenly have a yeast infection/mycosis silent

To me, using a wet coton tissue for instance, would be sufficient to refresh and superficially “rinse” our skin.. (Just as the advice we read for taking care of our cup when being in public toilets, or rinsing the cup thanks to the water from a little bottle of water etc.. Wink ) _ We don’t necessarily need some soap…..

But that also makes me think about that nowadays, we also find some biological disposable wipes ; but I never tested them (what about you Smile ?)
That sounds pretty cool..


And another tip is simply to create our own reusable rectangular wipes ; or buying them on websites that are specialized in bio and in feminine, ethical products.

Those are mainly made of (bio) coton, and come from clothes tissues.. We then wash them as washable diapers…

Once, on television, I saw a woman that had a special recipe in order to use her small cloth wipes for cleaning her baby’s parts, eveytime it needs to be changed.. Or for removing her make up..
(In the same tv program, we also followed the different steps to make our own natural soaps or yoghourts.. cat )
She added a few drops of an essential oil notably (but I can’t remember which one it was) or for other uses, she prepared a liniment for it to be spread on the wipe etc..
It seems it worked greatly.
And the journalist counted she spent almost half less than a mother who bought daily disposable wipes for taking care of her baby hygiene_ willing to try to act quickly and efficiently for both her and her child.


I never tried any perfumed tampons but am convinced they should be banished.. hey yes, hum !
(And this just worsens their bad reputation..)


3. Do you ladies know the exact reason(s) or explanation(s) for the fact a vaginal infection (or well in a worsened issue, when one accumulates 2 infections at the same time)... can trigger amenorrhoea Question

And, well this consequence/symptom is not systematic, if I understood correctly ?


[Oh btw.. A little wink to Melissa & Lunastar. Ah, Christmas time ? That’s handy ! (.. as I assumed and hoped my new cups would be shining for mid-December).. _ Finally, they are being needed since the 28th of the month hé ! santa ]

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:39 pm

I’m not sure if mint is ok, like if it disturbs ph levels or not. Some women might find it painful, depending on nerves.

The tricky thing about wipes is-- they are usually only meant for use on the outer genitals, not meant to be up inside the vagina. The environment on the outside (labia, etc.) is much different than the inside-- the inside if far more delicate and the ph levels are more sensitive there. So sometimes there are things we can use on the outer labia, that we cannot use up inside. I would say use with caution.

I agree, we can make out own safe wipes. I know many women who simply wet regular paper towels with plain water, and store them in a plastic ziploc bag. That sounds like the safest option, if you want to use a wipe, and its much cheaper than anything else.

As for why infections cause amenorrhea (missing periods)… I’ve had this happen. I had a cervical infections once, and because of it, I would only get a period every 2 or 3 months! I was scared, I took pregnancy tests, they were always negative. The doctor had to run some tests. I got an antibiotic shot and my periods came back to normal again. In fact, they are more regular now than they ever have been before.

I guess the reason it happens is because your female parts can sense that something is wrong… And you often skip your period when something is wrong, even being too stressed out can cause it. Its seems like anything that disturbs your happy balance can cause you to skip.
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The wipes.

Post  quitterie on Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:22 pm

Absolutely, it’s indicated one shouldn’t use a wipe for internal genitals _ that is the vagina ; but I guess the wipe is conceived to clean and refresh the minor labias too, their external part..
But maybe one shouldn’t spread a lotion or wipe with something that shouldn’t go on the walls of the vagina and on the cervix.
So maybe we shouldn’t apply the wipe on the vestibule ( that is more or less = between minor labia + the entrance of the vagina) which is a bit too bad since it’s often this area that contains several sweat glands etc.. and so that we need to refresh..

