In a discussion with BET.com, Manon Pilon, our President and R&D Director answered frequently asked questions about feminine intimate hygiene, how aging affects our intimate area and yeast infections.
Why do you think so many women are uniformed/misinformed when it comes to knowing about their vaginas?
I think it is because this subject is considered taboo. In the past, women did not inform themselves as much as they do today. Thankfully, the internet now allows women to research various topics and further educate themselves regarding their vaginal wellness. Many of us now know that the vaginal shape varies from one woman to another. Statistics also demonstrate how women are becoming increasingly aware of the need to take care of their entire bodies, inside and out.
Ok, how do you properly “clean” your lady parts especially with the rise of new product lines?
It is very important not to use any products containing sulphate, MIT or perfume as these ingredients can alter the pH and ultimately cause problems. This is why it is important to seek out a product that has been specially designed for the intimate feminine region.
You want a cleanser that can properly balance the good bacteria and prevent the growth of bad bacteria such as Candida Albican.
An excellent cleanser to consider is the Cleansing Foam BioFemme from Nelly de Vuyst®. This vegan cleanser is certified organic by COSMOS® and Ecocert® and its key ingredient is tea tree oil.
Vaginas are often taboo, how can you make your next gynecologist visit more productive?
To take full advantage of your appointment, it is important to educate yourself regarding your vaginal wellness, including your pH balance and your microbiota. Conducting the proper research before your appointment will allow you to be prepared to ask your OB-GYN all of your questions. It is also important to keep track of your vaginal wellness in order to be able to provide your OB-GYN with a better understanding of your vaginal health.
Can you start a few highlights and low lights about what happens to your vagina in the following age groups: 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s+
The key for all ages is a good pH balance! However, it should be stated that not all products called a “pH balance” are necessarily safe for use on the intimate feminine region. I would recommend a product that is certified organic by COSMOS® and Ecocert® as this can ensure that the product is safe to use.
Younger women have a tendency to wear tight clothes and wear G-strings that often contribute to yeast infections as these tight clothing pieces disturb the microbiota.
In your 50s and during menopause, your pH also changes due to the lower production of lactobacillus bacteria which are vital for maintaining moisture. Thus, this lower production of the bacteria can lead to vaginal dryness. To help maintain a well-balanced environment of the intimate feminine area, I would recommend a pH Gel by Nelly De Vuyst.
Does the “shape” of your vagina actually change? Explain why.
Yes, the shape of the vagina does change after menopause. It loses elasticity and it is for this reason that preventative care is ideal in order to maintain the skin’s firmness. A great certified organic product that can help keep the skin firm is the pH Firming Toner and Firming Gel by Nelly De Vuyst®.
What can women do to combat sparse or thinning pubic hair?
A terrific oil that can used to help combat sparse or thinning pubic hair is Evening Primerose seed oil. This oil is rich in Omega-6 which is necessary but not produced by the body. Found in the Regenerating Serum by Nelly De Vuyst®, Evening Primerose Oil is known for its revitalizing and anti-aging properties for the skin and hair.
Yeast infections happen for a myriad of reasons, do these lessen or increase as you age?
The following is a list of the most popular causes of Yeast Infections:
1 – Birth control pill
When we are taking the birth control pill, our body produces more glycogen, a sugar that yeast feeds on.
2 – Unbalanced pH in the intestines
We find the most yeast in the ascending colon. When it turns into mold, a Yeast infection may occur.
3 – Tight Clothing
Tight clothing and underwear such as G-strings and thongs causes friction. This humidity fosters an ideal environment for yeast to proliferate.
4 – Diet high in Sugar
A diet which includes lots of sugar carbohydrates will feed the growth of yeast.
5 – Antibiotics
Antibiotics will destroy the Microbiota including good bacteria and bad bacteria and this often causes yeast infections.
6 – Diabetes
If you are diabetic, your blood sugar level is often elevated which can impair your immune system and ultimately leave you susceptible to developing Yeast infections.
7 – Stress
Unfortunately, all of these causes can occur at any age and therefore women of all ages are susceptible to developing a yeast infection.
Post-birth, many women experience bladder leakage—other than kegels, how else can this be resolved?
There are several laser and Radio Frequency treatments available for these conditions.
How does your sex life change or evolve as you age? Any tips on making intercourse more comfortable?
A tip for making intercourse more comfortable is to use a lubricant. It is particularly important to use a lubricant that does not contain any perfume, alcohol or silicone as these can damage the body’s microbiota and unbalance the pH in the long-run.
I recommend the lubricant certified organic by COSMOS® and Ecocert® by Nelly De Vuyst®, Lubielle.
What do you recommend to counteract dryness? Can diet affect this?
Drinking lots of water can also help but it is usually not sufficient to counteract the dryness. As such, it is suggested to use a pH balance hydrating and soothing gel. Two 100% natural options that I would recommend are the Soothing Gel and pH Balancing Gel by Nelly De Vuyst®. The Soothing Gel is specifically designed for the intimate feminine area prone to discomfort, dryness and itching. Its high content of prebiotics helps maintain the balance of beneficial flora to provide overall purity and freshness.
What on earth is prolapse? Should I be worried about it?
Vaginal prolapse is a condition whereby certain structure such as the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel or the vagina itself begin to fall out of their normal position. Anything that is out of the ordinary should be discussed with your doctor.
What’s the difference between perimenopause and menopause? When exactly do these hit? At what point should you consider hormone replacement therapy?
Menopause occurs when a woman has not had any menstruations during a one-year period. This usually occurs in our early 50s. Often, it can be noted that there are symptoms prior to menopause during perimenopause. Perimenopause is the period during the transition to menopause. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s but can occur earlier.
In terms of hormone replacement therapy, I would consult a hormone specialist such as a bioidentical hormones physician who can assess and personalize your treatment to your needs.