10 Tips For A Healthy Vagina from a Gynaecologist
Who else is better qualified to give you advice about the vagina other than a Gynaecologist? These experts are top of the tree when it comes to vaginal health. If you are not asking them questions during appointments, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Making the most out of your gynaecological visit is centred around asking all your questions. There is no need to be embarrassed. A Gynaecologist is trained to answer your questions and care for your intimate health.
Below are 10 tips from our Gynaecologist on maintaining a healthy vagina:
- Your vulva doesn't need any special cleaning, and your vagina needs no cleaning. Just so you understand some basic female anatomy; the vulva is the whole of the external genitals, such as the clitoris, labia and pubic mound. The vagina opens like a tube where the penis goes in during sex, and babies come out in vaginal delivery.
Caring for your vulva doesn't require anything special. Experts have noted that many people are misled when it comes to genital cleanliness. Be that as it may, it is advised that you avoid fine washes or scrubs; these things cause irritation. What you need is just water and normal soap.
You may just let your vagina be. Medical professionals consider the vagina a self-cleaning organ that removes unwanted materials via discharge. You may need to see a gynaecologist London harley street when there is a potential problem. Otherwise, don't clean your vagina with any product. Douching is not good. It tends to change the vagina's pH and can bring about infection and irritation.
- Watch your vaginal discharge for abnormalities in colour and smell; it may be a problematic symptom. Of course, discharge from the vagina shouldn't raise any eyebrows. And throughout your period, discharge may change. Did you know that some vaginal discharge is a direct result of the self-cleaning and lubrication of the vagina? Yes, and a large percentage of this discharge is typical mucus from the cervix - this may take on a different appearance following individual body metabolism.
As the egg matures and is ready for ovulation, plenty of sticky mucus is usually released from the cervix, having a whitish, yellowish, or cloudy colour. The closer you are to ovulation, the clearer and more slurry your discharge becomes - it resembles egg whites. This happens so that sperm can easily get to a mature egg. This marks the peak of your fertility. After about 4 days, should your period be consistent, the cervical mucus becomes less with more cloudiness and stickiness. A couple of days later, this discharge may reduce, after which your cycle starts afresh.
The use of hormonal contraceptives plus estrogen to restrain ovulation can affect the discharge cycle and lower the probability of experiencing changes during the entire month. Conversely, experts say using non-hormonal and progesterone-only contraceptives will likely not change your usual discharge cycle since they don't put a complete end to ovulation.This, too, is typical.
When your discharge takes on the colour of cottage cheese, you likely have a yeast infection. A greenish, whitish or grey colour discharge may signify bacterial vaginosis - a condition caused by more bad bacteria than good bacteria in the vagina. Again, a discharge with a foul smell may be pointing at trichomoniasis - an STI. Overall, once discharge is no longer normal, you need the help of your doctor.
- Watch out for a strong vaginal smell; your doctor may have to examine you. Be realistic, and don't expect your vagina to smell like a rose or lavender. Each vagina smells different from another based on individual discharge, vaginal bacterial flora and hygiene. Medical professionals also say that a vaginal smell may indicate a health problem.
Where the vagina exudes a foul or fishy smell, it could mean you are infected with bacterial vaginosis; however, that there is an unpleasant smell from this organ does not mean all the time that you have an infection. Vaginal smell can be caused by prolonged wearing of tampons. Whatever the case, meet up with your doctor if you have a vaginal smell to know what is happening.
- Wipe from front to back all the time. Now, this is very important for those who pee and poo simultaneously. Experts say you need to wipe from front to back and not the other way round, as doing so will transfer harmful bacteria from your rectum to the urethra. A urinary tract infection can set in.
- Itching and burning in the vagina shouldn't be taken for yeast infection symptoms. There is no denying that yeast infection is typically accompanied by vaginal burning and itching symptoms. However, these symptoms could also present in the existence of an STI or bacterial vaginosis. Experts say these signs could not be straight forward, so you should contact a gynaecologist harley street for proper treatment, particularly if you've been treating the condition yourself and it is still present. It may be signalling a different health issue.
- If you must, wear cotton underwear and change them right after exercise. The best fabric of underwear to wear is cotton because it is breathable. In addition, allowing sweat to accumulate around your vulva will up your odds of contracting a yeast infection. Based on this, you need to make it a habit of switching underwear once you finish exercising.
What if you decide to grab a bite after rigorous exercise; would you a yeast infection? Very unlikely, but you should change your underwear immediately after working out just to be on the safe side.
- Avoid lubricants such as oil and petroleum jelly. Sexual activity can be much more pleasurable with a lubricant. Experts advise inusing designated vaginal or sex lubricants as unspecified products could alter vagina pH balance and trigger issues.
There are oil and water-based lubes. Using just anything handy doesn't go down well.
- Consult your doctor for blood clot sizes larger than 10 pence during menstruation. While they are usually normal, clots could give you the jitters. There are two reasons why clots form: prolonged stay of blood in a place like the vagina can cause clumping and clot formation. Again, a heavy period with rapid movements may form clots because the natural anticoagulants in the body won't be able to work effectively.
When you release clots a size bigger than a 10p piece, it may indicate a pre-existing condition responsible for heavy bleeding, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. This is why you need to report to a London gynaecology clinic. The doctor may recommend using hormonal contraceptives to control the thickening of the uterus lining and keep heavy bleeding at bay.
- Use a new condom for anal and vaginal sex, respectively. The strains of bacteria in the anus can irritate and infect the vagina. Experts advise that you use a new condom should you be switching from anal to vaginal sex. Interestingly, there are bacteria in the vagina that can cause anal irritation, so you should wear a fresh condom if you want to have anal sex after vaginal sex.
- Have regular STI screening regardless of keeping a single or multiple sexual partner(s). The frequency of getting an STI screening comes down to your sexual history. Regardless of what it is, if your doctor gives a timetable for STI testing following your risk factors, please follow it accordingly. It matters even if you have just one sexual partner. Be careful not to think that getting screened implies one person is cheating in the relationship. Sometimes, symptoms of an STI may stay hidden. You may have already contracted an STI without knowing before entering into a single-sex partner relationship.
Identifying sexually transmitted infections on time is important. With diagnostic testing, symptoms can be controlled, and your doctor can work out a personalised treatment plan. Public Health England says that if STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea are not treated, they can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and severe pain in the pelvis and infertility.
These tips can help you keep a healthy vagina only if you take them seriously. As much as possible, try and speak with your gynaecologist concerning any suspected vaginal health problem, especially when you observe new and unusual symptoms.
As one of the best women's sexual health clinics, we offer a comprehensive range of healthcare services to keep the sexual and reproductive life of women in tip-top condition. Our top gynaecologist London will answer any questions you have and is willing to work with you to ensure you get the best possible care. Book an appointment with us today.