Is this the vestibule area you think about when you write about the “forbidden” parts for a lotion etc, near the vagina : (not in the vagina).. and not on the parts around it Question
Well, that makes sense anyway Smile.. I had read a small guideline to wash our intimate parts in an healthy/safe way.
It was written one should use a mild “normal” soap for the pubic hair and well the skin below (in French, we say “le mont de Vénus”), then to go towards the back _ .. so, doing the same for the big labia, then for anus towards the area between the buttocks, and the bottocks themselves.
And if I remember well, we could finish, taking some new soap (not using the bubble from the soap already spread on our genitals), by cleaning the slits between the left big labia and the minor once, and so for the slit between the right labias…

Then, one just needed to rinse thoroughly with tepid water (not to hot I guess, not good for the skin notably, as for any part of skin of the body _ it softens it too much.. ; but cold water should be okay if we don’t have choice ?)

And I was precised that for the area between minor labias, simply rinse with tepid water should be sufficient.. Smile

(But as for me, I must admit that I’m used to put a bit of soap (that has foamed between my fingers) on the vestibule too ; but do it very briefly, just before rinsing my genitals, more lengthily than other parts of the body..)




But what I was about to discuss was the wipes that are meant to clean sextoys and cups when we aren’t at home, in usual comfy conditions..
It is said on the site that they actually are great for silicone materials.
The Lunette site also sells some of these type of wipes.

The thing is, considering wipes (the one for intimate hygiene and even more for the ones for the hands, of course!..) musn’t be used for internal parts.

But in reality, when we use these specific wipes for toys and cups (and diaphragms, why not), we haven’t got to rinse the objects then…. And, these objects go right inside the vagina.

So these wipes should be respectful of the environmental balance, Ph of the vagina etc..

This way, it can be used even for wiping the vestibule, for instance….

Actually, I may have used them 4 times for cleaning a menstrual cups, and I must say they were particularly cool.. Cool
Simple, easy to use, they grasp the blood efficiently, at once, (maybe less for the blood inside the holes, but that must be logical Wink )… ad beyond that & above all, they absolutely haven’t irritated me or my vagina _ really, not at all !
(I admit I was agreeably surprised about that _ but well, maybe that could be different for a woman that has a sensitive natural balanace or mucous membranes.. And maybe these wipes shouldn’t be recommended if ever our vaginal wall are slightly fragile etc..)

But I don’t know if they are environmentally friendly..?

So the ones I used are very fine, and much smaller than usual wipes for the vulva.
And : they are far less impregnated (by cleaning products), they are less wet…
They look like a rectangular piece of wipe of which the width maybe is about 4cm, but the length is pretty… well, long lol (don’t know, maybe 15cm or so..), and are very practical.

I wouldn’t use them too often, but I was happy to have them for some moments when I wasn’t home.
For instance, I don’t like simply wiping the blood on the surface of the cup, with some regular toilet paper or with a disposable tissue. As I don’t like the idea not to really-totally remove the “old” blood that is on the cup (I usually use simply water from the tap for that Wink ).. knowing that I may wear the said cup for about 12 hours then… Sad.. even if that should probably be okay, afterall (?).
Plus, I don’t like the idea of possibly letting some residues/fibers of the paper on the cup either…



So I’m not sure if I can.. but here I indicate the name and almost all that is written on the sachet of the wipes I used (and liked) =

“Intimate- & toycleaner”
soft cleaning fleece – alcohol free – perfume free
made by: pjur med

The brand is Fun Factory
(love yourself !)


“For gentle, hygienic cleaning of erotic toys & intimate parts. Dermatologically tested, neutral to taste and smell.”
Made in Germany.

It is indicated they musn’t be throwed in the toilets.

Ingredients (INCI) : Aqua, Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Dimethicone Copolyol, Neohespiridine, Sorbitol Enthalt/contains: Chlorhexidine Digluconate.

