6 Vaginal Health Tips | What Your Doctor May Tell You

Women are sometimes shy about vaginal health issues, but vaginal health is an important part of overall wellness. Vaginal problems can affect fertility, sexual relationships, and a woman’s mood and self-confidence. So how can a woman keep her vagina healthy? Here’s what the doctor may say.



Sexual health goes hand-in-hand with vaginal health. Sex can be uncomfortable or painful if a woman is experiencing vaginal dryness or suffering from some vaginal problems or health conditions, such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Women should communicate with their partners if sex feels uncomfortable or painful. A doctor can address any underlying health conditions that are causing chronic pain during sex.



While thongs and lacy undergarments can have a certain place in a woman’s sex life, cotton is best for breathability and moisture absorption. Wearing cotton underwear and avoiding nylon, acetate, and other manmade fibers reduces risk of developing vaginal infections. Always wash new undergarments before wearing them, and clean all undergarments with mild, non-irritable soap.



The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, which means that women usually shouldn’t use douches or other vagina-specific cleaning products unless directed by a doctor. The delicate pH balance of the vagina can easily be thrown off by any invasive cleaning products or chemicals. Anything that washes away the good bacteria of the vagina and causes bad bacteria to grow can lead to infection. Experts recommend simply washing outside the vagina, where pubic hair is or would be, with a mild or sensitive soap and water.



Simple clench-and-release exercises can strengthen the muscles and tissues of the pelvic floor. Weakened pelvic floor muscles can lead to incontinence, prolapse, or leaking of urine. Stronger pelvic muscles can also increase a woman’s chances of orgasm. Orgasms obviously increase pleasure, and female orgasms during sex also increase a couple’s chances of pregnancy when trying to conceive.



Discharge can look different depending on what’s happening in a woman’s body. Some vaginal discharge is simply a byproduct of the self-cleaning mechanisms of the vagina. Other discharge may be from ovulation, and usually looks yellow, clear, or slightly cloudy. Any discharge that starts to look gray, green, or like the consistency of cottage cheese could indicate the presence of an infection.



Regular check-ins with a medical professional are important for making sure a woman is healthy. Not only is it important to screen for certain health conditions, but seeing a doctor gives women the opportunity to ask questions about her vaginal health. So refrain from feeling embarrassed! Vaginal health is an extremely important component of overall health.

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