Vaginal Infection: Top Ten Ways to Avoid it

June 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Vaginal health is something that should be important to every woman. Your vagina is important. Taking care of it should be one of your top priorities, especially if you want to have children or think you will want to have children in the future. Not taking the time to take proper care of your vagina can lead to vaginal infection. Infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which in many cases will mean you are no longer able to conceive children. Although when you are younger this may not seem like a problem as many younger women feel little desire to have children, as you grow older, you will almost certainly regret that decision. The fabled biological clock is very real. This is something you should keep in mind earlier in life to stave off heartache in the long run. It is important to keep your options open regarding having children. You may stick to your guns and decide you never want to have children but if you don’t properly care for your vagina and decide down the line that you want to have children of your own, you may wish you had taken more time to care for your vagina. There are many things you can do to keep your vagina healthy. Follow these ten basic rules to avoid vaginal infection and keep your vagina healthy regardless of whether you want children or not.

1. Learn about STDs and look for signs.

Most of us know the common symptoms of Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and things of that nature from health class, but trichomoniasis is something we should also be aware of. This is a bacterium that we catch from a sexual partner that has it. It causes a foul odor, pain or itching during urination and a yellow or green colored discharge that is watery and bubbly. Have your doctor test you if you have any of these symptoms and have it treated.

2. That fishy smell isn’t normal.

If you notice a fishy order especially after sex, and notice your vaginal discharge is gray, yellow or even white you may have bacterial vaginosis. Your doctor will be able to treat this, usually with pills, so be sure you consult with your doctor right away.

3. Yeast is normal. Yeast infections are not.

Some women are prone to yeast infections but it is important not to ignore them. Left untreated, yeast infections can lead to significant problems. Yeast infections often cause itchiness, swelling, pain and will cause your vaginal discharge to become almost like cottage cheese. Make sure you have the infection treated right away.

4. Douching does more harm that good.

Washing the outside of your vagina every day is enough to keep it clean. You do not need to douche. Douching products often employ chemicals that will cause irritation in your vagina and you may even cause any vaginal infection inside your vagina to spread to your uterus or fallopian tubes. This may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and eventual infertility.

5. Keep your vagina clean.

Your vagina is generally a very clean part of your body as your vaginal discharge helps keep it cleaned out. That said, you need to shower or bathe every day to make sure the outside of your vagina remains as clean as the inside. Avoid scented soaps or soaps that have harsh chemicals as they may only lead to lead to irritation. You may want to consider using baby soap as it is very gentle because it is designed for the sensitive skin of a baby.

6. If you can avoid wearing underpants, do it!

We’ve always been told that ladies wear underpants, but the truth is, underpants can be a contributing factor to vaginitis. Your vaginal discharge gets trapped inside your underpants and if you have a particularly heavy discharge, this can irritate your vagina. If you must wear underpants, choose cotton underpants during the day and avoid wearing underpants at night.

7. Although hot tubs are relaxing, avoid them.

Hot tubs are a great way to relax, have a glass of champagne and enjoy a quiet evening. Hot tubs are also full of bacteria just waiting for your unsuspecting vagina. Avoid continuous use or even regular use. You will enjoy a nice hot bath just as much and you can avoid much of the problem bacteria this way.

8. Safe sex isn’t just about condoms.

Many women enjoy anal sex but it can be quite dangerous to the health of your vagina if you aren’t careful. There is nothing wrong with liking anal sex and it doesn’t need to be something you avoid entirely as long as you never, under any circumstances, follow it immediately with vaginal sex. Change condoms before having vaginal sex if you have been having anal sex. In addition, if you are masturbating and use sex toys, make sure you keep those toys clean. Most sex toy shops will sell cleaner that is safe for use on these toys.

9. Use condoms.

Using condoms is an obvious way to take care of your vagina. The truth is, however, that some women may find they suffer from vaginal irritation following the use of condoms. If this is the case, you likely have a problem with either the latex in condoms or the spermicidal agents in the lubricant on some condoms. If that is the case, you should speak with your doctor about alternative condom options.

10. Be aware of your vaginal discharge.

Vaginal discharge is normal and very beneficial. Vaginal discharge is your body’s way of cleaning itself. This discharge helps clear out the old cells attached to your vagina and helps prevent the build up of bacteria inside of your vagina. Normal vaginal discharge has no odor and is either clear or milky in appearance. It will change depending on your menstrual cycle, sexual arousal and breastfeeding. If you notice severe changes or you notice blood in the discharge between menstrual cycles you need to consult your doctor right away. A change in your vaginal discharge is often your vagina’s way of telling you there is a problem. Being aware of your discharge and what is normal for you is the best way to tell if there is a problem.

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