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wispering podcast episode 4, with symone elena
Wispers

What is Normal?

By Symone Elena

🗣️ wis·per·ing /ˈ(h)wispər-ing: verb

Why no "h"? We're changing the conversation around sex, our bodies and reproductive health.


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Welcome to The Wispering Podcast where our goal is to change the volume on some of life's most difficult conversations. This podcast is brought to you by wisp, an online telehealth community for women and men looking for reliable and discreet online care for their sexual and reproductive health needs. Log on to hellowisp.com and get same day, prescriptions for UTI, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, oral herpes (AKA, cold sores) and many more. Medication can be picked up at a local pharmacy or you can have meds shipped in discreet packaging directly to your home. Online consultations only take a few minutes and all medication is prescribed by US licensed doctors for all fifty states.
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to The Wispering Podcast. Again, this is your host, Symone Elena. So today I kind of want to talk about wellness. And in terms of what's normal. And what I'm talking about with what's normal is how we tend to characterize what's regular and what's not when it comes to vaginas. And everyone seems to think they know what smells are right, what tastes are right, all of those things. But again, a lot of people don't know anything, in the famous phrase of, "If it don't taste like water, or smell like water, it's not normal." And clearly y'all just don't know anything. So we're here to just debunk a few different things.
So normalcy, it's a word that just carries a lot of weight. And we often ask ourselves if we're normal, in reference to our behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and most of all, our bodies. So, vaginas are especially loaded with just societal baggage, and we grew up hearing that they smell bad, they don't look right, or they spread disease. And notice we do have a lot of like, quote unquote, slang terms for your vulva and your vagina, but far fewer for penises. Like you rarely have any type of terms of that, but it's just no wonder that a lot of us who do have vaginas, we just find ourselves constantly wondering if what we got going on down there is normal or not. And it's actually just, just less important for you to understand what's normal for everyone, and more important for you to know what's normal for you because everybody's body is completely different. Just again, it just boils down to anatomy at that point. And there's a huge range and what doctors and medical professionals consider to be normal and healthy vaginas and vulvas cuz y'all, y'all gotta understand there are like, multiple parts to a vagina. And I actually had to like break this down to my nephew, but we'll talk about that later. They can all have a different look, smell a different type of discharge, and still be perfectly healthy. So it's just vital to your health to know your own body to understand what's normal for you, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Like you need to know yourself better than anybody else can tell you or that anybody else does. And also this way you can quickly identify when something is off.
So just like, a quick segue back to my nephew, he was taking a bath. He's what, Brandon is like, nine, I think, yeah. So he's in the shower, and like I go in the bathroom, and he starts asking me about, you know, a female being on your period, I was like, are really having this conversation right now? So he was like "Mama," he was like, "When you're on your cycle," he was like, "Do you pee? Or do you bleed?" And it took me a minute, because I'm like, I feel like we're having the you know, the birds and the bees talk. But I was like, "Baby, when a woman's on her cycle, it's definitely blood." And he was like, "Okay, so like, where does the blood come out of." So, having to explain to a nine year old that there's multiple holes, multiple places that things can come out of, sometimes it can be simultaneous! So if you're like, you know, if you're on your period, and you're peeing, blood, 9 times out of 10, is gonna come out with it. So I'm, I'm breaking all this down to him. So he was like, "So if that's where the blood comes out of," he was like, "Where does the pee come out of?" and I'm like, Oh my gosh. Like, granted, I love how inquisitive he is, and he was not grossed out about it. Like, I'm like, so close to raising the most perfect kid ever. But he was really asking about all these different holes, and it made me realise like a lot of men in my life, don't even know that, you know, there's an area for you to pee. There's an area for your blood to come out. And when you're not when you're going number two, there's an area for that, too. So this was just a really great learning moment. And then after I told him, I was like, you know, you're almost at the age where you're going to be experiencing girls your age who're going to be hitting puberty, because I think I was about nine or ten when I got mine, I know I was in the fifth grade. And I just wanted to remind him like, if you ever experience, you know, a girl and she has her cycle at school, like I want you to be that that one person to set the standard of: this is normal, this is okay. And not to make her feel like she's weird or something's wrong, like it's as normal as possible. And I just wanted to make sure that he knew what signs to look for and how to protect girls no matter, you know, what they look like or who they are, and whether or not he knows them or not, it's always to protect women by any means necessary. So that was an amazing learning moment. So guys out there if you if you don't know anything about the cycle, and you have a significant other, talk to her. If you have sisters or females that are best friends, like I know there's some woman in your life outside of your mom, that you can be so fully aware about this with.
