Normalizing Our Everyday (Vaginal) Experiences
words by Rachel Symone Gilliam (she/her)
If there’s one thing I’m grateful for from this crazy season of life, it’s been my ability to slow down and get lost in the art of possibility. I’m sure you’re wondering why it isn’t something more aligned with how we are all quite literally losing our minds from this Covid/quarantine situation, but in all honesty, the time to myself has been good for me.
I could get deep and tell you the five year plan I’ve been spinning up, but really the road that’s right in front of me has been paved by having real life conversations where we start to understand that we aren’t that different than we’ve been led to believe, that we can normalize the experiences that we all have even if no one is talking about them, and actively seek out the “me too” moments that only come from being vulnerable.
On my platform, we tend to get deep fast because of the nature of the content I share. I’m a 27 year old widow who’s figuring out life after loss and inviting others along for the journey. Sometimes it is light and fun, but sometimes it isn’t. I’m all about normalizing the everyday experiences that everyone is going through, but for some reason no one is talking about. Like grief and heavy seasons, sure, but also like vaginal wellness and sexual health.
To be clear, I don’t think we should normalize yeast infections per se—just because something is common does not make it normal (we can add painful periods to that list). But what I would like to see happen is normalizing the conversations around them, especially now that I know that 3 out of 4 women will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime.
I was 23 years old when I had my first experience with bacterial vaginosis and I remember feeling like I had failed my body somehow. I had never heard anyone talk about this and had no idea that the majority of women will deal with this at some point in our lives and over half of us will experience it more than once.
Here’s where it would have come in handy for more people to be talking about this because I wanted to hide in shame—which I can admit sounds dramatic. But to have gone 23 years without ever experiencing this and coupling that with the fact that no one around me was talking about it, when my doctor gave me the diagnosis and prescription for an antibiotic, all I felt was embarrassed.
If you have experienced BV or a yeast infection (and the odds say that you probably have), you know it’s uncomfortable and painful and inconvenient. While I didn’t know much about it, I knew that I needed treatment fast and that an antibiotic was not an option for me and the natural lifestyle that I try to live. And this, my friends, is when the gift that is Momotaro walked into my life.
I reached out to a holistic health specialist after building up the courage to let her know what issues I was experiencing and asked her what my options were other than an antibiotic. Not only did she point me to the Momotaro Salve, it was also my first time discussing this with someone and realizing that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this.
I’ve been using the Salve for over 3 years now since it first helped to relieve my BV symptoms and have added in the other products as well. I love that these are more than “feminine hygiene” products, but true vaginal wellness that has made its way into my everyday routine.
If you’re not quite ready to scream from the rooftops that you have a yeast infection or even vaginal irritation from sex or the gym, the design of these products is so discreet and makes it feel like it’s just another wellness product sitting in your medicine cabinet—because it is.
I’ve switched up my routine a little bit over the years with these products, but lately this is the flow I’m loving:
- I noticed that if I do experience any symptoms now, it’s usually the day after my period because my pH levels are already all over the place. I use the Tonic in my bath water and then apply the Salve afterwards to bring a bit more balance to my lady parts.
- After a yoga flow or even a sweaty walk in the Texas sun, I spray the Hydrosol spray on my clothes and body when I can’t get straight to the shower.
- After a brazilian wax, I apply the Tonic topically to moisturize my skin and help prevent ingrown hairs. Also so hydrating to use a few drops on my skin after the pool or when I’ve been outside for a bit and my skin is suffering as a result.
My only other piece of advice would be to have this on hand so if/when you need it, you already have it. I was totally caught off guard with my first BV experience and now I’m prepared if I do ever experience any symptoms. Here’s to vaginal wellness!
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Rachel has an online platform centered around empowering her readers to own their grief and live their best life on purpose. As a 27 year old widow, she shares what life is like after loss and is your source for daily inspiration and real life conversations. Connect with her on Instagram @rachelsymonegilliam and read her blog here.
Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.