Jenny Claffey and Lindsay Hamilton want to get Irish women aware of what's happening down there.
In the world of Irish podcasting, the It Galz – AKA Jenny Claffey and Lindsay Hamilton – have made a name for themselves for their funny and frank discussions on everything from the Kardashians to lip fillers to period sex.
They’re also two extremely glam girlos:
The Galz have teamed up with bacterial vaginosis treatment Relactagel to open up conversations on vaginal health, and gave us their top tips for keeping everything right as rain down there.
Really! Figure out what’s normal for you, so you can easily pinpoint any smells, textures, and colours that would be unusual. And read up on the causes and symptoms of thrush, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and UTIs while you’re at it, so you know exactly what to do if you’re landed with any of them.
“BV, for example, is characterised by a fishy smell, and not an itch,” says Jenny. “So women can sometimes have BV and think it’s thrush.”
And if you’re having sex, make sure you’re getting checked regularly. “That’s the only way you’ll truly know that everything is OK,” says Lindsay.
Ireland’s changeable weather means we’re sick or sniffing all year round. Antibiotics disrupt the natural flora (so to speak) of your vagina, opening up a world of potential yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
“If you’ve been on antibiotics, make sure you’re getting probiotics,” advises Lindsay. This means taking supplements, eating yoghurt… you know the drill. Adds Jenny:
It’s all about the balance of good and bad bacteria, which we’re very used to hearing about with stuff like the gut, but we kind of ignore it with our vaginas.
You’re going on your holidays to get a tan, not a yeast infection. But it can happen if you let yourself sit in damp bikini bottoms for the day. Learn from Jenny:
I learned that the hard way a few times. There’s nothing worse than having to ask for some cream in Portuguese, looking up on your phone what a ‘vagina’ is… Awkward.
As well as ditching your damp bikini bottoms, the Galz advise changing after you’ve had a dip in the pool and wearing cotton underwear, which allows everything to breathe a bit better.
It doesn’t sound sexy, but neither does an infection, TBH. Chat with your partner about how they can help you out in this area – from keeping their hands clean to making sure they’re washing their bits correctly.
“Knowledge is power, and a lot of men don’t realise how sensitive it can be down there,” says Jenny. “Help them help you.”
Because talking about vaginal goings-on is so taboo, women often cover up unfamiliar odours with perfumes and scented washes instead of sorting them out. The Galz warn against using scented products or douching, as the vagina is a self-cleaning organ and the chemicals in these products are only disrupting matters.
Listen to Lindsay: “I steer clear of any scented stuff down there. If there’s a smell you feel you have to cover by putting perfume on your gee, maybe check out what the smell might be.”
It’s so important that everything you use on your vageen is sanitary, so if you shave your pubic hair, make sure you’re changing your razor regularly. Also, heed this particular piece of advice: “If you’re shaving your back end, don’t go near your front end.”
“See, women wouldn’t even talk about shaving their back end,” says Lindsay. “I remember the first time I shaved mine, I was like… I could literally sell this for extensions, there’s so much.”
As you might have gathered, Lindsay and Jenny are all for breaking down social barriers and getting women talking about the issues that affect them. And they want you to do this for your friends, too. Says Lindsay:
Make it like, not a joke, but weave it into conversation with your girls in a normal way, so it opens up a space for you all to be like, “My vagina is really itchy, what do I do?”
“The body is a lonely place,” agrees Jenny. “It really helps if you’re open.”
Listen to The It Galz podcast here
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