Vaginal is a female reproductive organ system functioning organ. Vaginal health plays a critical role in a woman’s overall health. Vaginal issues can impair fertility, sexual desire, and the capacity to achieve orgasm. Vaginal health problems that persist can lead to stress, interpersonal concerns, and a loss of self-confidence. Since it is important to maintain your vaginal health, let’s explore what are the tips that you can do to keep your vagina healthy!
8 Tips to Keep Vagina Healthy
Tip #1: Eat More Healthy Fruits
Orange, lime and lemon were some examples of citrus fruits that have great benefits for your vaginal health due to the presence of vitamin C. A study conducted by Krasnopolsky et al. (2013) found that Vitamin C can reduce the risk of vaginal bacterial infections.
Apples are high in pharmacologically active compounds like phytoestrogens (e.g. phloridzin), polyphenols, and antioxidants, which have been shown to improve vaginal blood flow. Additionally, the active substances can benefit females in promoting improved sexual function, lubrication, and the ability to orgasm (Cai et al., 2014).
Kiwi is a fruit that has been shown to benefit cardiac, digestive, and immune health. It has a high concentration of vitamin C and antioxidants, which aid in the growth of friendly bacteria in the vagina, keeping it healthy and lubricated.
Tip #2: Practice Safer Sex
- Protect yourself by using condoms. It can prevent bacteria infections such as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) that may obtain from unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Do regularly screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). It is recommended to get tested if you have multiple sexual partners.
- Check the ingredients used in condoms. Spermicides can be found in a wide variety of condom products. It is not ideal for the vagina to use condoms that contain spermicides since they might also kill the helpful bacteria in the area. Make sure your vagina is happy and healthy by using alternative types of birth control if they are available.
Tip #3: Exercise your lower body
Since vagina is related to female reproductive health, it is also important to do Kegel exercise. It is an exercise that is used to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and your vagina. Not only may it help avoid urine leakage, but also help prevent your poop passing out by accident. Since Kegel exercise can tightening and strengthen your pelvic floor muscle, it may also improve your orgasm during sexual intercourse.
Kegel exercises are basic clench-and-release movements that may be performed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Between your hips lies the pelvis, which houses your reproductive organs.
Squats help to build your pelvic floor muscles while simultaneously engaging several other muscles such as your glutes, quadriceps, and core. Squats are performed by positioning your feet hip-width apart, bend our knees, and pull our buttocks back as if to sit. We should avoid bending our knees over our toes. Straighten your legs and back to standing posture, repeat it 10-15 times.
Tip #4: Use Water for Cleaning
The vagina is an organ that will clean itself. Avoid washing vagina by using scented soaps, gels, and antiseptics as the chemicals can disrupt the usual ecosystem, allowing bacteria and yeast to proliferate. Therefore, it is recommended to clean your vagina with only water.
Tip #5: Control Your Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial not only to our physical health but also to the health of our sexual organs. Being overweight or obese will increase our risk of getting chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Reducing to a healthy weight can lower our chance of developing the sexual disorders that are often connected with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Previous studies found that patients with type 2 diabetes will have higher risk of getting yeast infections and Urinary Tract Infections (Nader et al., 2022).
Tip #6: Get Regular Screening
It is important to do regular screening to detect any abnormalities in the female reproductive organ. Screening tests for cancer are beneficial because they can detect illness early, allowing for more effective therapy.
Pap test – Screen for cervical cancer. It can detect potentially precancerous problems of the cervix, which can then be monitored or treated to avoid cervical cancer. It is recommended to start routine Pap tests at the age of 21 and repeat them every three years.
Pelvic test – Tests for abnormalities in your vulva, vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus, rectum, and pelvis. It is recommended to do a pelvic test if you have symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge or pelvic pain.
Remember: Make an appointment with your gynaecologist for preventative check ups.
Tip #7: Choose breathable clothings
To maintain a healthy vaginal environment, it is advised that you pick natural fibres such as cotton for your underwear. Cotton is both breathable and absorbent, which contributes to the prevention of yeast infections. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon and spandex prevent the region from breathing. Rather than that, they trap heat and moisture, producing an ideal environment for yeast infections to thrive.
Tip #8: Don’t ignore post-menopausal bleeding
Post-menopausal bleeding is unsual, so it should be taken carefully. Menopause is a time of a woman’s life (about the age of 51) during which her reproductive hormones begin to decline and her monthly menstrual cycles cease. It is not usual for a woman to have vaginal bleeding more than a year after her last menstruation. Postmenopausal bleeding is most frequently caused by benign (noncancerous) gynaecological disorders such as endometrial polyps. However, Postmenopausal bleeding is a symptom of uterine cancer in around 10% of women. Among reproductive cancers, uterine cancer is the most frequent form.
Cai, T., Gacci, M., Mattivi, F., Mondaini, N., Migno, S., & Boddi, V. et al. (2014). Apple consumption is related to better sexual quality of life in young women. Archives Of Gynecology And Obstetrics, 290(1), 93-98.
Clagett-Dame, M., & Knutson, D. (2011). Vitamin A in Reproduction and Development. Nutrients, 3(4), 385-428.
Golmakani, N., Emamverdikhan, A., Tabassi, S., Hassanzadeh, M., Sharifi, N., & Shakeri, M. (2016). A survey of the therapeutic effects of Vitamin E suppositories on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women. Iranian Journal Of Nursing And Midwifery Research, 21(5), 475.
Maki, K., Kaspar, K., Khoo, C., Derrig, L., Schild, A., & Gupta, K. (2016). Consumption of a cranberry juice beverage lowered the number of clinical urinary tract infection episodes in women with a recent history of urinary tract infection. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 103(6), 1434-1442.
Salari, N., Karami, M.M., Bokaee, S. et al. The prevalence of urinary tract infections in type 2 diabetic patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Med Res 27, 20 (2022).