Important Tips for A Healthy Vagina
The odour of your vagina and physical appearance can tell you a lot about the health of the vagina. The vagina is a complex and a vital organ in a woman’s body, and this makes monitoring the health of your vagina important. It is necessary to seek medical attention from a private gynaecologist near you whenever you notice any disturbing change in your vagina.
Consultations with your gynaecologist will help maintain your reproductive organs and vagina health. It is important to feel free when you visit your gynaecologist because there is nothing gynaecologists have not handled or seen when it comes to women’s reproductive health.
Most times, keeping the vagina healthy doesn’t take much. A few simple healthy habits and changes in your lifestyle can prevent and handle common vaginal problems. However, some conditions affect the vagina regardless of how you care for it.
Some microorganisms are natural inhabitants of the vagina, and a slight change in the microbial load in the vagina can cause discomfort and infection. One of the common conditions, affecting more than 75% of women at a point in their lives, is a yeast infection.
Some causes of common vaginal conditions like a yeast infection include:
- Vaginal sprays and douches
- A weak immune system
- Hormonal contraceptives
- Wearing clothes that are tight around the vagina region
- Other changes in the hormone levels occurring during breastfeeding, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or pregnancy
A common condition due to an imbalance in vaginal bacteria is bacterial vaginosis (BV). Most women experience this due to overgrowth of other microorganisms, which overwhelms the healthy microorganisms like lactobacillus (bacteria found in the digestive system, urinary tract and genitals). Most women with BV remain unaware of the condition because it rarely presents symptoms.
Visiting your gynaecologist and certain treatments can manage common vaginal conditions as there is nothing you can do in some cases to prevent these issues from occurring. Regardless, following these steps can help improve your vaginal health. It also helps reduce the likelihood of bacterial imbalances and infections.
Let the vagina take care of itself
Most women worry about their vagina being unclean and always apply fragrances or clean the vagina with scented substances, but, the vagina cleans itself, and there is no need for all the scented soaps and perfumes.
There are several misconceptions when it concerns cleaning the vagina and its anatomy. Most people refer to the entire genital area as the vagina while it is the inner genital tract that opens into the cervix.
The outer part of the genital commonly referred to as the vagina is the vulva, and this is the part of the genital that requires cleaning. Cleaning the vulva requires warm water, and if you must use soap, a pH balanced or unscented soap will do. Try not to insert any soap or cleaning substance in the vagina as this can create an imbalance in the vagina, predisposing you to an infection.
During sex help out your vagina
Using a lubricant during sexual intercourse has several benefits. Some people only use lubricants during sex because it makes the experience better, but it also helps ease vaginal dryness.
Dryness of the vagina can occur due to reasons like genetics, taking antidepressant medications and birth control medications contain hormones. The vagina should ordinarily lubricate itself but if this doesn’t happen, use a lubricant.
Try not to use lubricants that contain glycerine. Glycerine is present in most water-based lubricants. The odourless and colourless liquid is a by-product of sugar, and it serves as food for microbes. Increased production of certain microbes in the vagina may cause BV and yeast infection.
Protect your vagina
Protecting yourself and vagina during sex with condoms prevents you from contracting STIs. Getting STI tests regularly and whenever you have a new partner would ensure you remain STI-free.
However, be mindful about using condoms that contain spermicides. Spermicides help prevent pregnancy by destroying the sperm, but they could inflame and irritate the vagina. Spermicides that contain Nonoxynol-9 are known to irritate some sensitive issues in the vagina.
Using spermicides during sex can triple your chances of having yeast infections because they also kill off useful bacteria alongside sperm in the vagina.
Be mindful about taking antibiotics
Antibiotics generally increase your chances of having vaginal infections because they stop the growth of bacteria and kill off some. Antibiotics may be suitable for treating illness, but they rarely have a good effect on the bacteria in the vagina. Sometimes, taking antibiotics to treat a vaginal infection may cause harm to beneficial bacteria in the vagina.
If you have a vaginal infection from taking an antibiotic, visit your gynaecologist as these kinds of diseases are easily treatable. It is wrong to believe that the infection will clear off after a while as this rarely happens.
Encourage the growth of friendly bacteria
Some people believe that bacterial imbalance can be prevented by taking probiotics, but evidence to support this is insufficient. Some experts suggest the intake of food containing lactobacillus as this can help in balancing the acidity and microflora in the vagina.
These foods include pickles, kefir, kombucha, yoghurt, and kimchi. Moderate intake of these foods may hardly harm the body but talk to your gynaecologist before you take any medicine or supplement.
Visit your gynaecologist
Have a gynaecologist you are comfortable with to always talk to about your sexual health and other needs like pregnancy, abortions, STI testing. Your gynaecologist should be your first contact for issues relating to your vagina and reproductive health. You also need to have an annual exam to address any sexual health problems.
Vaginal infection treatments
The only available treatments for infections arising from an imbalance in the vaginal bacteria is antifungal and antibiotics medications. They usually come in one round of medication and are effective.
You can visit us or call 020 7183 0435 to book a gynaecologist appointment at Gynaecology Clinic.