Top 3 Questions You’re Embarrassed to Ask Your OB-GYN

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For first-time and veteran mothers alike, pregnancy can bring up a variety of questions that might feel a little awkward asking out loud. The good news is that most women have had those same questions at some point and that there are answers from trained professionals.

 

Here are some questions about pregnancy you may have wanted to ask but felt too nervous to do so:

 

How Likely Is a Bowel Movement During Delivery?

This fear comes up frequently with new mothers, to the point where they can become so fixated on not having a bowel movement that it inhibits their ability to push.

 

It’s actually extremely common to have a bowel movement during labor, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s a simple reason why it happens: the same muscles a woman uses to push a baby out of her uterus are the same ones she uses when having a bowel movement. With the added weight on her colon and rectum as the baby moves through the birth canal, it’s a very natural bodily reaction.

 

While it may seem embarrassing, keep in mind that childbirth is a very private affair. Doctors are not only undaunted by this, but generally expect it. They’re trained professionals and their primary concern is making sure the mother and baby are healthy throughout the entire pregnancy and delivery.

 

Will My Vagina Be Stretched After I Give Birth?

Not really. Believe it or not, vaginas have muscle memory. The vagina is also made to accommodate childbirth; in other words, it stretches during childbirth and then contracts to its normal size. If a woman wants to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, there are Kegel exercises, though make sure to check with a doctor first before trying them.

 

Why Does Sex Hurt After Birth?

Having a baby is hard work! With childbirth comes natural trauma to the vaginal area, and it needs time to heal. It’s natural for the sex drive to decrease, given how exhausting caring for a newborn can be. On top of that, if mothers choose to breastfeed, that can change her hormone levels as well, particularly her estrogen levels. This can lead to problems with lubrication. One potential solution is to use a lubricant, as well as giving the body time to adjust postpartum.

 

If the pain continues to exist months after birth, however, it’s best to speak to a doctor to make sure there aren’t any lasting issues.

9 Natural, Vagina-Friendly Ingredients You Should Look For In Soaps

Dr. Lori Gore-GreenBuying lotions, perfumes, and soaps for your body is already an adventure of trial and error. With that in mind, you have to be even more discriminating if any of that product will come into contact with your vagina.

When purchasing new products, seek those with certain natural ingredients, which won’t be harmful to that delicate area.  The wrong ingredients will affect bacterial balance and/or pH balance and can lead to vaginal dryness,  a yeast infection, or cause an unpleasant stench.

Search for the following ingredients, and steer clear of harsh chemicals when you’re reviewing soaps or beauty items that might be used near or around your vagina.

Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe is very good anti-inflammatory and moisturizer, which can be applied for dryness, and can help to lubricate dry vaginal tissue.

Yogurt: Yogurt can help with infections, odor, and can encourage bacterial balance.

Lemon Leaves: Lemon leaves, because they’re anti-allergic, antibiotic, antimicrobial, is frequently used to eliminate odors and maintain acidic pH.

Essential Oils: Use Chamomile, Lavender, Or Tea Tree Oil: Natural essential odors can be non-hormonal remedies, treating vaginal dryness, or even vaginal atrophy, or muscle cramps.

Baking Soda: In a low quantity, baking soda can help to balance the pH level in your body. It can also reduce odor.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The acidic qualities of apple cider vinegar can restore the acidic quality of the vaginal flora. Adding a few drops to your bath water can help to resolve a number of issues, among them odor issues.

Coconut Oil: Pure coconut oil can soothe irritated tissue, ease itching, and rejuvenate dryness. Quick reminder, coconut oil shouldn’t be used in combination with latex condoms, as it can damage it, putting users at risk of pregnancy and/or infection.

Olive Oil: Olive oil has unsaturated fatty acids, and it can enhance hydration without disrupting the vaginal microbiota.

Honey: Honey is a natural moisturizer, and it’s a humectant and emollient.  It draws moisture from the atmosphere and seals it in the skin. Honey should be diluted with water if you’ll be putting it near your sensitive area.

Be mindful of the concentration of these ingredients, because too much of a good thing can impact vaginal health. If you have any thoughts on other natural ingredients that can be good for the vagina, please feel free to share. 

 

5 Foods to Increase Your Vagina Health

Increase Your Vagina Health | Dr. Lori Gore-GreenThere are many factors to your vaginal health. What you may not realize is that food is one of the largest and easiest to control factors. Whether it’s a smell that you would prefer not to have, dryness, or just not feeling very fresh, food just might be the answer. Taking the time to add certain healthy foods to your diet can greatly improve your well being down there.

So which foods should you be eating and for what reasons?

  1. Garlic

Consuming garlic is a great way to combat vaginal infections. This includes the dreaded vaginal yeast infection. The reason garlic helps heal is because it has strong antibacterial properties. This helps give your body the edge it needs to fight bacterial and fungal infections. Look for ways to incorporate more garlic into your daily diet to not only cure but prevent vaginal infections.

