Vaginal hygiene is an all-important aspect of women’s health. But many women have questions about how to take care of their vaginas, and they are not sure of the answers. Here are some dos and don’ts that all women should remember.
Women should always use condoms when having safe sex to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Common STDs include HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Women should always change condoms when switching between vagina, anal, and oral sex.
The natural pH of the vagina is 3.8-4.5. Women should not douche because doing so reduces the acidity of the vagina. The acidity level is crucial because this prevents bacteria from growing. Women should also avoid using hard soaps, and body washes on the inside the vagina and the vulva.
Women should see a gynecologist on a regular basis for preventative check-ups. This will help women to keep track of their vagina health. A regular check-up also means that cervical cancer can be spotted in the early stages while the cancer can still be treated.
Women should use lubricant for sexual intercourse but should avoid using ones which contain petroleum jelly or baby oil. Both these substances can cause infection and inflammation. Recommended lubricants are silicone-based, water-based, or oil based.
Women should wear panties with a cotton gusset. Cotton does not hold moisture and keeps the vagina cool. During menstruation, women should change tampons and sanitary pads regularly. Women who experience a lot of vaginal discharge should change their underwear two or three times per day.
Women should always make sure to dry their vaginas after using the bathroom, but using the right tissue is important. One-ply tissue is a no-no because this kind of tissue is rough and dry and can make the vagina sore. Women should use soft two-ply bathroom tissue but should avoid tissue that is scented.
Women should do Kegel exercises on a regular basis to strengthen the vaginal muscles. Tighter vaginal muscles mean a stronger, longer climax. Kegels also have other benefits such as reducing the risk of bladder leaks in later life.
Regular checkup, proper hygiene and protection during sex are all that is needed for proper vaginal care. Eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake and smoking will also make a difference. Most importantly don’t ignore any changes and consultant a physician with any concerns.