Vaginal health is an essential component of a woman’s wellness and quality of life. The condition of the vagina ultimately impacts everything from hormones and libido to mood and fertility. The vagina, when not taken care of, can also cause medical issues like fibroids, endometriosis, and even cervical cancer. Knowing how significant vaginal health is, you’d think all women would make it a priority. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Many women overlook the condition of their vagina until something goes wrong. It’s not until they experience difficulties during intercourse, everyday discomforts, infections, STIs, or fertility issues, that they reach out to their doctors, gynecologists, or fertility experts for treatment. Although you should always seek help when something is wrong, many of these issues are preventable by adopting healthier habits. Continue reading to learn more.
Keep Gynecologist Appointments
It’s not enough to visit the gynecologist when something is going on down there. Although they’re experts in vaginal and cervical problems, they are instrumental in preventative care. Visiting your gynecologist once every few years (or annually, depending on your age and health status) helps keep you on top of your vaginal health.
They can complete physical exams, Pap smears, and cervical screenings to ensure that there aren’t any potential risks that need immediate treatment. If there are problems, gynecologists can suggest lifestyle changes, prescribe medications, or recommend specialized treatments to resolve the issue before it has a lasting effect on your well-being.
Proper And Regular Hygiene Practices
Keeping your vagina clean seems simple enough, but it’s a bit more involved than most women realize. Improper or irregular feminine hygiene can result in foul odors and itchiness to bacterial infections and PH imbalances. That’s why it’s essential to keep your vaginal area clean and dry.
Avoid using scented soaps and other chemical-based products in this sensitive area. It’s best to use a clean washcloth, warm water, and a mild unscented soap designed for feminine hygiene. You should also avoid using lotions and oils down there. After showering, simply pat the area dry with a towel. Finally, ensure that you’re washing your private area daily as well as after intercourse.
Maintaining your vaginal health during your menstrual cycle is also essential. During your time of the month, it is vital to keep everything sanitary. When wearing tampons or pads, ensure that you opt for unscented products made from natural materials that won’t cause irritation or other vaginal health problems. Change your pads or tampons regularly, wear cotton underwear, and practice proper feminine hygiene tips like those listed above. While douching might seem like an ideal measure just after your period, avoid it at all costs. Douching strips your vagina of good bacteria and can lead to infections.
Sex, although a natural act in a relationship, can have adverse effects on a woman’s vaginal health if they’re not careful. Everything from the type of condoms used and the sexual health of your partner can throw off your PH balance and cause significant issues. Therefore, women should ensure they’re using the proper form of protection and be mindful of the number of partners they’re intimate with. You should also ensure that you properly clean your vaginal area after intercourse. Finally, get tested at least once a year for any STIs.
Nutrition, Supplements, & Hydration
What you consume affects more than your weight; it also impacts your vaginal health. With that in mind, women should be mindful of what they eat. Consuming a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy and avoiding fattening, processed foods can help you maintain a healthy vaginal PH balance. You should also give your diet a boost by taking a multivitamin as well as supplements like probiotics. Finally, ensure that you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day.
Your vaginal health is just as vital as other areas of your health and wellness. Don’t wait until something goes wrong to start developing healthy habits. By following the advice listed above, you can significantly improve your sex life, fertility, mood, and hormonal balance for a better quality of life.