Personal health contributes to the overall well-being of human life. A significant part of our personal health is maintaining proper personal hygiene. It entails practices that would keep us tidy including our genital areas.
Overall personal hygiene is made up of various factors such as good dental practices, bathing practices, and sexual health. For women, vaginal health is a vital part of it.
A woman’s genital is more susceptible to infections and diseases. It is because its opening is very straightforward. Not to mention how women need to be seated when using public bathrooms. Thus, vaginal health is important due to the number of complications it prevents.
Vaginal health can affect reproductive capabilities, sexual desire, and confidence. The failure to observe good vaginal health practices often causes vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and even genital herpes.
To ensure good vaginal health, we have compiled a few tips that will ensure that it is at its best.
Avoid Using Scented Soaps and Shower Gels
Over the past ten years, beauty companies have been taking advantage of women with low self-esteem due to their bodies. Beauty companies have developed several cleaning products for the vagina.
The cleaning products are marketed using the claim that they will leave the vagina smelling fresh or some other type of scent. However, these products do more damage than good. The vagina is self-cleaning through vaginal discharge. This means there is no need for external products to clean the vagina.
The use of scented bathing products upsets or changes the vaginal pH balance. They do this because the products used to develop the products do not have the same pH as the vagina, and are therefore harmful.
Once the vaginal pH is affected, infections crop up because fungus or bacteria count increases. When infections crop up, common symptoms such as itching and foul-smelling discharge start.
In such a case, one should refrain from scratching the outside area of the genitalia or inside the vagina. You should, instead, use the best vaginal itching relief product and then seek further help from a gynecologist if symptoms persist.
Wear Cotton Underwear
Fashion trends have been a major constituent of poor genital hygiene practices. Over the years, designers have embraced the use of fabrics such as nylon to make more fashionable and eye-catching innerwear pieces.
The use of these fabrics is, however, detrimental to overall vaginal health. The shiny luster that makes the fabrics good for creating fashionable innerwear pieces is what causes its drawbacks.
Due to its closely packed strands, the innerwear holds in a lot of heat and moisture and prevents air circulation around the genitals. By doing so, the underwear creates a good breeding ground for fungus and harmful bacteria that cause vaginal infections.
Cotton underwear allows consistent air circulation, and the fabric is absorbent. By allowing air circulation and absorbing moisture, it ensures that the conditions around the vagina are not sustainable for bacteria and fungus growth.
Observe Good Menstrual Health
Good menstrual hygiene practices are a big part of vaginal health. Menstrual hygiene practices entail things one should do while menstruating to ensure that they stay clean and free of any infections.
The most vital aspect of menstrual health is observing time when it comes to sanitary products such as tampons and pads. As a general rule of thumb, one should never leave a tampon in or use a pad for more than 8 hours.
It is the maximum amount of time to have a tampon or pad, whether full or not. Overusing sanitary products puts you at risk of developing a rash that will lead to itchiness, or worse, getting vaginal yeast infections.
Another good practice that improves menstrual health is washing regularly. Menstruation blood can contain some bacteria that will cling onto your body even after removing the pad or tampon.
You should therefore wash the vaginal area at least twice a day to ensure that it is clean. When showering, you should ensure that you do not overdo it and alter the vagina’s pH balance. A few wipes with plain water are sufficient.
Use Protection During Sex
When discussing vaginal health, it is easy to overlook good sexual practices as a constituent of vaginal health. Poor sexual hygiene can easily cause one to contract numerous types of infections such as genital herpes.
During sex, there are a couple of practices that one should observe to ensure they have good vaginal health. The first practice is to always urinate after sex. Due to a lot of body contact during sex, it is easy to transmit bacteria into the urethral tract. Urinating after sex helps to keep the urethral tract free and safe from urinary tract infections.
Another healthy sexual practice is the use of condoms when having sex with non-exclusive partners. Most people view condoms as means to prevent pregnancy only. However, condoms offer much more than family planning. When having sex with a partner who you are not exclusive with, it is advisable to use a condom to prevent transmission of infections.
For female sexual health, it is also important to take the available vaccinations for sexually transmitted infections. Currently, the available vaccines help prevent hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV.
Getting immunized against these infections reduces the chances of getting the diseases thereby improving overall vaginal health.
The female anatomy is delicate and requires regular checkups for any conditions. As a woman, it is necessary to have your regular gynecologist whom you visit at least once in six months for a checkup.
Gynecology checkups help to detect any existing conditions before they escalate. Regular checkups can also be a way for you to get regular tips on how to continuously improve your vaginal health and stay healthy.
Over the life of a woman, the tips to observe vaginal health can change due to various factors such as hormonal fluctuations, age, etc. You should therefore ensure that you constantly seek further knowledge and guidance on how to improve your vaginal health and make sure that it is always at its best.