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:24 pm

I have some of the lunette wipes. They are nice and thick, but also soft; I really like them. But they do smell like rubbing alcohol, so when I use them, I still rinse the cup afterward, because I have very sensitive ph levels and heard that rubbing alcohol can be dangerous if misused. I haven't read much about what the company says in regards to the wipes though. Like weather or not the cup needs to be rinsed... I just rinse because I'm being extra nice to my ph Smile . I do talk to the lunette people directly, so maybe I can get mroe info from them on that.
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Lunette wipes, deodorants, water spray, strings and string pads (What a program hum :-S ah)

Post  quitterie on Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:57 am

Yes, if I smelt a quite strong odor, even more a rubbing alcohol one, I would undoubtedly wonder about a preferable rinsing too, Melissa Smile.
And i'm sure I'd rinse my cup as well, thoroughly..

But I didn't when using my wipes from Fun Factory ; and i hesitated to use it last time i did, as actually I had buyed them quite a long time ago (at least one year ago).. But there's isn't any indication for storage etc. and not any date of expiration.. Mad
Finally, once I opened its sachet, I noticed the wipe was a bit dryer and a bit less odorous (but the original smell was soft, discreet) than the first ones I used, but it looked good.. So I did use it, and well it was perfect (efficient and no further irritation.)

As for the Lunette ones, are there indications of a limited use in time, from the moment one received the sachets of wipes ? Wink


And on the home page of the lunette.com site, they describe their "New !" product Wink.. According to their statements, their wipes are pointed out for cases when we just miss clean drinkable water :

"Lunette Disinfecting wipes are a great option for sanitising your Lunette menstrual cup when you don´t have a chance to rinse it. The wipes eliminate most of the germs and enable you to also use the Lunette menstrual cup when there´s no clean water available."


But I'd still be curious/wondering about the alcohol odor, balanced with our vaginal Ph and flora.. hum mm ? Wink




I quite often read one should proscribe vaginal deodorants, precisely as they can be aggressive and trigger irritations or infections.

And actually, they shouldn't be called "vaginal" deodorants but intimate or vulvar ones, since they should be applied on the external genitals only.

Last year, a brand of feminine products sold deodorants, that were said being nice _ And they pin out the fact their deodorant doesn't contain any talc (.. I'm not sure why talc isn't cool : maybe it is drying the skin ?, whereas mucous membranes, respecting their physiology, always need to maintain a certain level of humidity.. or ?)


It was indicated too the user should spray at a 15cm distance from the vulva (i think it was 15cm but i'm not sure anymore) _ as for some deodorants for armpits ; Or spray the same way, on the bottom of the knickers itself..




That makes me think about the bottles that are filled with spring water and gas, that we use during hot days in summer, in order to hydrate and refresh the skin of the face in particular.

Well that may sound silly or dull, but as our genitals sit in a warm area, sometimes it can feel kind of being warm down there. As Japanese toilets in which it is water that is used to clean the intimate parts, not paper...


Well do you think that could be not a bad idea to spray some water on our feminine external area, on warm days, and then to carefully wipe the drops _ only from time to time ? Ahah..




Moreover, i often wondered if strings were a nice pants to be used everyday.. Well, because, i remember well i could feel always wet (as the usual vaginal secretions waere somehow attracted to the tissue lol, and above all, the tissue just rub or sit in the closest way to the genitals. Not mentioning that i always cared for not letting the back side be in contact with the front side _ I mean, for instance, I wonder how dancers wearing strings don't get irritations, with all movements they do and they stretch dressings etc.. Maybe they just take showers a little more often..

I think some anal bacteria can easily make their way to the vagina or to the bladder, with strings Sad..

I'm somehow convinced about that, that's why i never wore strings often.. And even more, I never tested them while wearing a cup, hé Smile..

Plus, majority of women have one or their minor labia that is longer than the other one (ah! don't know if it sits the same side as our bigger breast hi Wink ), and many women have a minor labia that "protubes" outside, that shows on the big labia (I have difficulties to write in a clear way, sorry!).

Well : When a woman has at least one of her minor labia that really shows on the external or even have a big clitoris, doesn't a string get irritating for this part(s) of her body, or even maybe some synthetic underwear ?


