Important Vaginal Health Tips for Every Woman
Contributing Author: Dr. Sean Daneshmand
As a woman, addressing vaginal health is just as important as looking after the rest of your body. Unfortunately, there are things that compromise that perfect balance of pH and friendly bacteria, but we’re going to give you the best vaginal health tips to avoid common problems. Let’s get started:
Do your kegel exercises
Kegels are good for strengthening the pelvic floor, which is sometimes affected by things like weight gain, pregnancy, aging, and childbirth.
When the muscles around this area are strengthened, it stops the pelvic organs from lowering into the vagina, which can be painful and very uncomfortable. Kegel exercises also help prevent things like urinary incontinence, and they improve bowel and bladder function; with the added bonus of more intense orgasms.
The vagina really is a “self-cleaning oven,” and this isn’t just something your mom used to say, and it’s important that you allow this process to continue without introducing foreign chemicals that mess with this harmony. The journal Obstetrics & Gynecology published a study in 2013 that showed how intra-vaginal cleaning products increase the risk of the risk of STDs, UTIs, pelvic inflammatory disease, and all kinds of infections. So it’s best to avoid douching entirely.
Wash from Front to Back
It’s shocking how many women forget this simple hygiene rule – and yet the risks are so severe. There are far too many unfriendly bacteria in your stool, and when you wash from back to front, those same bacteria come into contact with your vagina. The same is true when wiping; which is why gynecologists recommend swiping from front to back, to avoid that bacteria from getting into the urinary tract, as it can cause yeast infections and UTIs. Keep this same approach during sex – always start from the front.
Diet plays a huge role in vaginal health, so pay attention to the kind of food you eat on a regular basis. One type of food that is known to improve vaginal health is probiotics, which include Greek yogurt and curd. Probiotics encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the vagina, and they help maintain optimal health.
Do Not Skip Ob-Gyn Appointments
It might be uncomfortable at first, but with a change of mindset, you will get used to these appointments. It helps when you have a specialist with whom you can discuss ailments affecting your reproductive organs. The whole point of seeing a gynecologist is so that you can get clarification on many issues that affect a woman’s reproductive health. This way, you can treat infections when they arise, and not when they’ve already evolved into much bigger problems.
Pay Attention to Antibiotics
Antibiotics are commonly abused, and while they play a big role in keeping us safe from cases of flu and infections, they also have the nasty effect of causing vaginal dryness, among other things. One of the reasons why this happens is because of the nature of antibiotics to kill both friendly and unfriendly bacteria, and since a healthy vagina relies on a delicate balance of bacteria, using a powerful dose of antibiotics can definitely interfere with normal functioning. Speak to your doctor about it if you experience dryness or itchiness as a result of taking strong doses of antibiotics.
Vaginal dryness is not uncommon, but the effects are severe and can lead to painful sex, inflammation, and in some cases, infections as well. A lot of times it is caused by dehydration, medications, frigidity, among other things. When this happens, lubricants can be used (but pay attention to the product ingredients and avoid low-quality lube) and it will make a huge difference to how you experience sexual intercourse.
Maintain a Healthy Diet for Vaginal Health
You know that eating healthy food improves your health overall, but you probably don’t know that vaginal health is also sensitive to your diet. As a matter of fact, some foods are known to treat yeast infections and such, but a healthy diet reduces the chance of acquiring many opportunistic infections.
Apart from consuming probiotics, make your diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fats, to give your body the strength it needs to fight infections and keep healthy bacteria. In addition to diet, water intake should be high, so try to make the recommended eight glasses-a-day, and this will allow the body to get rid of toxins that would otherwise build over time and cause infections.
Author’s Bio: Dr. Sean Daneshmand has been nominated as a “Top Doctor in San Diego” as published in San Diego Magazine continuously since 2008-2018. He has also completed extensive training in Aesthetic procedures including Vaser Liposelection and has been the Medical Director of Ageless and beautiful Medical Spa since May 2005.