Every woman should be concerned about her vaginal health. The healthy vagina is acidic with a good amount of good bacteria that fight off infections and balances the pH levels. Contrary to popular beliefs, a healthy vagina secrets a small discharge to keep itself clean, not unlike the saliva in your mouth. If these conditions are not ideal, you may get infections or vaginal diseases.
These are the warning signs of an unhealthy vagina:
- Burning and itching in the vulva and vagina
- Large amounts of discharge
- Red, inflamed, painful agonizing mucous membranes
- Appearance of lesions
- Abnormal bleeding
- Bleeding after sexual activities
- Dry vagina
Here are some tips on keeping your vagina healthy and clean:
Preserve the vaginal pH balance without douching
Douching can interfere with the vagina’s pH levels, allowing infections to occur. The ideal vaginal pH level is between 3.8 and 4.5. If the vagina has a strong odor, see your gynecologist immediately. Douching will conceal the odor without solving the problem. Do not use strong cleaning products which may impair the acidic pH level.
Avoid junk food
If you want your vagina to be healthy, Dr. Rebecca Booth recommends avoiding junk food, sugar and carbs.
Maintain a healthy diet for vaginal health
A healthy diet and drinking a lot of fluids are crucial for perfect vaginal health. Some foods can help the well-being of your vagina and treat a lot of diseases. Cranberry juice and yogurt can help with a yeast infection; eating more soy can help with a dry vagina. As you can see, healthy diet is an important part of your vaginal health.
Practice safe sex
Using condoms will ensure that you’re not infected with STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), genital herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea and even HIV. Change the condoms every time you make a change from oral or anal sex to vaginal sex, to ensure that harmful bacteria don’t enter the vagina.
Don’t smoke if you want your vagina to be healthy. Dr. Booth says that tar, nicotine and smoke can hurt the good bacteria and prompt blocked pores in the vagina. Lose this nasty habit and allow your vagina to breathe.
Avoid antibiotics if you can
Many women are prone to yeast infections. When they treat them with orally taken antibiotics, they actually set off a chain response which makes the yeast multiply and grow. If you must take antibiotics, include more yogurt and kefir in your diet to keep the yeast under control.
Treat infections in the start
Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis are the three most common vaginal diseases. They are caused by microorganisms which have entered the vagina one way or another, and can be treated with oral or topical medication. The most important thing to remember is that these issues must be treated right from the start!
Choose clothing naturally to stay dry
“The vaginal skin is fragile” says Dr. Booth. “Try wearing natural materials, like 100% cotton or silk.” The synthetic materials often contain allergens and chemicals that can irritate the skin.
Visit your gynecologist
Standard gynecological exams are very important for your vaginal health. The first exam should be on 21 or within three years of the first sexual contact. Gynecologists can also perform Pap smears, which help identify changes in the vaginal cells caused by some diseases.
Rinse with water only
The intimate hygiene gels are very popular. However, they are not recommended by gynecologists. Their advice is to wash the vagina with water only.
Be careful with the soap
Choosing a soap that will not distort the pH value is a very important thing. It mustn’t dry the skin – try using one with olive oil.