I watched a televided program 3 or 4 days ago : It was about a famous French cabaret in Paris, with beautiful & excellent dancers _ female dancers only. It was created by Alain Bernardin. At that time (in the 50's or 60's), he loved and was inspired by the myth of the American West. That's why he chosed an Indian chief's name to call his place, that is "Crazy Horse" :-D..


Well, we saw that for their chic and erotic show, women wear not an usual string that would move, but one that is specifically sewed for them... and that is completely rigid, so that they are really protected.

And the thong is rather fine.. but there too, that does sound as a great idea and that must work Wink, but with a rigid material, wonder if it sometimes can start being a bit irritating for some parts of the genitals, so.. (?)

(I remember having seen a rigid G-string in a catalogue : and this special string was minimal, without tissue on the sides.. it was supposed to be invisible to see under stretchy pants, ah).


Anyway, the menstrual cup would be a precious friend for female dancers of classical ballet or an overdemanding cabaret show ;-) !!




Finally, I wonder about the disposable pads that are specially shapped for G-strings.. I mean, wouldn't that trigger a constant wetness and warmness right against the externals genitals ? Not cool, I'd say ?

Plus, in this case, I'd be afraid some E.Coli bacteria (bacterias from the anus) could travel even more easily towards the vulva, vagina or urinary meatus, with the "help" of the blood etc.. ?

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:40 pm

I wonder about wipes too, if they can kill germs, then they can kill your good bacteria too. I would need to see more medical information on that.

I think spraying water on the genitals and drying it off is just fine. Its only the outside, and its only water. No different than say… Going swimming, or taking a shower. And I know a lot of women who will go in the public bathroom and wet a paper towel before they go in the stall, so they can freshen up in private. Then they just dry off with toilet paper. It’s a good trick!

About people who wear thong/string underwear… I understand some women like it because they say it leaves no underwear lines visible through tight pants. Or because men think its sexy (but trust me, men are already horny enough, they don‘t need any help from us, lol). Quite frankly, I think if you are wearing BOTH tight pants and thong/string underwear, you are very much in danger of infections. As far as bacteria is concerned, you are probably safer wearing no underwear at all, instead of wearing thong/strings.

I don’t know if its about the cloth material absorbing the bacteria and bringing it up, or if even solid material (like leather) can do it too. I think it can. My doctor says that many women come in with infections, and 99% of them say they mostly have vaginal sex with the man entering from “behind”, and that tends to do the same thing wiping back-to-front does-- drag the bacteria forward into the vagina. He says that women who have vaginal sex from the front almost never get infections.

Something to consider… Although men probably won’t like that idea, lol. Actually, I think I better add that to the list of causes.
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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  quitterie on Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:45 pm

.. Smile) Ah.. cool comment of yours !

Melissa569 wrote:
As far as bacteria is concerned, you are probably safer wearing no underwear at all, instead of wearing thong/strings.
.. It's my opinion too..
But I don't get how women can wear no underwear while wearing a tiny skirt cyclops _ I'd be soo afraid of getting something bad. Moreover, our normal constant wetness "down there" must attract various little "things" when there is no barrier (an underwear) at all to block them.


I also heard that taking frequent long baths wasn't good for the skin in general (it softens it too much) _ Especially baths with very hot water, and also not that good either for genitals.. Maybe that dries our mucous membranes.


I had thought about advices we hear in order to avoid the risk of another infection, the cystitis = that is to have a pee before the sexual intercourse, and above all, after it Wink..

Cheers Like a Star @ heaven

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  quitterie on Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:31 am

(.. Ah simply, about hot baths or just baths in general.. I wanted to write "dry out" our skin _ hé.. more precise than only "dry" Smile ).

About the wipes, it is possible as soon as we "wipe"/clean the cup with this tissue and raise the wipe tissue from the cup.. so is it possible the products that the wipe contains then evaporate (or dry ?) instantly ?
If so, that may be not that "dangerous" for our vagina ?