But let's jump back in. So one of the biggest indicators of vaginal health y'all is odor. And I know it can tend to be, like, a really taboo conversation because everybody just thinks they know everything, but just as a general rule, vaginal discharge has a mild like, musky (not musty with the T, but musky with the K) scent that is not unpleasant. Like, it's not unpleasant, it's normal. And this means that a slight smell is perfectly natural. So any especially bad or strong smell or just something unusual is a sign that things are out of balance and that you should go get yourself checked out. So I do want you to always make sure like, before you get in the shower to just give yourself a quick smell to like, make sure things are going okay, and I even had like, a gynecologist tell me that if you want to just kind of like stick your finger into your vagina and kind of just clean out the discharge that way, with like your index finger, that's perfectly normal. But y'all please do not put anything else up in there. Like, that's not what that's for. And it's typical to smell down there, like I was saying, just right before your shower, that's the best time to do it. Or if you want to wait till after that's even better, because that way you've cleansed yourself and you're able to just get exactly what you need to smell because sometimes when you've- before you got in the shower and you've been working out or whatever the case may be, even sweaty, there's other factors that are jumping into that. So it's sometimes as just to do it after depending on how your day was. But your vagina resides in a warm, moist environment (fucking hate that word) packed with lymph nodes and glands, and it has its own carefully balanced ecosystem complete with its own unique odor producing bacterial flora. And you may not even notice your vaginal odor. But when you do pick up the scent, it may be because of your period, because you just had sexual intercourse, or just a host of other odor producing reasons. So there's, there's various factors that play into your scent, you just kind of got to know what is at hand at that point.
And I actually even had this when I was working at Outback when I was like, 17 or 18 for like, maybe a month. This bartender, she had to be a little bit older than me, I'm probably, I'm pretty sure she had to be like in her 30s. But I don't know how we got on the topic, but she was telling me, she's like, "Yeah, your vagina is a self-cleaning oven." And that has literally been engraved in my brain since she told me. At first I didn't know what the hell she was talking about, but she was basically saying like, you know, she's tired of seeing girls in the store grabbing things that they didn't need to be grabbing to cleanse themselves because of you know, what society was telling them is the right way to clean your vagina. And she was like, "Nah, you don't need to do all that. Like it literally cleans itself." And she was like, that's one of the main reasons for your vaginal discharge. It's basically just pushing all of that stuff out that it's fighting up against. And again, if you notice a strong, anything unusual, odor, especially if it's accompanied by itching or burning, that is definitely an indication of something that requires some extra medical attention. So please don't ignore those types of things. It's very important that you go see a doctor, whether it's at urgent care or your gynecologist to make sure that everything's okay because again, if you're ignoring any symptoms that you're coming across, because you might feel embarrassed, but you don't really know what it is, don't take yourself into the kitchen. Don't take yourself to that aisle with all these different products that think you can cure it, just go get it checked out so you know exactly what it is and then that way you can target it. So I kind of want to dive into what odors are healthy and which ones are not healthy.
So something light, let's do healthy first. So I pretty much have like maybe about three or four that are pretty healthy and normal that I really want to break down so you understand. And this first one I know is going to be kind of weird, but sour, like sour odors, not like sour candy, but y'all know what I mean by sour. That is like one of the main odors that's actually healthy and with that, the good bacteria just helps keep your vagina healthy by producing like a lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide substance. And it's just, it just basically helps to keep any harmful bacteria at bay. Now this does not mean to put any peroxide or any lactic acid that you, you know, you use on your skin down there — it produces its own, it don't need any help. And they actually help maintain your vaginal pH levels by keeping at the acidic side, so that's where the sour odor/taste might come from. So that acidity is usually between 3.8 and like 4.5 for anybody who's non-menopausal, and between 4.5 and 6 for those who are menopausal. So to ward off the overgrowth of yeast and other harmful bacteria. So basically, acids equal the sour flavour or odour you may taste or smell. And lemons are a great example of that because they're so acidic, they are sour, so that's something that you should definitely look for. Now, when it comes to the taste. I'm not really getting into that on how you should find out if it's sour or not that way, but we're just gonna go with the same for right now. You can use your imagination for the taste aspect, but moving on.
