Between periods, bacterial infections, menopause, birth control, and general daily hygiene, it is very important to keep the vagina happy and healthy. Fortunately, it’s not rocket science – it’s not like we have to go to the doctor every time we feel things are going wrong (although if you’re really worried you can and certainly should!). With the plethora of vaginal care products on hand (like your local target), caring for finicky vulvae has never been easier.
That being said, not all vaginal care products on Target’s shelves are created equal. In a sea of pH balancing body cleansers and boric acid suppositories, it may seem like all vaginal care products are safe to put in and around our bodies. Rebound! They are not.
According to Lora Shahine, MD, FACOG, a gynecologist specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, vulva owners should be crooked picky about the products they throw in their Target baskets (or any drugstore, for that matter). “In general, people with vaginas should look for products that are unscented and hypoallergenic,” she explains. “This includes menstrual products like pads and tampons, as well as wash products and wipes. That means the next time you’re tempted to toss some vanilla-scented pH balancing wipes or Summer Breeze scented vaginal wash in your basket, try to avoid it. Use only unscented hypoallergenic products.
The next time you hit your local target, keep these rules in mind. To be on the safe side, add any of the gynecologist approved products below to your cart while you are at it.
Here are OB / GYN’s tips for shopping at Target
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Soaps and detergents
Dr Shahine recommends avoiding detergents and wipes with added perfumes, dyes or chemicals, even if they say “pH balancing”. “Instead, use unscented hypoallergenic soap or plain water to wash the external genitals,” she says. Some soaps and detergents that tick its boxes, below. (Reminder: they are all safe for the out of your vagina, aka, the vulva only. Don’t put them inside you!)
The jar of honey, washing the mother-to-be – $ 9.00
If you’re in the mood for a wash, check out this pregnancy-safe product from The Honey Pot. It is 100 percent natural and herbal, free from any artificial elements and is approved by the brand’s doctor’s gynecologist.
Ditto for menstrual care. Dr Shahine says to stick with napkins, tampons and other products that are unscented and free from weird chemicals, dyes, pH balancing powers or more. We’ve already pointed out the big bans to watch out for in tampons (think: rayon, chlorine, non-organic cotton). When you shop at Target, the more natural the product, the better. Some choices below.
Tampax, 100 pure biological buffers – $ 9.00
Tampax now makes organic cotton tampons that are free from the big bans you don’t want to put in your body. Plus, they come packaged in a 90% herbal plastic applicator which is also better for Mother Earth.
There are a number of over-the-counter medications you can buy to treat minor yeast infections and UTIs from Target, like Monistat and boric acid suppositories, but that doesn’t mean you should. Dr Shahine says you should be picky and talk to your doctor first: “Products containing boric acid should only be used under the direction of a healthcare practitioner as there are certain conditions, such as recurrent BV, who can benefit from boric acid treatment in the right dosage and duration, ”she says.
The same goes for Monistat, which can be used to successfully treat yeast infections, if you are positive that’s what’s wrong. “It is very common for people with vaginas to misdiagnose yeast infections, so if you have irritation and abnormal vaginal discharge and you are not sure whether it is an infection yeast (or if you’ve tried the over-the-counter treatment and it hasn’t helped), you should see your health care schedule for further evaluation, ”says Dr. Shahine.
Your best bet? Ask your doctor directly if you are using any of the products below.
Monistat, 7-day combo pack – $ 14.00
As Dr Shahine said, Monistat products will work… if you are 100 percent positive, you have a yeast infection in the first place. If you’re unsure why things are burning, itchy, or getting a little yeasty, calling your doctor is your safest bet.
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