Staying Healthy & pH Balanced (Down There)
Today's post may not be for everyone. I am teaming up with RepHresh, the maker of feminine hygiene products, to discuss the importance of pH balance and vaginal health, and I chose to participate in this campaign because it has helped me battle infertility. Boys ... you might want to skip this one. Just sayin'.
Those who have been following Life In Leggings for more than a hot minute already know that I cover a variety of personal posts on this blog that touch on subjects others might not cover. Pregnancy envy, bathroom finds, infertility struggles, dealing with miscarriage, you just never know what might pop up here. My husband and I also moved to New York City without full-time jobs. I guess you could say that we live by the "go big or go home" philosophy. I've never been a very private person (which, I guess is an advantage considering that I blog for a living), and I voluntarily choose to share the bad with the good because that's life. Today I am taking a big leap out of my comfort zone to talk about something that has truly impacted my life over the last few years: vaginal health. Yes, you read correctly. We're going there.
Before Scott and I ventured out into the awesome, yet incredibly frustrating world of trying to conceive, I didn't really put much thought into what was going on down there. If everything seemed to be in the norm, I had no need to visit my gynecologist outside of my regular yearly exams. Of course, I have experienced things every now and then that aren't normal, as I am human. We all do, and if you say you haven't, then I would consider you to be pretty darn lucky. I have always been very aware of my body and what it's doing. I think that awareness started because I was a dancer. I practically grew up wearing a leotard and tights six days a week as I stared into a mirror while being corrected in ballet classes. I am amazed at what I can train my body to do to reach fitness goals, and I have always been big on showering as soon as I can after sweating or working out. It never occurred to me that I could be experiencing a pH imbalance until the last five years or so.
Every now and then, I can tell that something is off, and it usually takes a prescription from my OB/GYN for me to feel back to normal again. Over the last year and a half of trying to conceive, I have been more aware on what is going on down south than I ever have before - I mean, you practically have to. I keep a detailed daily diary of everything in my smartphone apps. (I personally use Glow and Fertility Friend.) It asks you to track your basal body temperature, whether or not you were sexually active that day, how you're feeling, if you exercised, and finally, your ovulation cycle according to your vagina. It's just what you do. And no, it's not fun ... it's annoying and stressful. To make a long story short, we found out that I often have a pH imbalance. If something isn't quite right and my levels are out of whack, it makes conceiving a child harder than it already is. Knowing this, my OB/GYN recommends that I use RepHresh to stay balanced on a weekly basis. This really freaked me out at first. I mean, really? Having to depend on using something to stay "regular" on a weekly basis just doesn't seem right. But, I can assure you that it's really not that big of a deal. And, in the end, if it means that I am more stable, then I'm in. Today I am teaming up with RepHresh to talk about the importance of balancing vaginal health, and I am sharing some of the tips that I picked up from a recent Google Hangout video chat with other bloggers and our moderator, Naama.
Some of the biggest takeaways include:
- Soap doesn't always cut it. Regular bar soap isn't made to keep you clean everywhere. It's almost better to just use warm water to clean yourself, unless you have a product specifically made for that purpose. (See the RepHresh intimate wash line.)
- Take probiotics! Probiotics are "good" or "friendly" bacteria taken as a dietary supplement. Certain probiotics can even help maintain feminine health by balancing yeast and bacteria*. (There is a great RepHresh probiotic supplement!)
- Yeast infections typically don't have a smell associated with them. So if you smell something weird going on, then it's probably not a yeast infection. You should try balancing your pH first, and if it persists, call your gynecologist to recommend a proper treatment plan.
- Blood has a higher pH than your regular vaginal canal. So your bacteria levels can be easily thrown off after your period. Rephresh gel is great to use after your period to rebalance the pH and help you feel clean. You can check out more of the chat highlights here!
I have to admit that after attending the Google Hangout, I realized that I could be doing much more to support my feminine health. Since then, I have picked up a probiotic, I use an intimate wash, and I plan on actually using the pH balancing gel on the regular. It is what it is, y'all.
Thank you for reading and opening your mind to discuss something that is often considered taboo. I'm very happy that I decided to pursue this campaign because I learned a lot and can personally recommend the brand and products to all of you. Here's hoping we can kick that annoying pH imbalance out of here for good! #byefelicia