Now metallic: I've only experienced that on my cycle. And a metallic odor could honestly just be due to blood from your period or just, you know, any light bleeding after sex that's traveling through your vaginal canal. So again, if there is some random bleeding, again, if it's not normal, something might have torn during sex, like there's all these different factors so just keep an eye on that, but blood does contain iron which explains the smell of the metal. And people sometimes have described blood is tasting like pennies, I will never know. But I do know there are some people who have said that before. And it could also be just from coming from in contact with semen and that can definitely affect your vaginas pH balance and thus for your odor. So, I know having you know, unprotected sex is top tier for some people. But again, semen does affect your pH which can cause odor, which it can cause a lot of other things that you may just not want to deal with. So again, I'm always going to advocate for using condoms by any means, but do you boo.
And next is bitter sweet. If your vaginal odor just comes off smelling like, a little like tangy gingerbread. Like, if you've had a gingerbread before it's just, think of like, little zestier tangier version of it. Your normal bacteria may be in a bit of a flux, but it's basically affecting your pH balance and therefore the aroma. So if you got bittersweet, it's okay, but your normal bacteria just might be off just a little bit.
And then lastly for the healthy is "chemical." Now a chemical or bleach like vaginal odor could be attributed to some urine in your underwear or around your vulva. So just note that this could also be a sign of a bacterial infection so. I have never in my life experienced that or known anybody, I don't know if they just don't, you know, that's something they didn't want to tell me, but to smell something chemical or bleach like yeah, that's. that's a little intense. So again, when you're using the bathroom, just make sure you wipe really, really good like don't rush. Don't be peeing in the bushes and then just pull up your panties and like I know it gets hard out there for some of y'all who drink and, you know, life happens but at the end of the day, you still need to make sure you're taking care of yourself whether you're sober or not, whether you're rushing or not, like you got to take care of your girl because she is the leading cause to many other health factors that may be affecting you down the line. So that pretty much is, like, you got to take care of the Queen. That's literally what it boils down to.
Now for unhealthy. Anything that I do bring up, if you do notice this as you're listening to this podcast or even down the line, like I do want y'all to take notes. You may want to book an appointment with your gynecologist like I'm saying you may, but in all seriousness you need to actually do it. And really the first unhealthy one that everybody talks about a lot is a fishy odor. And again, do not feel ashamed, do not feel bad, it is okay. We can help you take care of that, but you got to know what you're looking for and don't ignore it. So if the odor is foul, y'all, like if it smells like dead fish, somethin' ain't right. And it could be a sign of something way more serious than what you think it is, like not everything is a yeast infection, which you think you can just go in Target and just by that Monistat (which I do not recommend) and you can just fix it. No. Bacterial vaginosis, or BV what a lot of people just know it as, is just one possibility. And again, BV is just the bacterial infection that occurs when your healthy lactobacilli get out of balance and grow too much, when you have too much of that, that is where BV comes in. And a lot of those symptoms include vaginal discharge and yes, we do say that vaginal discharge is okay, and it's normal, but when there's way too much of it, and it has a strong like fishy smell, on top of that itching and burning when you use the bathroom? Now it's too many variables that are not normal. So with BV that is easily treated with antibiotics, but you have to make sure you're tackling it when it first shows up or when you first start noticing. That's why I'm still recommending those six month-getting, getting those testings done normally and frequently just so that you can just make sure that none of that- because with BV, that's transferable. Just the same way with trichomoniasis, like trich and BV are so transferable. And it's so hard to find that in men with tests so they never really know that they have it until they have sex with somebody unprotected. And sometimes you can get it when you do you use condoms. So that is why it's like, don't even have sex, but um, yeah, but with trich, it's a sexually transmitted infection. And it's another possible explanation for heavy, fishy, vaginal odors. So women with trich may notice, you know, genital itching, burning, redness, and sometimes even soreness. And even when you pee, there could be some discomfort. And with the discharge, it could be clear, white, yellow or even like a greenish color, especially if it's green. And not like a dark green, like it can be like a really pastel-ish, greenish or yellow color. But that's just one of the indications. You just gotta also pay attention to any soreness or any discomfort that you're feeling when you're using the bathroom. And even when you're not like, when you're just walking around and you feel uncomfortable. But again, trich is treatable with antibiotics, which is great. They'll usually give you like, a two week amount and sometimes it clears up within like a day or two, but they still want you to take the antibiotics, just to make sure that it doesn't come back. And I will say antibiotics, since they blast out all bacteria like, it does not come against good or bad. Like if there's bacteria in the vicinity, it's taking it all out. So sometimes when you're taking antibiotics, you can end up getting a yeast infection because it's completely cleared out that good bacteria that you needed. So I do recommend taking probiotics if you're taking antibiotics at the same at the same time, just so that way you can kind of replenish that good. And your body just isn't out there protected with nothing to help fight it.
