So True So False: Old Wive’s Tales Debunked
By Dr. Jessica Shepherd, gynecologist and women’s health expert
When it comes to women’s health, it’s hard to know what to believe. While the beauty world is saturated with tips and tutorials on how to contour, basic facts on a woman’s sweet spot is unclear. Much of what we know is based on old wives’ tales, leaving many women confused about what is fact and what is fiction. SweetSpot Labs is breaking this barrier and with the help of Dr. Jessica Shepherd, MD, OB/GYN Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, we are giving you the truth on old wive’s tales to set the record straight on your body:
Old wives Tales: So True or False
WASH YOUR VAGINA WITH SOAP: FALSE
The vagina has a very sensitive lining that can be irritated easily by using harsh cleansers and bar soaps in the shower. These products usually have the wrong pH, are heavily fragranced and use glycerin, a sugar based ingredient that yeast loves. I always tell my patients to never douche or wash inside the vagina – it cleans itself – so let Mother Nature do its job.
Wash the outside of your sweet spot with a natural, pH balanced, glycerin free wash – like Sweet Spot Labs Gentle Washes. Dry the skin by patting gently with your own clean towel to decrease moisture and bacteria growth.
SLEEP WITHOUT UNDERWEAR: TRUE
Having the vagina and vulva exposed to air can help reduce irritation and discomfort. Clothing that helps air circulate will help keep the vulva and vagina dry so try and choose made with 100% cotton and avoid wearing pantyhose or tights.
SHAVING WITH A DRY RAZOR IS FINE: FALSE
Dry shaving the pelvic region can potentially cut and irritate skin. Softened skin and hair is a must for good shave. Use a shave cream to lubricate the area and provide adequate razor slip and shaving should be the last thing you do in the shower so skin is soft. Old razors harbor bacteria and should be changed out weekly.
CRANBERRY JUICE HELPS UTIS: TRUE
Cranberry products have been shown to act as a non-antibiotic alternative for helping to prevent urinary tract infections. Low-sugar alternatives help promote good urinary tract health. This can include unsweetened cranberry juice, cranberry juice cocktail, and cranberry extract tablets.
INDULGE IN CHOCOLATE DURING YOUR PERIOD: FALSE, BUT OK!
Chocolate cravings might actually be a response to the stress of oncoming menstruation and since chocolate is a culturally reinforced way to deal with that stressor, some women naturally gravitate to it. However there is no significant link between levels of estrogen and the types of cravings – so your body doesn’t NEED it but it is okay to indulge sometimes with chocolate during periods
DON’T EAT SUGAR WHEN YOU HAVE A YEAST INFECTIONS: TRUE
Yeast grows best in warm, moist environments, so trying to decrease those environments may help limit infections as eating foods that are very high in sugar has been associated with yeast infections.
DON’T HANG OUT IN GYM CLOTHES AFTER YOU WORKOUT OR A WET SWIMSUIT: TRUE
Lingering in wet clothing or gym clothes after a work-out can cause more vaginal infections and irritations. This is especially true during the summer months where water sports, swimming and sweaty work out sessions are more prevalent. Limit wearing tight work-out clothes or wet swim wear for a prolonged period of time and wear skirts or loose clothes without underwear when at home to decrease these infections.