Maintaining proper vaginal hygiene is imperative to ward off any sort of STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) or STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection), even before any sort of irritation, infection or disease occurs. The normal vaginal pH balance helps cater to the growth of useful bacteria. Some useful tips to maintain proper vaginal hygiene can be:
Douching (spraying a mixture of water, baking soda, vinegar or iodine on the vaginal area) is strictly discouraged. It can interfere with the normal pH levels of the vagina and can make the area extremely acidic, which sets the stage for the growth of bacterial infections.
A balanced, healthy, nutritious diet is recommended for a healthy vagina as well as for good reproductive health. Certain fluids such as cranberry juice can help prevent the onset of any yeast infection.
Safe sex should be practised in order to keep harmful bacteria away. Using a condom during sexual intercourse helps prevent the occurrence of any sort of STI or STD.
Gynaecological check-ups should be done every four months or so to be on the safe side regarding any doubts about an unhealthy vagina. Prevention is always better than cure in the long run.
Petroleum jelly should not be used for lubrication during sexual intercourse as such fluids tend to damage the latex in the condom and may even lead to a possible infection.
Clothes should be chosen carefully to keep the vaginal area clean and dry. Cotton underwear is generally the best option in this regard as it can help prevent any bacterial infection by keeping the area clean and dry.
Certain simple sanitary habits such as changing of tampons or sanitary pads every four hours during one’s periods, proper washing of the genital area after relieving the bowels, can go a long way in nurturing the health of the vagina.
Opt for gentle skin care products to wash the vaginal area as that area is extremely sensitive. Avoid scrubbing the vaginal area as well.