Ten Ways To Avoid Vaginal Infections
Three out of four women will get at least one vaginal infection during their lifetime. Half of that number will get more than that.
First of all, there are things that increase your chances of getting one, and they are: diabetes, a weak immune system, antibiotics, using birth control, douching or using perfumed vaginal products, pregnancy, and having multiple sexual partners.
Although it may not be possible to prevent these infections for all women, there are certain things you can do to lower your risk. They are:
1. Stay dry. Wear breathable underwear like those made of cotton as they will keep you dry. Also change out of wet clothes, a wet swimsuit after swimming, or gym clothes after working out.
2. Give your vagina room to breathe. Switch to looser-fitting underwear. Tight trousers and underwear will increase the amount of moisture around your private parts and that increases your chances of having an infection.
3. Don’t douche. “Feminine hygiene products” like douches and feminine wash can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your vagina by removing some of the good bacteria that is supposed to be there to fight off infections. Also avoid scented feminine products: bubble baths, tampons, pads, sprays, and soaps. Washing the pubic region regularly with clean water alone is enough to keep the vagina clean. Keep your vaginal area dry, especially after a shower.
4. Avoid using hot tubs or taking extra hot baths. That heat is not good for your vagina, especially when coupled with dampness.
5. Always wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. Wiping from back to front will mobilise bad bacteria from your anus to your vagina.
6. Change sanitary towels often. When on your period, be sure to change your tampons, pads, and panty liners often. Try not to use one for more than 8 hours.
7. Watch your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, be sure to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and keep them under control.
8. Practise safe sex. Do not keep multiple sexual partners. Condoms do not only prevent pregnancy, they also prevent infections and reinfection. You never know how many sexual partners your sole lover has. If you are diagnosed with an infection, your sex partner should also be checked. He or she may have other sexually transmitted diseases and also may re-infect you if not treated.
9. Pregnant women should see their doctor immediately if they are experiencing symptoms.
10. Use antibiotics only when you have to. When being treated for an infection, make sure to take your drugs religiously and finish them, even if you feel better after a few days. Vaginal infections can come back and they could come back worse than before.
Ensure to see your doctor the moment you experience a change in vaginal discharge (quantity or odour), if you start to itch or feel any discomfort when you pee, or any other symptoms that are not normal. There is no need to panic. The earlier this is handled, the better.