16/05/2018 15:27 SAST | Updated 16/05/2018 15:27 SAST

7 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Lady Parts

...and no, it does not involve douching, in any form.

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Women on Twitter got a gentle reminder this week about things all women should know when taking care of their lady parts — because, well, how many of us were taught Vagina Maintenance 101 by our parents?

From yeast infections to natural elasticity, @_rhitta had some reminders and lessons that many probably needed to hear — and it is all backed by health experts.

1. You do not pee out of the vagina

Despite this, the word vagina is often used to refer to a woman's entire genital area, as opposed to the more anatomically accurate "vulva".

2. Stop douching!

The vagina cleans itself in the form of vaginal discharge. It also has a unique, natural scent. A strong odour, however, can be a sign of infection — if this is the case, it's best to contact a healthcare professional.

3. Yeast infections are real

In fact, eating healthily in general helps, but Greek yoghurt is particularly recommended — as it helps boost good bacteria, which in turn help with vaginal problems such as yeast infections, unlike sugar. Cranberry juice also comes highly recommended in fighting urinary tract infections.

4. Go commando, or use cotton underwear

Your vagina should breathe, so using the right underwear allows air around it. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, normally do not allow the skin to breathe.

5. Groom pubic hair regularly

Humidity and dampness owing to thicker hair can be a breeding ground for infection.

6. Vaginas are naturally elastic

The vagina is highly elastic and made to contract and expand. After sex particularly, the vagina tightens and returns to its normal state. It doesn't remain chronically "loose" or become looser if a woman has sex again, pointed out sex researcher Dr Justin Lehmiller. "Indeed, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that women who regularly have vaginal intercourse ultimately develop 'cavernous' vaginas."

7. Wipe from front to back, not vice versa

Also take care to change panty liners, pads and tampons regularly, as they are not intended to be used for long periods, recommend health experts. They can prevent your skin from breathing, resulting in irritations and possible infections, especially because menstrual blood stays so close in contact with the skin. It is advisable to change every three to four hours, regardless of whether it's soaked or not.

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