Last updated on June 10, 2019
Keep reading to understand the basics of complete vaginal health.
Vaginal Ecology and Good Bacteria
Your vagina is a self-cleaning body part. It has its own unique ecosystem. Moreover, it hosts its own team of good bacteria. These healthy bacteria help the vagina maintain itself. It is a sensitive ecosystem which has to stay in an acidic environment. The specific pH levels keep the vagina from harm. When the bacteria flourish, the vagina will be safe from irritations and infections. In the like manner, any disruption to the bacteria changes the pH levels.
Your vagina is self-cleaning.
The most common vaginal ailments are Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections. The main reason for these infections is the excessive presence of harmful bacteria.
Frequent infections can lead to severe issues like urinary tract infections. These can cause dryness, itching, pain and/or sexual dysfunction.
Hormonal changes also affect the state of your vagina. If you are menstruating or going through menopause, similar symptoms may appear. Diabetes, obesity and pregnancy can also cause the vaginal flora to shift.
Infections and Their Symptoms
The infections occur due to the depletion of the good bacteria in the vagina. Most infections share the common symptoms of itching, dryness and abnormal discharge. It is important to tell them apart.
You could try to guess the infection you have and treat yourself with OTC medicine. You can also temporarily get relief with antifungal creams. However, if you diagnose incorrectly, the results can be disastrous. Plus, often, these symptoms relapse.
Rather than judging for yourself, consult your gynocologist. Then you can get a proper diagnosis and effective treatment.
The vaginal flora keep the environment acidic in nature. When bad bacteria enter the body, the ecosystem makes it difficult for those to live. These harmful organisms die in the process, keeping the vagina healthy. Hence, it is important to keep the good bacteria in plenty.
Threats to Vaginal Wellness
Maintaining proper hygiene can go a long way in achieving vaginal wellness. Although this may be true, some women indulge in excessive grooming. Remember, your vagina is a self-cleaning body part. You do not need to douche or use soaps on it.
Skin in the genital area and inner cells of the vagina are delicate. If you use products containing harsh chemicals, they will damage these cells.
For example, perfumed soaps or sanitary products are harmful. These can cause severe inflammation. Also, certain lubricants can harm your vaginal flora. This can lead to itching, inflammation, and dryness.
Problem with Lubricants
Traditional lubricants contain ingredients like glycerin and parabens. These are threats to the vaginal ecology. These can change the ecology of the vaginal tissue. The glycerin contained in the lubricants can pull the vaginal moisture out of the tissue which leaves it dry. Because of the dryness, you could experience discomfort and pain during intercourse.
As a result, the pH levels fall below the required standard. This will leave the vagina more vulnerable to infections like BV. If you have BV, it might increase your chances of contracting an STD. Furthermore, changes in vaginal pH increase your risk of contracting a yeast infection.
To maintain your vaginal wellness, opt for organic products that don’t have chemicals.
“Some Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have mild to no symptoms, which are like those of a yeast infection.”
Vaginal Hygiene Issues
Some women indulge in douching practice. These products containing vinegar or baking soda. These have the tendency to throw off the vaginas natural balance. If you are already battling minor issues, douches can cause further irritation.
You might be practicing waxing and other grooming methods. These are good until you face inflammation. Ingrown hairs can also cause itching and irritation. Additionally, using condoms can also create vaginal dryness and irritation. Using tampons with harsh material can damage the vaginal cells.
Those sanitary products are full of synthetic perfumes. Make sure you buy the pads and tampons made with organic material.
Although it true that the vagina cleans itself, you need to take extra care. The most effective method of ensuring your vaginal health is practicing good hygiene. But don’t be over enthusiastic or overindulge. Use personal hygiene products loaded with chemicals. These can clean you up well enough, but in the process, they strip you off of the good bacteria. Thus, use only water to cleanse your insides. Or you can choose the products with natural ingredients.
Your Food Intake
What you consume can also affect the vaginal flora. The simplest and easiest method to maintain the health of your vagina is to eat right. Taking care of your gut will ensure the proper functioning of everything else. A balanced diet is important for your gut health.
Your immune system has a connection to the good bacteria present in your vagina. There are some particular foods that impact the vaginal health.
Yogurt contains probiotics which increase the beneficial bacteria. Soy products contain estrogen and turmeric reduces inflammation. Grapefruit seed, cranberry juice and garlic can prevent yeast infections .
Maintaining healthier bacteria means you can lead a happier life.
Visit Your Gynecologist!
Every woman over the age of 21 has to undergo regular tests for her vaginal issues. Even though you have no issues at the present moment, get yourself screened. You need to get yourself tested for breast and cervical cancer. Schedule your annual exam at your gyno and seek preventative care.
Having discharge is completely normal – you should only be concerned if you notice an abnormality. Every woman must be informed about her vaginal wellness in order to better prevent infection.
If you’re too embarrassed to speak up about your problems, in could do more damage in the long run. Ask your gynecologist before you end up with an infection – it’s worth it!
Vaginal wellness products have increased in demand. If you are one who regularly uses these products, make sure to check their list of ingredients. Sometimes, the chemicals present in such products can damage the vaginal flora. Instead of opting for an off-the-shelf product, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor first.