If you’ve ever suffered with allergies, you know that the symptoms are far from pleasant. From itching and burning, to irritation and swelling, any part of our bodies can be impacted by allergens - including our vaginas. So what allergens should you look out for and how can you protect your vaginal health from them? Here we'll explain it all!
Allergies and Your Vagina
Firstly, let’s talk about how to spot if your V is having an allergic reaction to something. The truth is, it’s kind of difficult. Many of the common symptoms of allergies - burning, stinging, swelling, irritation - can be caused in the vagina by a number of conditions or issues. It could be that you are dealing with symptoms of the menopause or maybe you have a yeast infection.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider straight away. Not only will they be able to help diagnose the root cause of the issue, but they will help find the best treatment pathway to ease your symptoms. Don’t be embarrassed or ignore the problem, if your vagina is in pain in any way, it’s a sign that something isn’t right.
One of the best ways to spot if allergies are part of the problem is to keep a log of your symptoms and when they happen. Do you notice that they get worse after having sex wearing condoms? Or maybe after you’ve eaten a certain food? Noticing these patterns will help you identify certain allergens that could be causing irritation - and this will be useful information for your doctor too!
ALLERGIES CAUSED BY FOOD & THE ENVIRONMENT
Food and airborne allergies are one of the most common causes of allergic reactions - and can be pretty serious if they impact your airways. However, your respiratory system isn’t the only part of your body that can suffer if you come into contact with allergens.
Now, whilst you might not be eating food with your vagina, it is still capable of an allergic response, even though it’s down at the other end of your body. That means that if you eat something that doesn’t agree with you, you might find that your vagina becomes irritated or swollen - just like your throat would!
Likewise, if you inhale something that triggers your allergies (pollen being one of biggest culprits here!) your vagina could end up pretty unhappy. Those swollen eyes and itchy red noses you suffer when the pollen count is high? Well, it’s not unusual for your vagina to react in a similar way - and you might even notice your discharge changes during allergy season too!
So, if you are noticing that your vagina is itchier or produces a different type of discharge during allergy season, it might just be your body’s response to an allergen.
ALLERGIES TO VAGINAL PRODUCTS
We know that vagina’s are incredibly strong (we only have to look to an eternity of child birth to prove that) but it’s also really sensitive. The skin in and around our vagina is so sensitive because it’s very porous - which means that it is very easy for things to be absorbed by it, whether they’re the good, the bad or the ugly.
Just as any part of the body can have an allergic reaction to something you put on it, so can the vagina. In fact, it may even be more likely for your vagina to have an allergic reaction, since its skin is even more sensitive.
This is why it’s so important to only use products intended for the vagina - and even then you need to be careful of the quality and ingredients. Whilst you’d like to think that anything headed for your V is free from allergens, that’s not always the case. Here are some of the common contributors to allergic reactions in your vagina.
There are many reasons why someone may have an allergy to condoms, with latex allergies being the most common. The real kicker is that latex allergies can be immediate or delayed, so it might be hard to know if it was the condom causing your itching (or other symptoms). Most condom manufacturers now offer a hypoallergenic range, so if you are suffering it might be worth trying them out - don’t let allergic reactions force you to sacrifice on safe sex!
Other things to consider are the many things that get added to certain condoms - like flavors, fragrances and colors. That glow in the dark, cherry flavored condom might sound fun - but it could seriously irritate your vagina. If you’re finding that you're reacting to them, it might be wise to choose natural over novelty. The same advice applies to lubricants, some people love adding a flavoured lube to their sex life, but it could contain ingredients that provoke a reaction from your vagina - and not a good one. Natural, fragrance free lubricants will still enhance your pleasure and make sex less painful, if that’s something you’re sturggling with.
Speaking of fragrances, some products that claim to improve vaginal health come with fragrances that could actually do the opposite. Fragrances are created with a complex combination of ingredients - many of which we can be allergic to. Even if you’re not actually allergic, you might still find that these ingredients irritate your sensitive areas.
Going fragrance free is the best way to protect your V from these potentially harmful (or at least irritating) ingredients. Vagivital’s active gel and cleanser, do not contain any fragrance, making them the perfect products for supporting your vaginal health. .