So, I hate this word, but rotten, like is it even really possible? Yes, it is. But a rotten odor can be similar to, like, meat, like a really bad meaty smell. And like, okay, a great example is a forgotten tampon. That could be the cause of like a really putrid vaginal odor because like, ya'll, you know how blood when it gets old and dried up, it just gives off a scent. Like if you've never smelt that, thank God, but I've known, I've known people to forget to take out their tampon, and it's been in there like for a couple days, and I'm like, What are you doing? And that's one thing I don't really like between cups and tampons. Like, you're pretty much just putting a plunger up there and leaving it there instead of allowing it to free flow on its own. So I'm really going to advocate more for just pads. I know they feel like a diaper. But people do be forgetting like they will fall asleep or whatever the case may be and really forget that something was in there until like a day or two later. And I'm just like, bro, like, that's not okay, because that can actually cause death. Like I know y'all see that little indication disclaimer on the back of the tampon boxes, like they literally tell you to change it every three to four hours Max, because you can cause some really bad health issues. So it honestly happens more than you think and it will also need to be removed by a healthcare provider. Like kid you not, you will have to go get that removed. And I kind of have like a- do I even want to tell this story?
Alright, um, so I told it on my close friend's story like maybe a month or two ago but I was on my cycle and I was like, hmm, I'm going to try out cups because I, personally, what I do for work, I- it's just stressful with being on a plane and trying to change your pad and all that stuff, like it's hard to do that 1) in the airplane lavatories. They're disgusting; I don't want to be in this little box trying to do all that. And then by the time we land it's super hard to go into the airport because sometimes we're late and we have to, you know, we have to report for the next flight. But anyways, so I listen to one of my friends and they're like, "Oh my god, you should try a cup! Like, it's so great. You can leave it in just a little bit longer than normal because it takes up more on your period." I'm like, Alright, bro. So me being me, I tried it right? And I feel like I might have, like, a wide set vagina, I don't know, but I think my vagina like, deadass ate the damn cup because I cannot find it. So anybody that knows me, my nails are like the most important thing to me like, those are bae. And I'm, I'm Queen of XL nails. So I'm in the shower, trying to find the cup to pull it out. And I was like, bruh, I was washing my hands off and I'm like, why does, why does it feel like water is touching my skin? I looked down, one of my nails is missing. And I'm on a layover for work, right? So I was like, I know I did not just break a nail inside of my vagina, like there's just no way. So I'm looking down on the ground in the shower because it's um, it wasn't a tub or anything. It was like a walk-in shower. So I'm looking around the drain, there was no way that it could fall down the drain. So I like literally start crying because I'm like, there's a nail in my vagina. And I'm on my period and I'm thinking I'm gonna die because this is acrylic and I'm like, What if it dissolves in my vagina? Like, this is how I'm gonna die. Like this is gonna be my obituary. So I call my best friend Wes who's- he's doing his residency right now to be a doctor and I FaceTime him like, there's a nail in my vagina, I don't know where it is. And so he's trying to walk me through how to get it out. This is uncomfortable because I have a whole man telling me, "Alright, so you need to squat down super low, stick your hand back up in there, and try to find the nail," because he's like, if not, he's like, you know, your vagina is not like a black hole and then once something goes in there it just won't come out. It's just that it's really deep and shit can get lost. So I'm digging y'all and I find it, I find it, but then I think my vagina swallowed it because then it disappeared. Now I feel it nowhere, like I'm moving my hands left and right, it's nowhere to be found so at this point it's like The Shining in the bathroom because it's like, bro, this is Day 1 period. Like this is not cute and it's disgusting and there's just too much going on in here. So I'm in the fetal position on my bed, crying talking about I'm gonna die, like, and he's laughing like he thinks this shit is funny, but it wasn't. And he was like, You need to go to urgent care to get it out. I'm in a country ass town like, nah we not doing this. I'm like, I'm not going into some strange, like, urgent care. It'd be like hey, can you get this out of me? I don't know these people. So he's like well, if you're not gonna do this, he's like you're gonna have to go back home and go to your gynecologist. So guess who called out of work? I did. And of course I'm on a trip so when I call out they have to find somebody else to take over my trip, and crew scheduling just was not fooling with me. So they ended up telling me, "Hey, you just got to find your own way home since you're technically not at base." Oh, my God. So, commuted home. Called my gynecologist and the girl at the front desk, she was like yeah, Dr. M is not going to be available till Wednesday. Y'all it was Sunday. So yeah, no, I wasn't doing that. So I was like, "Yeah, can you tell Dr. M that I have a nail inside of my vagina and I'm not waiting till Wednesday?" So the girl just got quiet and she's like, "Okay, I'll be right back." So sis was gone for like, two minutes, she got back on the phone. She said, "Dr. M said you can come like as soon as possible and she'll help you out," and I was like, Okay, that's what I thought she was gonna do, because my gynecologist has held me down since I was like, 16. So she knows all of my business, all of it. So I get there, and everybody in the office is just looking at me real ignant, like, this girl really just got a nail broke into her vagina. So I go in the room. Doctor comes in there and she's trying to make me feel better, telling me, she's like, "Symone, your fingernail is like the least of the things that I've had to pull out." She's like, I've had to pull out cups, I've had to pull out tampons, all type of things. So she's like, it's okay. So she ended up getting it out. Like, she put her hand in there, you know, dug around for like maybe 30 seconds and she pulled it out. And she cleaned it and gave it to me as a souvenir so, I don't know where it is, but she put it in a biohazard bag and gave it to me to keep.
