As a woman, one of the most important things to maintain is vaginal health. There are all sorts of issues that can arise from improper vaginal hygiene and care. These issues can range from bacterial infections to serious diseases such as vaginal and vulvar cancer. This article is going to give you some tips and rules to proper vaginal care.
Maintain a Healthy Vaginal PH
A normal vaginal pH is around 3.8 to 4.5. Women who want to avoid interference with their pH levels shouldn’t use douching products. These products are often used to cover up or get rid of vaginal odors but instead of using products, women should consult a doctor about strong smells. The use of harsh cleansers on the vulva or inside of the vagina can also throw off a vaginal pH. So, you need to be be careful of what soaps and products you are using.
Your Diet Matters
A very large component of proper vaginal care is a healthy diet. Nutrition and plenty of fluids are very important. Yogurt and cranberry juice are suggested as possible treatments to help prevent yeast infections. Issues like vaginal dryness can be tackled as well with soy products. They contain a very small amount of estrogen which can help with natural lubricant.
Always Practice Safe Sex
A huge component to caring for your vagina is safe sex. Use of condoms is essential to protection from sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. These diseases include HIV, genital warts, and gonorrhea. Women should be very careful because some of these diseases can develop into cancers. You should also change condoms when practicing anal or oral sex before beginning vaginal sex to prevent dangerous bacterial infections in the vagina. This also applies to lubricant usage. Women should always use lubricant to prevent any chafing or skin irritation. Petroleum and oil-based products are not recommended as they might cause condom breakage.
Talk to Your Gynecologist About Any Concerns
Annual checks by your OBGYN should begin around or before your 21st birthday or whenever you become sexually active. Routine exams can help catch a disease or any complications early. These exams include the Pap Smear, an exam where the Gynecologist uses a tool to extract vaginal cells for testing. You can also go to your doctor with any questions or concerns you have regarding your vaginal health. This is mostly for preventative care, but the doctor is also here to administer any prescriptions or advice you need regarding proper vaginal care.
Personal Hygiene is Crucial
This may seem like common sense but keeping your vaginal clean is important. Always change tampons and sanitary pads but only use these products during your period. Any excessive moisture or warmth near the vagina can cause infection. You should also wipe properly after a bowel movement and change your underwear everyday. Your personal hygiene is a major component in maintaining a healthy vaginal area.