Otherwise, it may be wise, right before inserting our cup back in the vagina, to indeed wipe its surfaces with some tissue or toilet paper.. (?)
(And that wouldn't be more expensive nor implies too much effort rabbit _ But that may be not sufficient, in case products can kill our good flora).


Melissa, would you mind to write the components, or the main ingredients of the Lunette wipes Idea ?
It seems there aren't alcohol free, for instance pirat ?
(Do they point out that such product can be allergenic for certain persons ? For instance, you know ahh..
On the Fun Factory sachet, it isn't noticed there could be a source of allergy in the elements contained in the wipe..)

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  quitterie on Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:20 am

You're right Melissa, Lunette disinfecting wipes must contain quite strong, and certainly very effective agents.
Because contrary to the Fun Factory ones that can be used on intimate parts, the Lunette ones are not meant to..


Well.. Because I read the following statement on Lea Appelsin's website, the Finnish leastore.com Smile =

"The Lunette Disinfecting for sanitising your menstrual cup and hands. The wipes eliminate most of the germs and enable you to also use the menstrual cup when there´s no clean water available.

It is not possible to use the wipes for cleaning your genital area.


Inci: Aqua, Alcohol Denat.

Manufactured by: Lunette"



(So I wonder : Maybe for an occasional/daily wiping, in public restroom, for instance the FF wipes must be sufficient.. After all, i guess our secretions, blood and elements of vaginal flora.. that are deposited on the cup, haven't got that many germs (?) _ Especially when we cleaned our cup a few hours ago, in usual conditions at home..
Then considering the Lunette wipes, as it's noticed, they are "disinfecting" : In this case, they can be ideal when we're far away from home. Still wondering.. Maybe one can use one of these wipes when travelling, as a way to sterilize the cup. Don't know.. Maybe this would be a summar sterilization = let's say, not as complete as with other types of sterilization, but rather efficiently nevertheless (...?).
Then one may have to at least rinse her cup well, before putting it in its bag back, until her next periods..)


May I ask what "Denat" is ? Razz

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:26 pm

They don't say anything about alergies, but the lunette wipes only have 2 ingredients:

Aqua/water
Alcohol denat

The directions say to wipe the cup and your hands, then let dry thuroughly. But when I spoke to my GYN, she told me that letting the alcohol dry was not enough. Because the residue will still be there. You should still rinse it off. I guess one could keep bottled water int heir purse to do this.
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The use of cups for daily secretions ?

Post  quitterie on Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:39 am

In the MeLuna FAQ page, it is clearly written one shouldn't use the cup for everyday vaginal secretions.
http://www.meluna.eu/index.php/meluna-faq.html?___store=english&___from_store=francais#use

It is the very last sentence in the answer to the question : "How do I use my MeLuna ?"

Well in any case, this is what one can interpret from the French FAQ page, as at the end of the answer for "Comment utiliser mon gobelet MeLuna?", here is what we read =
"Pour les pertes blanches régulières, le gobelet MeLuna ne doit pas être utilisé, à cause du risque d’infection."
(Sorry i don't know the word for it in English..)

.. But that implies one shouldn't wear the cup when one doesn't bleed/isn't mentruating or having a metrorragia.

On the English FAQ page, at the end of their explanations, they precise not tu wear the MeLuna for a specific type of secretions, the afterbirth ones : Lochia..
That, I get it, as we already heard it : This is also because the walls still are loose, and probably too soft, so maybe more fragile (?) etc..

As for the German version of this sentence, sorry lol, i don't speak German at all, so can't understand what is noted.


Anyway, from time to time i think it already has been said we shouldn't use the menstrual cups for other purposes than for collecting the menstrual blood.