So yeah, y'all um don't get stuff lost up in there and don't stick things that don't really need to be in there, and please change your tampons and your cups out. Like, it will cause a scent that you do not want to have and when you're on your period it's only 10 times worse. So again, we're going to advocate for just regular pads. If you're really feeling fluffly, like get a Depend that might help. I've never tried it, but I heard they lit and we just Keep it moving from there. So again, if you have any issues like that (which I pray you don't), please go to your doctor and have it removed. Do not try to do it yourself, do not be like me and call my doctor friends and ask them how to get it out. Like, just don't do that.
So yeah, let's move on to, to discharges. So the amount, y'all, the amount and texture of discharge experience will vary over the course of like, your menstrual cycle. Like even when you're on your period, you might not even have it at all, and it's normal, and it's expected, so don't start freaking out if you're like, Oh my god, like I'm on my period, and I don't see anything, it's because you bleedin so you're not gonna see it. But at times, you may experience more or less and it may be thin or watery, or thicker and more creamy, like, it just depends. So the odor just may vary. Although any smells that are particularly like, strong or unpleasant, could be the cause for concern, we're just going to reiterate that again. But despite the typical variation, there are a few discharge signs that I do want you to watch out for.
So we're going to jump back into the the color aspect. So if it's green, or grey — now, I don't think everybody's taking color theory 101 but we knew we do know the basic color. So if it's green, any variation of green, I don't care if it's like dark green, which I've never seen before, but if it's like a pastel green or like a pastel, almost dark grey, that's a little problem. So a healthy discharge will typically be clear or white. Grey or green, especially if it's accompanied by a strong odor can be a sign of an infection, again, like BV or an STI. So we're just gonna nip that in the bud, get it checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Like, don't think your body's doing paint by numbers, it's not right, it's not okay, go get it fixed. And if the discharge is chunky and it's you know, throwing in those colors, the chunkiness, I would say it's kind of like cottage cheese. Yes. Okay, so that's literally like the best way to describe that texture. And no odor can be a sign of yeast infection if it has that texture, but it just doesn't smell like anything. But there could again be no odor at all. And you could have like a bready or like yeast smell, like if you've ever made bread before, if you've ever been like to a baker y'all know with that, that bready or fresh out of the oven like yeasty smell smells like, so hence where the name yeast infection comes from. So you can resolve that on your own. But if yours isn't a yeast infection, or if the symptoms are a little bothersome, that's when you'll need to go to a doctor. And so that's why I always talk about how you got to kind of differentiate between BV and yeast infections because sometimes the symptoms can be almost the same. But there's just little nuances and variants that make them completely separate. So I don't want you to go into the store and try to treat a yeast infection and then you see that the symptoms are either getting worse or it's not subsiding. And guess what? You really got BV. So first thing first, just go get a test done. So like we already talked about it in the previous episode of different places and different options that you have for getting tested. You know, if you don't have insurance, or even if you do like, still use free options, if you know your copay, or if your deductible or anything like that is just still way too much. But remember, do not self diagnose, just go get it taken care of.
