During the course of 10 months, my body had done remarkable things. Freaky, but absolutely remarkable. My hips were stretched to capacity, my belly met my knees when I sat down and for 10 months I had come to terms with the fact that another human was inhabiting my body. The most beautiful thing about pregnancy was not having to deal with that wicked witch that appears monthly. What I was not prepared for however, was the havoc pregnancy would wreak on my vagina post partum.
As a young woman, I was yeast infection prone; having sensitivity to every and anything you could find. As I matured, I navigated the hacks of life to keep myself yeast free. I also had an STD in my early 20’s which prompted me to be extremely careful with the state of my vagina. So after having the baby, I never expected to have to change my life regimen — something that worked flawlessly for almost 10 years.
It was as if the incontinence I had experienced after pregnancy wasn’t enough, mother nature would continue to play this cruel trick on me. I had nightmares of my LO constantly tap dancing on my bladder and the shock of an odor rivaling the smell of dead meat was enough to drive me to google.
If you’re any thing like me, you drove yourself completely mad reading posts on Baby Center looking for validation that you were not alone — or crazy. You diagnosed yourself with everything from a UTI to a yeast infection, from BV to death only to have your doctor tell you that the smell is normal. To your dismay, the scent of your lady parts has changed forever. Don’t worry, I’ve been there. Below are some easy (and not so easy) ways to keep your pH balanced and your vagina non smelly.
1. Change your diet
We can all attest that this is easier said than done. However, science tells us that sweets=yeast. Try replacing your soda with a fruit infused water if you’re a stickler for taste. Drop the bag of Doritos and grab some water based fruits instead. They will give you the sweet taste you crave without upsetting your pH balance. The highest yielding water based fruits are watermelon and strawberries. Grapefruit, cantaloupe and peaches are also high on the list. If you’re disgusted every time you smell your pants, it’s time for a change. Keep that horrid smell in mind when you opt for the coke or pepsi.
2. Add to your diet
I totally understand that the lifestyle change is too dramatic for you. FINE! Drink a spoonful of apple cider vinegar with water in the morning to balance your pH with it’s antibacterial attributes. Probiotic yogurt is also a plus in eliminating bad bacteria presentx. It works almost instantly and the more you eat, the lesser the smell.
3. Ditch your soap
Soap is a huge culprit for pH imbalance. Gyn’s advocate that our vaginas don’t need soap. I am totally uncomfortable not using soap (a creature of habit), so I use Dove or Ivory; both lightly scented and non invasive soaps. Other great alternatives that women swear by are baby soap(any brand), Summer’s eve and Lemisol.
4. Wash your undies by hand
I love the smell of Gain. Gain, due to the high amount of fragrance gives me the worst yeast infection known to man. I find that washing my intimates in a mostly fragrance free detergent by hand lets my vagina flourish. I also advocate using the soap you use in #3 to clean your underwear as you’re confident it won’t cause any odor.
5. Clean up after sex
Lubes and semen are the top two culprits for lingering vag smells and instantly changing our pH levels. For lubrication that doesn’t affect your pH, I strongly advocate using Spunk lube. It’s a water based silicone lubricant that doesn’t cause itching, burning or any discomfort at any time during intercourse or after. As for semen, it doesn’t agree with our pH as it’s an alkaline and our vaginas are acidic. If your spouse ejaculates in you, taking a shower shortly after sex will eliminate as much chance of infection as possible. If you two are adventurous and are getting it on outside, I recommend dropping the Summer Eve’s wipes in your purse and whipping those bad boys out to freshen up.
A large majority of us will experience strange smells and changes to our bodies after pregnancy. Being informed is the best weapon. May the force be with you in your war against the smell!