  1. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is highly beneficial for your feminine well-being. Drinking a glass (or two!) of cranberry juice helps your body work hard to fight against harmful bacteria. This makes it a viable option for curing and preventing issues like Urinary tract infections. However, be sure to choose an all natural, no sugar added cranberry juice. High sugar content and unnatural dyes can do the opposite of helping cure your problems.

  1. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds contain phytoestrogens which help increase estrogen levels in the body. This can help your body keep your feminine area healthy. It may also aid in added wetness if you’re feeling a little drier than you should down there. Because flax seeds contain these fantastic phytoestrogens, they are great for your overall female upkeep as well. They are definitely worth taking advantage of!

  1. Kale

Kale is rich in kaempferol which has been shown to help reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Other healthy foods that contain kaempferol include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and green tea. Incorporating these healthy foods into your daily diet is a huge step to taking care of your vagina and overall female health.

  1. Greek Yogurt

Leaving the best for last, Greek yogurt might just be the greatest food you can eat for your vagina! Greek yogurt contains live and active cultures. This good bacteria makes it a super star for helping keep your pH balanced down there. Overall this will aid in keeping your vagina feeling fresh and healthy. If you’re experiencing itchiness, dryness, or just general discomfort, try adding more Greek yogurt to your diet!

It is absolutely vital to take care of your vagina and overall female well-being. Simply adding these five beneficial foods to your diet will go a long way in helping you take care of your own beautiful body today.

Summer Bliss: 6 Tips for a Healthier and Happier Summer for You and Your Body

16937042916_1f0d5765c5_bThe warm summer season has its perks: sun-kissed skin, freeing clothing, and warmth in spades. The sunbaked days unveil an opportunity to shed layered clothing and jackets; simultaneously, countless individuals take to their gyms, parks, and neighborhoods as they attempt to shed pounds in favor of beach-readied bodies. During these hot days, it’s vital that women, men, and children proceed cautiously, consuming water and submitting themselves to safe practices, ensuring that they avoid sun damage during outdoor hours.

Extended, cumulative exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays do a bit more than contribute vitamin D. That direct sun exposure can lead to incidences of skin cancer, with basal and squamous cell carcinoma outpacing incidences of all other cancers combined. More than sun safety, the summer sparks concerns around heat illness, food safety when grilling, swim safety and avoiding bugs.

In addition to increasing water consumption to decrease the risk of heat exhaustion and avoiding bugs to curb the contraction of viruses or illnesses, women should commit to the following actions that promise to maximize comfort during stifling summer days and night, and prevent illness and injury. Be prepared to yourself during warmer weather, vacations, and pool time.

Purchase sunscreen/sunblock: Using sunblock can help to save your son from malformations caused by sun damaging. Skin cancer, which is on the rise, can be life threatening, but more commonly it threatens the quality of life. Members of the public can continue to enjoy outdoor activities, but taking proper care of one’s skin is a matter of being proactive and informed. So, apply it every day, reapply it every three hours all over, including your face, your hands, your scalp, and under your bathing suit (the SPF of regular clothing is only 5 to 6). This important because UV radiation will destroy sunscreen over time, and water will rinse it from you. Avoid sunscreens that are too fragrant, too greasy, or too expensive. Any sunscreen with the protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater should do the trick.

Don’t Use Tanning Beds: Golden skin is certainly attractive, but tanning beds increase the risk of melanoma by 75 percent. Also, tanning beds deliver cancer-causing radiation, leading to poor health and skin damage.

Keep your immune system up: Warm weather doesn’t mean you should dodge vitamins and other supplements. Continue to drink juice, consume vitamins, and get a good amount of rest, so your body is prepared to fight off illnesses and viruses.

Wear Loose Clothing: Rather than wearing snug clothing and fabrics that are synthetic, wear underwear that has a cotton crotch and clothing that’s loose-fitting. Additionally, don’t lounge around in wet clothing or a bathing suit, as that isn’t very good for your vaginal health.

Consider Your Vaginal Health: It’s important to urinate frequently, shower often with mild soap, and stay away from vaginal sprays and douches. Douching can upset your natural pH balance and it can irritate the vagina by washing away healthy bacteria. Also, don’t use perfumed products or scented tampons, Also, if you’re experiencing vaginal discomfort, abnormal discharge, and burning during urination. Approximately 75 percent of women will have at least one vaginal infection in their lifetime, and women face additional threat of that during the summer months, where the rise in temperatures leads to a subsequent increase in sweat. Be sure to change your tampons and sanitary napkins to keep the vagina clean and odor-free. Also, keep in mind that any sort of hair removal should take place at least 24-48 hours before enjoying a swim at the beach or the pool.

Take Care of Your Skin: Don’t skimp on your normal skin and hair care regimen. Make sure you consistently clean and moisturize your skin, so it remains supple and shining.

And, remember, hydrate!