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Give Your Privates Some TLC

Praning about down-there scares? Cosmo clues you in on the right way to care for your vajayjay.
Wash gently. Use mild soap to clean your outer labia and only water between the folds. "You don't need to clean the inside of your vagina; it cleans itself," says Robin Kalish, an ob-gyne at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. And never douche--it can force bad bacteria into your uterus.

Wear cotton undies. Cotton panties keep you well-ventilated, which prevents infections. "They're a better choice than those made of synthetic fabrics, which trap moisture," says Dr. Kalish. If you must have a pair that's synthetic, just make sure the crotch is cotton.

Eat yogurt. Studies show that consuming 8oz. of yogurt daily can prevent yeast infections. And it's a good idea even if you're not prone to them, because you may have a mild infection without knowing it. "Many women don't realize that subtle symptoms like itching or burning after intercourse are caused by yeast," says Dr. Kalish. Look for yogurt that lists "live cultures" on the label.

Skip scented products. Don't use any fragrant soaps or body washes near your vulva. Scented products can irritate delicate tissue, which may bring on a yeast infection.

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