It’s best NOT to use ‘any’ soaps to cleanse the vaginal area – even if it sounds unusual, it’s true. Use mild soaps always for the rest of the body as eventually some soap residue will end up there during shower or baths. If you do feel you need to use soaps, one suggestion is Dove, recommended by several physicians and in articles, or Neutrogena or Cetaphil if you feel you must (try not to though). Natural Beauty Cleansing bar by Natures Plus with Vit. E and allantoin has also been suggested for those who don’t feel clean without soaping.
Remember we can’t ‘wash’ this disease away and the vagina is self cleansing. Do not think your normal feminine odors or even normal discharge is something else or unclean or unhealthy.
Some suggest wearing white 100% cotton underwear – which works for some. Be sure to thoroughly rinse well when washing them. (Some even use laundry detergent that is free of chemicals.)
It’s best to wear NO panties or pantyhose if you can, or the least amount of time you can – especially at night, as air circulation is important. Wear loose fitting clothes, skirts, baggy pants, etc. so that nothing is close to the vulvar area to irritate it even more such as panties or tight jeans.
Some have done this for relief: Rinse the vulvar skin with warm water after urinating using a squirt bottle. Use water poured over the area while urinating. Pat, don’t rub, gently with toilet paper, or try softer facial tissues instead. Some women use a hair dryer set to ‘cool’ afterwards to be sure the area is dry to make one less likely to get a yeast infection.
Take a warm/hot bath ‘before’ applying your meds; it helps them to absorb better. If in a severe flare up, some have sat in the tub with water to urinate to dilute it. Some have suggested using a funnel type appliance or even a paper cup) to hold against the urethra to direct the urine stream away.
Use a lubricant to make sex more comfortable if needed. Some suggestions are Astroglide, Liquid Silk, and Slippery Stuff – my favorite – and to me is the most natural, no odor or taste or stickiness, rather than KY or Astroglide, which can irritate some people. Many lubricants contain glucose (sugar) and that ‘might’ trigger a yeast infection. (Look for that ingredient.) Many fine lubricants can be purchased online if you can’t find them OTC. Olive oil and even Crisco has been recommended by physicians and are excellent as well.
BEWARE: Use NOTHING with non-oxynol in it!! Avoid all lubricated condoms, lubrications or spermicides that contain the ingredient NONOXYNOL # 9 or derivatives of it in them!! It’s extremely irritating and suggested to not use even if one is healthy. Check those ingredients!! It has been banned already in some countries and they’re working on it in the US as well and is before the FDA right now for consideration or at least to have warnings on it. It can increase ones risk for STD’s and even AIDS because of the little tears and fissures it can cause in the tissue.
Use 100% cotton menstrual pads or tampons, do ‘NOT’ use the ALWAYS brand. It’s been found in medical journals to cause even more irritation. A full article about this is at the LS home site under Files. Do not use pads or tampons that are scented. If you use tampons you may find those with the ‘plastic’ inserts easier to use as they glide easier, especially if wetted first. There is also a cup type that is inserted to collect the menstrual blood.
Do not use feminine sprays or talcs or bubble baths.
Avoid sex that hurts and never ‘make’ yourself perform.