Now douching I, like, for as long as I can remember, even in like fifth grade when, and this still might be weird, but we had like a sex ed class when I was in elementary school and I know I'm not making this up because when I did get my first cycle, I like pulled out this pamphlet that I had gotten and it was like a pamphlet and like a pad or a tampon they had given me and this was at my elementary school. They were talking to us about this. Sanders elementary school. So we did learn that douching is a big no no. Like, I don't even know why they're still being able to sell this in stores. And apparently, people are still buying it. But y'all, please don't douche, like, and I know a lot of the media messages imply that, you know, vaginas are unsavory, or they're distasteful, or just gross. But there are plenty of ads out there that are stating that vaginas need to be douched regularly to manage the smell and discharge. And y'all that is not true. Again. Douching — no, like, by any means necessary. I don't care if your grandma talks about how she- like, no, they're not always right, don't do it. And doctors even recommend against douching at all, as the vagina, agai,n is a self-cleaning oven. Like, I won't even say oven, it's just self-cleaning. And basically douching just interferes with that natural process. When you're force cleaning something that cleans itself you're just doing way too much of it and you're throwing it out of whack and it's confusing your vagina. And yes, your vagina has its own mind and it operates on its own. So it maintains a balance of bacteria, which I was talking about earlier, which aids in maintaining an acidic environment and that's what you do want, you want that acidity. And the acidic environment is crucial in protecting the vagina from infections and irritation. So again, that's why I was saying, take those probiotics to bring in the good bacteria even if you don't have an infection, it is always good to just keep that level up. So when you do, you know, when you do mess up that balance or upset it, it can cause problems, again, such as yeast infections and BV. And there's a myth that douching helps to lower risk of getting an STD. I don't really know who said that and 99% sure that is a lie. But you know, hey, yeah, doing that after sex, douching before or after, does not, it does not prevent STIs or STDs and you know, sometimes STIs can lead STDs, that's pretty much the difference between the two. And douching just removes some of that normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from the infections in this and actually does increase your risk of getting an STI, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. So it just makes me upset that I had like, will go in the store to get pads and I will see like a whole rack of all these douching items. Even, um, I don't know if it's Summer's Eve or St. Ives, whatever that that cleansing wash everybody used to use back in high school, like they got the wash, but then they also have douching products too. And it just irritates me. But because the process of douching forces fluid up into the vagina, it can also carry harmful bacteria which has been linked to infections and BV. So if you have something harmful in your vagina, and you're douching, that fluid that you're pushing up in there is pushing up everything that's in your vagina, including that bad bacteria and so often women who do douche like once a week or more, they're like five times more likely to develop BV than women who do not. So when these bad bacteria travels to the uterus or the fallopian tubes, your ovaries, it can cause some serious medical issues such as issues during pregnancy, PID, which is the pelvic inflammatory disease, and also infertility.
So, despite this, there is approximately one in five women in the US who douche and I really want ya'll to talk to your friends, your sisters, like, have these conversations and normalize them. Like I know we put so much emphasis on vaginal health and associating it with cleanliness and all that it's- just have these conversations ya'll, like it really needs to be open dialogue at this point. And the safest way to minimise vaginal odor is just by washing the external vaginal area during regular baths or showers. And using a very small like, en poco, use a small amount of mild unscented soap or lots of water. Like I know y'all love your Bath and Body Works, your body washes, like we used to call them the "smell goods." But you don't need to do it, your baby smells good on her own, like she don't need no extra help. And again I'm going to stress I wish there was like a diagram, actually want to shout out to Google the vagina so that you can see the chart of what every area is because some people don't know what the labia is, or the clitoris, or the vulva, like there are different aspects of your vagina that need to be taken care of. And you do not need to put anything inside of there, like just imagine putting soap on your hand and then putting your hand inside of your vagina, like that's the equivalent to me of putting soap in your eye. You don't do it and all they tell you to do is wash it out with water. That's all you need to do is just wash it with water and if you really feel that gross or whatever, you can use some soap, just make sure it's unscented. And I think the Honey Pot, I've heard really good things about them. They do have products for you know sensitive skin and for people who do just are really adamant on scents, like I would actually recommend them.
