There’s nothing worse than being trapped on an island and waking up to that, shall we say, uncomfortable feeling… down there. What’s a lady to do when she’s far away from home, her doctor, and natural remedies to relieve the situation?

Smiling women wearing bikinis at urban poolside

After dealing with a chronic imbalance for a long time — due to stress, poor dietary choices, weird soaps, the use of latex condoms, and all kinds of different environmental factors, I drove myself crazy with products that failed me. I learned to become my own health advocate with the help of skilled OB/GYNs and homeopaths, which determined that a natural approach to women’s health would work best for me.

There are SO many ways to care for your body and a ton of misinformation out there that leads to common infections and irritations, especially chronic ones. After personally experiencing (and being frustrated) with the dreaded “feminine care” aisle, I took matters into my own hands and created Love Wellness: a women’s wellness company with a mission of providing women with total body health and meaningful wellness solutions through honest, natural, and doctor-recommended products and education.

So what can you do to optimize your own body, especially during the summer months? Here are five self-care tips the Love Wellness ladies swear by:

1. Take a daily probiotic formulated for women’s health. Our vaginas are full of good bacteria that help to keep you infection-free because they create an acidic environment that kill bad bacteria and viruses. A lot of women struggle to maintain this good bacteria because of a lack of good bacteria in their gut — the home of the immune system. The two are believed to be connected, so taking a daily probiotic specifically formulated to contain strains of lactobacilli that occur naturally in the vagina may help keep your numbers up and infections at bay.

2. Switch to a condom designed for women. The condoms you typically find at the store are truly horrific, full of chemicals that should be wiped clean from this beautiful earth and never put into the vagina. They wreak havoc on the vagina’s environment, creating a compromised system that invites in infection and irritation. Our go-to brand is Sustain because it doesn’t contain glycerin, parabens, benzocaine, or lidocaine.

3. Get out of your wet bathing suit. You’ve heard this one before, but have you ever considered why it’s important to change out of a wet bathing suit when you have the opportunity? A wet, warm environment is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that hang out in your bathing suit, providing a perfect opportunity for a yeast infection to flourish. The chemicals found in pool water can further compromise your good bacteria — so rinse off in clean water, and change into something dry when you have a moment. Same goes for wet gym clothes too!

4. Sleep without underwear. Free-balling for ladies, woo! We highly suggest getting your zzz’s in nothing but your birthday suit or a pair of summer pajamas to keep you (and your lady parts) cool. Wearing underwear can trap moisture and create an environment for bad bacteria to grow down there. Do yourself a favor and allow your lady parts to be dry and clean in the fresh summer night’s air. It also just feels nice to be free of restrictive clothing!

5. Avoid everyday soap. You should NEVER put soap inside your vagina, the gorgeous self-cleaning oven that it is! Using a cleanser externally (on the vulva, for instance) is okay though — as long as it’s pH balanced to match the vaginal environment and made from 100 percent natural ingredients. Why? The chemicals found in everyday soap can be hugely problematic for the vaginal microbiome, easily leading to infections and irritations. Additionally, most soaps are also formulated with a pH between 9-10. The vagina’s naturally acidic pH is 3.8-4.5, and when it’s thrown off, your good bacteria are S.O.L. If you want to clean up and feel confident, here’s a safer alternative specifically made to balance pH.

For more info on natural, approachable options for feminine care, check out Love Wellness and get a behind-the-scenes peek on Instagram @LoBosworth.

What are your best female health tips? Share them with us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)

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