You eat right, you exercise and you get enough sleep, but are you taking good care of the most sensitive part of your body? Beware of these common mistakes that can compromise your vaginal health.
The perfumes, dyes and other chemicals in your favorite sweet-smelling soaps are great for the rest of your body, but when applied to the vagina, they can upset its delicate pH balance. This may lead to discomfort, itching and other unpleasant symptoms.
Switching to an all-natural soap without any additives is better for your skin in general – and necessary for washing around your vagina.
Some research suggests that applying any kind of powder containing talc may increase your risk for ovarian cancer. Studies presented in 2011 showed a 30 percent increase in immediate risk and up to triple the risk when used in the long term.
There’s also a chance that the powder may make its way up into your body and cause damaging inflammation. Plus, most vaginal powders contain scents and other chemical ingredients that may induce an uncomfortable reaction in people with sensitive skin. There’s also the risk of creating a pH imbalance.
Your body is pretty good at managing overall vaginal cleanliness on its own and douching can interrupt this process.
The vagina houses a diverse collection of beneficial microbes that are always working to maintain proper health. When you douche, you wash out the good bacteria along with the bad. It’s also possible to make existing infections travel further up the genital tract instead of driving them out when you douche.
Unless you’re absolutely sure that the vaginal itching and discharge you’re experiencing is the result of a yeast infection, your best bet is to go to the doctor. Other infections, including bacterial vaginosis, can cause similar symptoms.
Delaying proper treatment by assuming yeast is the culprit could lead to something worse. A trip to the doctor is also warranted if you experience frequent recurring yeast infections.
Wearing tight clothing or underwear that doesn’t “breathe” encourages sweating in the vaginal area. This can result in irritation and provides a breeding ground for infections. Daily use of panty liners may cause similar problems.
When you get dressed for the day, make sure you’re completely dry before putting on any clothes. Choose cotton underwear to minimize moisture retention, and skip the skinny jeans. You’ll be more comfortable for it.
If you find that you still sweat down below you should use a pH-balanced feminine wipe as necessary to freshen up when necessary.
Vaginal health may not be a topic for polite dinner conversation, but it’s also not something that should be ignored. Make proper self-care an part of your hygiene regimen to ensure that the sensitive parts of your body are as healthy as the rest of you!