The Dos & Don’ts of Vaginal Health
Vaginal health is crucial to maintaining your overall well-being. However, it’s a topic still surrounded by secrecy, making it hard for many of us to know what we should be doing. Too often, we ignore potential issues out of embarrassment or fear of judgment. But no more! Walnut Lake OBGYN & Wellness addresses some common misconceptions, and the do’s and don’ts of vaginal health.
For personalized reproductive healthcare in West Bloomfield, MI, contact the Walnut Lake OBGYN & Wellness team and schedule an appointment today.
In our society, so many misconceptions and myths surrounding vaginal health often leave women feeling confused and unsure about what is true and what is not. It’s time to break down these misconceptions and separate myths from reality when it comes to vaginal health.
MYTH 1: You must clean your vagina with specialized cleaning products.
Sexist myths have perpetuated the idea that vaginas are inherently dirty, which is just blatantly untrue! The feminine hygiene industry has made us believe that our natural scent needs to be erased with artificially fragranced products like douches, wipes, and washes. But did you know our vagina is a self-cleaning machine? Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a renowned gynecologist, suggests that introducing all these extra products can hamper the natural balance of healthy microbes in our vagina and can lead to an increased likelihood of infections.
MYTH 2: It is normal to experience pain during sex.
Pain during intercourse can indicate potential underlying conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and other illnesses. If you are experiencing pain during sex, reach out to the professionals at Walnut Lake OBGYN & Wellness.
MYTH 3: If you have an STD, your vagina will show clear signs.
While experiencing symptoms of STDs is common, many infections will display no signs whatsoever. If you are actively having sex, getting regular checkups and testing is extremely important.
Need help figuring out how or where to get tested? The CDC has a helpful tool for finding a testing center near you! Just enter your zip code to find locations near you.
The Dos of Vaginal Health
Maintain Regular Hygiene
When it comes to personal hygiene, one area that requires special attention is our vaginal health. Make sure to regularly cleanse the external genitalia to prevent infections and discomfort, and wear clean, comfortable, and 100% cotton underwear.
Choose the Right Products
We recommend washing with mild, pH-balanced cleansers and avoiding harsh soaps or perfumes. Remember, the vagina has its natural scent that is normal and healthy. If you notice any persistent or foul-smelling odor, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
Practice Safe Sex
Practicing safe sex is vital for your vaginal health not only because it helps prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) but also protects against unwanted pregnancy. Safe sex practices like using condoms significantly lower your risk of contracting HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and more.
Drinking water is beneficial not only to your overall well-being but also to your vaginas! The vagina is a delicate ecosystem, and dehydration throws it off. According to Stony Brook Medicine, dehydration can lead to dry skin around the vagina, increasing discomfort and itchiness, and can lead to yeast infections.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet plays an important role in improving vaginal health. Certain foods provide vital nutrients that support vaginal health, help maintain the optimal pH balance and natural flora of the vagina, and promote hormonal balance.
Optimal foods for your vaginal health include:
- Probiotic-Rich Foods: Yogurt, kimchi, kefir, pickles, etc.
- Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Cranberry juice, raspberries, pomegranate, etc.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, flaxseed, eggs, walnuts, etc.
Seek Routine Professional Medical Advice
Taking charge of your reproductive health can feel uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be! Having routine appointments and checkups helps ensure that everything down there is okay, and your doctor can intervene if it isn’t. It is essential to note that numerous sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may not exhibit symptoms, reinforcing the significance of regular, thorough testing to maintain optimal health.
The Walnut Lake OBGYN & Wellness team is committed to providing holistic, comfortable reproductive healthcare. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
The Don’ts of Vaginal Health
Douching is bad for vaginal health as it can increase the risk of infections, damage vaginal walls, and lead to severe complications. Experts recommend avoiding douching altogether and relying on good personal hygiene and regular medical appointments to maintain vaginal health.
Don’t Use Scented & Harsh Products
To avoid potential health risks, harsh and scented products should not be used to clean the vagina. Water and mild soap should clean the external genital area, while the vagina’s self-cleaning mechanisms keep it healthy and balanced.
Don’t Use Tampons & Menstrual Cups Incorrectly
Proper use of tampons and menstrual cups is crucial to maintain menstrual hygiene and prevent potential health risks. When used appropriately, tampons and menstrual cups can provide excellent protection and allow individuals to go about their daily routines comfortably and confidently. However, improper use of these products can lead to infections, toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and other health complications.
Avoid Excessive Washing
Overwashing the vagina, especially with harsh soaps or douches, can disrupt your pH balance, cause irritation and dryness, disturb vaginal flora, and increase your risk of infections. It is important to maintain proper hygiene by washing the external genital area with mild, unscented soap and water.
Don’t Ignore Symptoms
If you are experiencing abnormal discharge or itching, pain during sex, or pain during menstruation, the last thing to do is ignore the symptoms! There are endless benefits to early intervention. Addressing vaginal health concerns helps improve your overall health and well-being.
Don’t Skip Your OBGYN Appointments
Say it with me; the OBGYN is not only for pregnant women! Routine gynecologist checkups are crucial for maintaining women’s overall health. Regular checkups enable early detection of potential health issues, preventative care, reproductive health monitoring, and more.
Take Control of Your Vaginal Health Today!
By implementing these practices, one can take control of their reproductive well-being and empower themselves through knowledge. It is crucial to prioritize self-care and seek professional guidance when necessary. For unparalleled reproductive healthcare personalized to your specific needs, connect with the experienced team at Walnut Lake OBGYN & Wellness. Together, we can ensure your optimal health and well-being.