With time, we grow to become not only more comfortable with our bodies, but we also start to understand them better. However, even today, there are still many misconceptions about how to take care of our bodies, including keeping proper vaginal health. Because of this, it’s important to be informed to make the best choices for your health. Here are some daily decisions that you can practice to form habits that prioritize your body and wellbeing, starting with good vaginal health.
You don’t need to douche or clean yourself with any fancy, overpriced women’s products, despite what you may have heard. Cleaning the inside of the vagina can throw off your body’s pH balance which disrupts the environment for good bacteria that live there. These effects of douching can cause unwanted symptoms such as dryness and even infection. Using water is enough for the outer vulva area to keep the site clean and take away any undesirable smells. If you happen to use any kind of soap around this area, use plain and unscented products that will not affect your pH levels.
Aside from douching, there is a balance to strike when practicing good hygiene. Typically, you will notice a vaginal discharge or even a noticeable smell, which is typical of a healthy vagina. While it is not advised to clean with soap or use products that might dry out the area, a simple daily cleaning with water can help take away lingering smells and excess discharge while keeping you feeling refreshed. Additionally, make sure to change pads and pantiliners frequently during your period to avoid prolonged contact with the vaginal area. This advice is also applicable for tampon users as wearing tampons for much longer than necessary can also contribute to infection, even toxic shock syndrome (TSS) in rare cases.
The moist nature of the vaginal region makes it difficult to keep clean throughout the day. If you are prone to yeast infections or a more significant discharge flow, consider opting for less tight or cotton-based undergarments that allow more airflow. Additionally, always change your underwear whenever necessary, especially if you have been working out or sweating from other activities.
If you are sexually active, it’s crucial to protect yourself from the many types of STIs. Using male or female condoms can provide protection that can save you from lasting pain and infection. Additionally, make sure to use water-based lubrication products when necessary. Vaginal dryness is common, and this sensitive area can quickly become damaged if it’s not well lubricated.
A healthy diet will only bring benefits to your body, including your vaginal region! Remembering to stay hydrated and eat balanced meals can provide vital nutrients and help your body feel healthier and more robust. Eating foods like avocado, green vegetables, and soy can all positively affect your vaginal health. Additionally, consider introducing probiotics into your diet, promoting good bacteria growth. How probiotics can help introduce good bacteria into your body.
Understand your body and notice when something is not normal. Knowing the usual color and smell of discharge can quickly alert you to a yeast infection or something that requires further treatment. Don’t hesitate to go to your gynecologist if something seems wrong. Taking early action against problems can help prevent long-term destructive conditions such as cancer. From cleaning to changing your diet, incorporating these habits into your daily life can benefit your overall well-being as you take care of the most sensitive area of your body.