Did you know there are a lot of things that can make your vagina unhealthy and even “angry?” The truth is that vaginal health is an important part of your overall health.
If you want a healthy vagina, though, it takes time and effort.
Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to keep your vagina healthy and happy.
Keep Your Vagina Clean
Keeping your vagina clean doesn’t have to be a difficult or time-consuming process.
Chances are you have heard of different ways to clean it; however, it’s best to keep things simple.
You can keep your vagina clean by cleaning it every day using water and unscented soap. Avoid using douche.
Studies have shown that douching may disrupt the balance of good bacterial present in your vagina.
Scented soaps may also cause issues for your vaginal environment. When you are cleaning the area, don’t put soap in the vagina. Also, don’t scrub the vaginal area hard using a loofa, which may contain harmful bacteria.
Some other tips to keep your vagina healthy and clean include:
- Change your pad or tampon often
- Pee after sex
- Maintain your pubic hair
Just taking steps to keep your vagina clean will pay off and help you keep it healthy.
Focus on Whole Body Health
You must eat a healthy, balanced diet and control your weight. Exercising is also recommended.
Along with being good for your whole body, these things are also good for your sexual organs.
If you are dealing with chronic conditions, it may put your vagina health at risk. For example, if your diabetes is not controlled, it can increase your likelihood of contracting a UTI or yeast infection.
Keep Your Pubic Hair
While it’s fine to trim and remove the hair on your swimsuit line, it’s not recommended that you remove all your pubic hair.
Pubic hair has several jobs. It protects the vagina from extra bacteria, and it also eliminates issues related to sweating and friction. Also, when you don’t remove the hair “down there,” you don’t have to worry about the itch that occurs when the hair begins to regrow.
It also reduces the possibility of scrapes, cuts, and ingrown hairs. If you must have ingrown hairs removed, it can be painful, so be sure to use a numbing cream. You can learn more about this product in this article.
If you do choose to landscape or shave your pubic hair, use natural shaving creams and gels.
Use Condoms with New Partners
For most women, this is obvious. In fact, a condom is the only effective way to protect against STIs.
You may not know, though, that condoms can help you keep the pH level of your vagina steady while you are having sex. This ensures all the good bacteria present remains healthy.
This is extremely important since these bacteria help prevent yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and UTIs.
Wear Cotton Underwear
Quality cotton underwear lets your vaginal area breathe. If you wear underwear made of synthetic materials, they will promote moisture and increase the possibility of a yeast infection.
Wearing plain white cotton underwear that fits well and isn’t too tight is perfect because some dyes in colored underwear may irritate the vaginal area.
If your underwear or any other clothing that comes in contact with your vagina gets wet, be sure to change them right away. The wetness may lead to a yeast infection.
At night, don’t wear underwear. This helps the vagina and vulva be free of the moisture that builds up during the day.
Get Regular Checkups
Make sure you schedule regular health screenings and that you go to your gynecologist for routine care.
Remember, the frequency you need a pap smear varies based on your age and what is found on your last pap smear.
For younger women, the HPV vaccination is important to reduce the possibility of cervical cancer.
Check the Ingredients in Your Lube
Proper lubrication is needed for good sex. However, some lube ingredients are not healthy for your body or vagina.
One is glycerin, which is related to sugar. While it will work well to keep lube moist, it may also result in additional bacteria growth in your vagina.
It’s also best to avoid petroleum products because they ruin the natural pH level of your vagina.
Some of the other ingredients you need to avoid include:
- Nonnatural oils
Try to find a natural lubricant that is labeled organic, free of parabens and glycerin, and vegan.
Be Careful During Cycling Class
Somewhere you may be putting your vaginal health at risk is your cycling class. If you ride often, you may experience genital tingling, pain, and numbness (and not in a good way).
It was found that most women taking these classes experienced this. If you love your cycling class, make sure to wear padded shorts to help keep your vagina healthy and pain-free during your workout.
Remember Some Vaginal Odor is Normal
Usually, vaginal odor is a mix of the typical smell of your vagina and the smell of the normal discharge. Your period, recently having sex, and dietary changes can alter this odor, but that doesn’t mean there is something wrong.
Some foods that will impact vaginal odor include:
- Red meat
It’s also recommended to remain hydrated, which will go a long way in helping to control odor.
If you notice a fishy smell, this is likely caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria. You can find over-the-counter products to reduce your vagina pH, which can also help reduce the bacteria present.
If this is not effective, make sure to go to your OB/GYM as other health issues may cause this odor.
Use Body-Safe Sex Toys
Have you ever wondered how some sex toys work? If so, you aren’t alone.
What you may not realize is that not all sex toys are safe for anything more than taking up space in your dresser drawer.
Toys that are made from the following materials are, for the most part, safe:
- Stainless steel
- ABS plastic
What that in mind, these should be pure and food- or medical-grade materials, not blends.
Avoid the Overuse of Antibiotics
If you use antibiotics too often, they can reduce your vaginal health significantly. This is because antibiotics don’t discriminate – they kill the good and bad bacteria, which can change the flora present in your vagina, resulting in yeast and other types of infections.
If you must take an antibiotic to fight an infection, do so. Just make sure that it is completely necessary first.
Expect Hormone Related Changes
When you go into perimenopause or menopause, estrogen levels will go down. This makes it more difficult for your vagina to maintain its usual environment, leading to dryness.
Excessive vaginal dryness can result in pain during sex, or itching, burning, and an increased risk of infection.
Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises aren’t just something that is pointless. When you do Kegels, they can help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This will help reduce strain on your pelvic organs while improving bowel and bladder function.
These exercises also make your orgasms stronger.
Experts recommend doing three sets of 10 Kegels per day. Hold each kegel for five seconds. This is only three minutes of work, which is completely doable.
Know When to Go to the Doctor
While some vaginal problems can be managed using over-the-counter products, there are times when you should see your OB/GYN or doctor.
Some of the times this is necessary include:
- Bladder leakage
- Abnormal bleeding
- Bulge or mass in the vaginal area
- Abdominal pain or fever and other vaginal symptoms
- Unexplained itching or a change in odor
- Heavy periods and severe pain
- Dryness and discomfort
- Itchiness, odor, or discharge
- Chronic itching
- Burning when you pee
In these situations, be sure to schedule an appointment right away.
How to Ensure You Have a Healthy Vagina
As you can see from the information above, you can do more than a few things to ensure you have a healthy vagina. While that’s true, if you do notice issues, it is best to speak with your doctor.
If you are looking for more helpful information and resources, be sure to read some of the other blogs on our page. We post new content regularly to help ensure you stay informed and know what is going on.