The vagina is the birth canal through which a baby is born. It is also involved in sexual pleasure. The vagina has some natural bacteria which help to nourish it and prevent growth of other bacteria that may be harmful.
The normal bacteria also maintain its pH. Also, there is normal vaginal discharge which is colorless and odorless, however, it could become abnormal if there is an overgrowth of the normal bacteria or an infection is present.
How can I maintain a good vaginal health?
- Avoid washing your vagina with antiseptic soap or water, perfumed soaps, douches or scented wipes. These can irritate the vagina and also kill the good bacteria, therefore, leading to growth of the bad bacteria and infection. Let your vagina breathe.
- Engage in pelvic exercises. This will strengthen your pelvic muscles thus preventing laxity of the vagina.
- Avoid misuse of antibiotics. When antibiotics are used unnecessarily, they kill the good bacteria and allow the bad ones to thrive.
- Cervical screening should be done once you reach the age of 25 and should continue till you?re 64. It is a means of preventing cervical cancer
- Practice safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Avoid multiple sexual partners and use condoms regularly. Do not reuse condoms. Don?t share sex toys with your partners or friends. Do not forget to clean up after sex.
- Pay attention to the external surface too. Wash with warm water and mild soap. After using the toilet, wipe from front to back and not the other way. This is to avoid bacteria from the anus from getting to the vaginal opening.
- Wear clothes that allow your vagina breathe. Avoid tight-fitting clothes and keep the area dry.
- When menstruating, change your sanitary pads frequently, about 4-5 times daily.
- If you notice something wrong or different, consult a gynecologist. Do not self medicate.