7 ways to keeps your vagina healthy
All women should be concerned about their vaginal health. A healthy vagina is naturally acidic and contains rich quantities of beneficial bacteria that help fend off infections and maintain a normal pH level. A healthy vagina will also secrete small amounts of discharge to keep itself clean, much as saliva is produced to help cleanse your mouth. Any interference with these normal conditions and you may face vaginal irritation or infection.
Here’s how to keep your vagina healthy.
- No douching – Douching can interfere with the vagina's pH levels, reducing its acidity and setting the stage for bacterial infections. Normally, vaginal pH is about 3.8 to 4.5. If your vagina has a strong or unpleasant odour, see your doctor; a douche will only cover up the smell without curing the problem that's causing it. Avoid using harsh soaps or cleansers on the vulva or inside the vagina, as these also can affect a healthy pH balance.
- Use condoms - You know that rubbers are great at protecting against STDs and pregnancy, but one study found that using condoms helps keep your vagina’s pH level at the status quo so good bacteria, like lactobacilli, can survive in there. And this is super important since those little bacteria help prevent yeast infections, UTIs, and bacterial vaginosis.
- Healthy diet - You may not realise it, but a balanced, nutritious diet and drinking plenty of fluids are key to vaginal and reproductive health. In fact, certain foods may be effective in treating vaginal health problems. Cranberry juice and yoghurt can potentially help prevent yeast infections and aid in their treatment. And if you experience vaginal dryness, ask your doctor if you should eat more soy products, which contain a weak form of estrogen that can aid natural lubrication.
Photo Courtesy: She Knows
- Cotton underwear - When it comes to your underwear selection, your vagina has a preference: cotton. That's why most underwear comes with a thin strip of cotton fabric in the crotch. Since it breathes and absorbs moisture, it's the ideal way to clothe your lady parts.
- Treating infection on time - Three types of vaginal infections are common: yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Yeast infections are caused by several types of fungi, while bacterial vaginosis is caused by bacteria overgrowth in the vagina. Trichomoniasis is sexually transmitted. Treating these infections is crucial because not treating them can lead to unpleasant, painful, and serious reproductive health problems. All three are can be treated with oral or topical medications.
- Go for pap tests - An annual pelvic exam is important for talking about health problems. Using this time to chat about using condoms, fertility, and any random sex questions you might have is just as important as checking for STDs. So visit your doctor annually or maybe monthly, if you feel like.
- Say no to petroleum jelly – Lubrication is an important part of intercourse. Without it, the skin of the labia and vagina can become irritated and chafed, sometimes to the point of breaking. While vaginal lubrication usually occurs naturally during female arousal, some women do not produce enough natural lubricant. In this case, women should use an artificial lubricant to reduce friction and irritation and to enhance pleasure. Avoid petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) and other oil-based products for this purpose because they can cause latex in condoms to break down and also might cause infection.