But yeah, even down to your panties like just pay attention to what type of panties you're wearing because you know, thongs and lace and all that they're so pretty and they be looking so cute when you're in the mirror, but they cause irritation. Like that, you can just touch the fabric alone, it's not the softest, and between that and then any tight fitting clothes you have on, including jeans or shorts like that. All that friction is just rubbing against your skin and then on top of that, don't add in there waxing, like you just gotta fresh wax. You're just wearing lacy panties, whether it's a thong or whatever the case may be. Then you have your clothes on top of that, y'all that's just a recipe for disaster. And so, even when it comes to wax, this is super important because a lot of people don't realise you need to wait at least, I would say 24 to 48 hours max, maybe even 72, before having sex after getting a wax. Like, I understand men who think they know everything, don't, and they're like, girl just got that fresh wax, like we- no. Do not because your your pores are so open after you get a wax and they're tender and they're vulnerable and having sex, that sweat, that bacteria, I don't even care if y'all just took a shower or you're doing it in the shower. Just wait, that's why they always tell you just at least wait 24 hours before even getting in the water because she's just so vulnerable at that time. And it can also cause you to get STIs, like the yeast infections, because of that bacteria. So waxing is so important. And the way you take care of yourself is also what I want to focus on, because a lot of women do it more so for themselves, like I really don't know, I personally don't know anybody that waxes for their partner, but whatever. But we grow hair in specific areas as a form of protection. So that's under your arms, your vaginal area, your anus, like all those areas where we have hair on our body, it's there to protect you. When you're removing that hair, you're making yourself more susceptible to different things, including, like I was saying, ingrown hairs, infections, just things you just don't want. So yeah, hold it down tell ya man's or you know, whoever your partner is, male or female, to hold it down just for a couple of days. And then you'll be able to get back into the groove of things. But I do want you to consider wearing no underwear at all, like, you know going full commando, or just basic cotton. There are options for cute cotton panties. You just kind of got to hunt for it. Like you don't got to get the ones in the little four pack at Walmart, like Target does have some really cute cute panties. I know for the most part, there's are more elastic, and lacy, but I do believe they have cotton ones. Y'all just got to take the time to look for them. And I know going commando, it's kind of like, oh nah, because you're like, oh, what about my discharge, this, that, and the third, but especially during the summertime in the warmer months, you know, not having anything down there to cause extra moisture, or you know, excessive sweating. That's just more ideal. Like now if you're wearing jeans, I do recommend wearing panties because you just don't want that that middle seam area just to be rubbing on, you know, your labia, your labia and your clit like, you don't want that, it's just going to be really uncomfortable. So if by any means you can go panty-free, do it.
Now, when it comes to maintaining a healthy vagina, you do want, you want to develop like a really healthy hygiene routine. What works for you, not anybody else, but what works for your body. Because again, everyone's body is different and some people react to different things differently. And I want you to stick to it. I want you to get your body consistently used to using something that works. And it's best to keep your vagina healthy and keep infections at bay when you do this. So some tried-and-true things that I want to run down is- let's first start with probiotics, and I brought those up earlier. Again, they just replenish your vaginal system with that natural flora bacteria to regulate the natural environment and your pH. I can't think of any probiotic names off the top of my head (editor's note: wisp has our own probiotics!), but it might be Pearl I hope I'm not making this up. But the box is blue. And it has like this little- literally looks like a pearl, like something that comes out of a clam or oyster, whatever it is, but I'm like 99% sure in the the cultures, they're not that many, and there's usually like 1-3, but there's always a specific one that you want to look for that focuses on that vaginal health and it usually will say it on the back, or on the front, that that's what he focuses on. But also yogurt with live cultures or probiotic supplements may help prevent yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. And this will keep the yeasty and that fishy smell away. Now with yogurt, I'm talking about eating it. We will talk about whether or not like, the whole DIY remedy stuff at home. We'll talk about that on another episode. But right now I'm talking about consuming things to help inward. So again, with the yogurt, just eating, y'all. Get it real plain, none of all that extra stuff like the sweeteners and all that sugar because you're just gonna make it worse because again, if you didn't know, bacteria feeds off of sugar, so that's where probiotics come in. To combat that bad bacteria like you don't want to feed it. So that's why I tend to tell people to just eat things that don't have all that extra added sugar if it doesn't come naturally on its own from the product. And probiotics are just live micro organisms and they're often called the friendly bacteria. So that may help maintain a healthy bacterial balance in your body and begin there, sometimes added to yogurts and available in supplements. So if you don't really like taking pills, or you're just like, this is a really big ass horse pill and I don't want to take it. Nine times out of 10 if it's one of those clear capsules, you can just break it off and like pour it in your drink or pour it in whatever you're eating, especially like the yogurt, and just consume it that way if, you know, taking two to three, or whatever the case may be is just too much for you. And then 2) hydration. I know we talked about, we talk a lot about how water helps in skin health, and that you need to drink your water and mind your business which you need to do on both ends. But drinking plenty of water is never a bad thing, ya'll. Like it's so good for you. It helps honestly, with keeping your body hydrated, because even when you're dehydrated, that could force you to want to go eat more and really your body's just saying, Nah, fam, we really just want some water like, don't do that. So, again, it can do wonders for your skin, but it can support your overall health. So I know people will talk about how, you know, you need a drink a gallon a day or eight cups, just drink like, baby step. Get yourself something that you know you can have fun with drinking water and do it that way. So like for me, I ended up finding this water bottle. I think I was at Target. Yeah, things that are great. And it has like this. It has like this really cute like glass window on it to kind of let me see how much water I have left, so it makes me want to drink it cuz I'm like, Alright, I compete with myself. Who does it? It makes me want to drink it because I'm like, Alright, I'm halfway done. Like, I can knock this out. And I really love water bottles with straws because it helps you drink the water quicker because I noticed that when I would have water bottles where I'm constantly having to like, throw my head back to drink it, I would get so full. Don't ask me why. But yeah. And then figuring out what water temperature works for you. Some people like cold water because it you know, kind of quenches your thirst, you're able to drink more of it when it's cold versus when it's room temperature, you definitely get fuller.