I guess when a woman wears a cup to avoid having a wet sensation on her vulva or her underwear, she uses the cup for holding back cervical mucus mainly (?).
Because, wheter we bleed or not, when we wear the cups, there is always some natural secretions that find their way outside Wink, as the cup doesn't absorb, is smooth, and as the rim create a seal/barrier only towards the bottom of the vagina. (And so, the secretions coming from the walls that are below the rim -- the biggest part of the vagina lenght -- aren't retained by the cup.. Smile, and go on the pants.)

We know one advantage of the cups is that one can wear it before she has her periods. So she can wear the cup 1 full day as she thinks the bleeding may start. Or only during the few hours just before the bleeding actually starts, as she knows her body well and can physically feel the moment when it is just about to come, or as her flow always arrive at a precise time/hour in a regular, usual way (that is, for a very regular cycle.)


But if one would use her cup as she would do with pantyliners, that can be a daily use for some women, that may not be advised, certainly indeed.

But is it because of the constant presence of the cup inside the vagina, including the fact it takes a large place inside the vagina + it is suctioned and it stays closely against vaginal walls = Would the cup being worn all the time be a trouble for the self-cleaning function of the vagina ?.. = triggering an increased risk of infection (?).

Or is it rather due to the fact that even if one pays very attention to the hygiene of hers hands, if one wear her cup continuously, she has to regularly remove, rinse/or clean and reinsert it _ those handlings are repeated.
So even with caution, the more one handles her cup, the more one may get a small bacteria from the outside world... which may lead to a vaginal infection ?

In a general way, I don't think the daily vaginal transparent secretions are too acid to be kept inside ??

On EasyCup.fr, a pregnant cupper related that her gynaecologist supported the cups. But she wanted to use the cups for the particular pregnancy secretions/ mucus. Then her doctor said no, because of the risk of vaginal infection.
Of course, it is a source of worries and is less easy to cure an infection, for a pregnant woman. So any risk must be kept away Wink.

Now i wonder.. it seems the secretions during pregnancy are thicker, notably. But would they also be acider or something, and that in order to protect more the baby ? Cool

= Is it the type of secretions that is at issue here ?

Just like when a woman takes a medical balsam to cure a mycosis, she shouldn't use a cup to collect the balsam sliding outside the vagina. If I got it well, this is above all because the walls are irritated, so need to be free so they can regenerate + and the cup sitting against them is then painful... + if one does use her cup, she would have to thoroughly sterilize it, then.

Okay, i'm done. Many kisses ! afro

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:31 pm

When a woman is pregnant, she is more susceptible to vaginal infections. This is why many women suddenly develop their first vaginal yeast infection (for no reason, it seems) when they are pregnant. And many women do not get vaginal infections any other time.

Your body’s hormone and PH levels are different when you are pregnant. So things that would normally be ok, might cause infection during pregnancy. Again, sometimes it even develops for no reason at all, even when you have done nothing different.

As for women who are not pregnant using a cup every day, I know that some women do this, and report no trouble. But I really think it depends how sensitive your PH levels are. Its different for every woman. And its true, our cervical mucus does contain “good bacteria” that helps to keep the natural yeast eaten down to a safe level. Also the moisture helps to flush out anything that should not be inside you. it’s the vagina’s natural cleansing system. Rob the vaginal walls of that process on a daily basis all month long, and you do risk infection.

Again, some women have been lucky up to now, but I would say stay advised of the risks.
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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  quitterie on Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:50 am

It is interesting, thanks. Cool

Melissa569 wrote:Also the moisture helps to flush out anything that should not be inside you. it’s the vagina’s natural cleansing system. Rob the vaginal walls of that process on a daily basis all month long, and you do risk infection.
1. So do you mean this risk of interrupting that process can be easily induced by the daily use of the cup (well, depending on each woman's pH etc Wink) ?

If so, why that.. err which aspect of/which element(s) in the cups themselves or in the cup handling may prove to be a risk factor (in everyday use) ?



2. Among the women you know that wear their cup(s) everyday : Do you know if they generally leave the cup inside for more than the usual 12 hours maximum advised _ and not encounter any problem doing so ?
As they must have very little liquid inside the cup, they can be tempted to keep the cup for 24 hours at a stretch, for instance.

