Tips to Maintain Vaginal Health
Dr Jameela Khalid
Jayanagar, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Vaginal health is an important topic and something all women must pay attention to. It is normal for the vagina to secrete some amount of discharge which sometimes might even go unnoticed. The vaginal health depends a little on the age, is slightly acidic in nature and is rich in beneficial bacteria. The bacteria prevent infections and the vagina keeps itself naturally lubricated.
Keeping the vagina healthy
- It is important to maintain the pH balance of the vagina as reducing the acidic levels disrupts the beneficial bacterial which gives way to infections. The normal pH range is between 3.8-4.5.
- The vagina is equipped to clean itself and doctors suggest that you shouldn’t use harsh soaps and cleansers inside or on the vulva as these agents disrupt the balance. If you feel your vagina has a strongly unpleasant odour its best to visit a doctor and find a solution rather than covering up by douching.
- Douching is the practice of use agents to clean the external and internal part of the vagina. Doctors strongly recommend that you don’t practice this as it kills beneficial bacteria.
- A healthy diet with plenty of fluid intake is a very important factor. Study suggests that foods like yogurt and cranberries helps in preventing yeast infections and UTIs.
- Practicing safe sex is very important to maintain vaginal health. Using condoms prevents the person from contracting sexually transmitted diseases and infections as it does not allow harmful bacteria from entering the vagina.
- A regular visit to the gynaecologist to have a regular examination done helps not just with maintaining vaginal health but helps in identifying harmful diseases like cancer or any other conditions that can harm the vagina or your reproductive system.
- It is important to treat infections as soon as they arise to prevent further complications. If not attended to, these infections can become painful and smelly causing serious reproductive health issues. Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis are some of the common infections.
- Lubrication during intercourse is important to prevent irritation and chafing of the vaginal skin. It is natural for the vagina to self-lubricate by arousal but for some this is less. Using artificial lube reduces the friction, preventing damage to the skin. However using petroleum jelly or baby oil as lube is a strict no as it causes inflammation and infection.
- The clothing you wear affects the vagina as this area needs to remain dry and airy. Wearing tight clothes or certain fabrics makes the area warm and moist which is the thriving ground for yeast. Always wear airy cotton underwear and change out from sweaty and wet clothes soon.
- Hygiene is definitely important for a healthy vagina. Cleaning up after bowel movements and changing sanitary napkins regularly prevents bladder infections and irritations.