I feel like it's a placebo thing, but I've noticed that being the case and then also with your diet, eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whether you're, Vegan or meat eater, like whatever your protein of choices, get in in in some whole grains, like a balanced diet, can strengthen your immune system to fight off infections and that's why they tell you to make sure you're eating right, like, I can not stress enough eating veggies and fruits ya'll. Now there are some like if you consume too much of them like, cauliflower and things like that. Just do it all in a balance, even if you're making smoothies, the rule of thumb is your body breaks down fruits and vegetables completely different. Like the time it takes to break down fruit in your body is so much shorter than it is when you're breaking down veggies. So when you're making your smoothies just to keep your body in a smooth motion, do it with one product so, and when I say one product, like if you're going to make a smoothie, make it all fruit. Don't mix the two, because then you're going to make it a little bit harder for your body to break down something when it's confused by it. So veggie smoothies, only veggies. Fruit, only fruit. Remember that. Let that be your rule of thumb. And lastly, pee after sex. Like urinating after sex flushes that bacteria from the urethra and helps to prevent UTIs. Like ya'll, I promise you if you fall asleep, you don't go pee after, you're gonna regret it like. I just UTIs are just not fun in any shape, form, or fashion. So please, if you got to sit on that toilet for a smooth thirty minutes until like two or three drops come out, you need to do it because you just got to flush it out. Like your body's taking on so much when you're having sex and you want to make sure you're getting all of it out. So that goes for men and women. You need to pee by any means necessary. So, overall, I just want to talk about how the- vaginal odors ya'll, they can be embarrassing and irritating at the same time. But again it's just a sign that that environment has been compromised and you want to make sure to take care of it. And fortunately there are plenty of over the counter medications and tips and strategies to get rid of the odor. But again, if it does persist, then it's essential just to see a doctor for an examination and prescription medication. And one last thing that I do want to talk about are taste vitamins. My friend, Francois — she was pretty much telling me about how it is pretty much the reason why she has two kids at this point, but yeah. So I'm like looking at them now and apparently like they advocate for making the secretions like, vaginal secretions, taste sweeter. She said it works, I've yet to try it. I told like a couple of the people, like my close friends story, that I would try it just to see if I can debunk it or not. But you know if it's, if it's working for my girl and she got, she on baby number two right now that I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna talk about it, but she did say that yeah, it definitely changes the sweetness of it. And I can't remember if she said anything about the smell, but again I mean, if you guys want to try it out, because it looks like it's just from what I'm seeing, it looks like it's just like powdered powdered fruits inside of the capsule, and it looks like you take about two: it's a sixty day supply. Oh the the CEO is a mama and it's black-owned. She's, really pretty. But yeah, so it's tastevidainc.com, if you guys want to check it out, but I think I might do it just to just to see what the hype is about and see if it actually does work and then you know, I can get back to you guys on that, but yeah. I hope this helped break down and debunk a few, you know, taboo things and myths about what's good-smelling, what's bad-smelling, taste, all of that. And again y'all, if anything isn't right, go get it checked out. But before I go, I do again just want to remind you if you do need any help, you can drop a line over to wisp, but they do always want to hear from you. Again, IG and Twitter. Their handle is @hellowisp and that's W-I-S-P. Me, if you do you know you want to hit me up, I'm horrible at DMs, but if you do want hit me up, it's @SymoneElena. On our next episode, I definitely want to talk about wellness and health on a spectrum. So can't wait to talk to you guys soon. So, okay be love, be light, wrap it up once, never twice.

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