[I used the cup once on an ovulation day, just to see the amount of the cervical mucus Smile _ that is reputed to sometimes be fairly abundant. I didn't wear the cup a very long time. And i think that the sliding and collect of the mucus inside the cup occured during removal (and some of it landed on the external surface of the cup that was folded) ; that it was provoked by the suction break and the following pulling out of the cup..
There was more matter than i had imagined, but not that much in comparison with a menstrual big day, as there was about 5ml inside the cup.

During the last day of periods, I had tested the wearing of the cup for 24 hours -- just like that. I have been surprised by the fact we do forget it -- it becomes so comfortable, a little like a part of ourselves lol. But i think from 20 h or so, you can feel a start of itching on the vulva, so, not good.. And when i removed my cup, there was a quite strong odor inside it. So i guess this isn't a very nice idea.]



3. In French, "cervical mucus" is said "glaire cervicale"..
And for what can look like the vagina's perspiration.. Hee, what's the word for "pertes blanches" in English ? Razz

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:07 am

1-- According to some manufacturers, it can in some women. I don’t know if it’s the way you use the cup, or how you treat it necessarily, but just the fact that is seals up all the natural cervical mucus. It all goes in the cup, instead of going down the vaginal walls, so its all removed with the cup and provides the vagina little or no protection. Of course, some women’s PH is very steady and is not effected by this, but there are many women who’s bodies are very sensitive and just looking for an excuse to have an infections, lol.

2-- All the women I know who use a cup daily say that for cleanliness sake, they wash it every 12 hours. I think that’s good. Even though there is no blood, I still think the basic guidelines for hygiene still apply. But usually the women who do this every day have an unusually excessive amount of cervical mucus. As in they can fill the cup halfway in a 12 hour stretch. They tell me that before, they always had to use panty liners to stay feeling clean and fresh. So as long as they clear this with their doctor, and they continue to not have symptoms of an infection, I don’t argue with their reasons.

Maybe once a week, I might wear one for a few hours, like if I’ll be doing a lot of walking or a lot of hard work. It helps me feel cleaner. But normally I won’t use it when I’m off my period, because my PH levels actually are sensitive.

There are some glands that produce moisture of their own all up and down the vaginal walls, sort of like sweat glands on the skin… But the most beneficial liquid comes from the cervix.

Pertes blanches? I believe in English that would be “vaginal discharge”. Smile
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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  quitterie on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:45 am

.. sunny
That was great, (thank you once more.)

Ahah.. that's it Wink.. "vaginal discharge".
Sometimes in France, i've the feeling it may happen some people think "pertes blanches" exclusively refers to the anormal discharges one can get when she has a vaginal/cervicovaginal infection.. so they're not picturing the natural and healthy discharge but only the bad ones, that is only one aspect that the "leucorrhée" general term includes. And a priori leucorrhoea includes both physiological and purulent type of secretions. Smile
Kiss.

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  lunastar on Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:10 pm

Nice chat girls Smile

Vaginal discharge are different from a woman to another... some lose so much (those who aren't on the pill, for instance) and some are very "dry".

during my pregnancy I had lots an lots of liquid going off (sorry) and my doctor didn't want me to wear my small LadyCup, because he said it can cause infections... and no one wants an infection in the beginning of a pregnancy, when you don't even know if the foetus is ok Laughing

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Re: The ABC's Of Vaginal Health

Post  Melissa569 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:41 pm

True, and when most women hear this they assume that means cups can cause infections in general, but that's not true. Again, our bodies are just grumpy when we are pregnant, and they will develop an infection over the smallest thing, sometimes for no reason at all. Just the change in body chemistry can cause it, some women even get one at hte start of their period, or after starting a new diet. I think its just god for us all to keep an eye on our bodies, and be aware of what triggers certain changes Smile
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