At one point or another, many of us will experience a yeast infection.
In fact; according to recent statistics, so common are yeast infections, that as many as 75 percent of all women will at some point in their life develop one. The main symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is itching, burning, discharge, and sometimes pain with urination or intercourse can also occur.
And while the majority of yeast infections are pretty easily treated, they can become an issue if left undiagnosed and not treated, and can also sometimes become reoccurring if you start getting them.
Luckily, there are measures you can take to avoid developing a yeast infection and keep your “down below” as fresh and healthy as possible.
Here are some vagina friendly advice to keep in mind, mamas:
1. Always change immediately after working out or swimming
Yeast infections thrive in moist, warm places, and as sweat and water both can create this kind of environment inside your workout- or swimming clothes, the sooner you can change out of these once finished, the better. But did you know that the same, in fact, applies to tights? It’s true. Tight-fitting, synthetic clothing offer the perfect breeding environment for vaginal infections – so why let your lady parts have a day off and bare those legs once in a while?
2. Keep washing to a minimum
If you are a fan of douching, you need to stop right now, ladies. According to experts, this practise can seriously disturb the pH balance in your vagina, and lead to uncomfortable conditions such as both yeast infections and BV (bacterial vaginosis).
This condition that is actually far more common than thrush, although less well recognised, and experts predict as many as 320,000 Irish women annually are likely to develop this unpleasant infection. To avoid it, skip the soap when washing and just use water. Remember, it’s ok to wash the outside of your lady parts with a gentle pH-balanced shower gel or unscented soap, but the inside is self-cleaning, mama – there is no need to any soap to go near those parts.
Also, if you happen to have a BV breakout, over-the-counter remedy Relactagel from Kora Healthcare is available in pharmacies that will fix the problem in a few days.
3. Eat a vagina-friendly diet
You might already be eating avocado because they keep your skin soft and wrinkle-free and blueberries because they are said to be good for your eye sight. But did you know you can also eat food that will benefit your vagina in different ways? It’s true, mamas.
Like your gut, your vagina relies on healthy bacteria to ward off bad bacteria that causes infections. Probiotic foods like yogurt and cheese and prebiotic foods like raw onions and leeks are important for maintaining these good bacteria down there. Prone to UTIs? Make sure you drink lots of water every day, and unsweetened cranberry juice helps if you do get a UTI.
Also, avoid eating too much sugar and yeasty foods, as these can upset the bacterial balance in your vagina.
4. Always wipe from front to back
It’s a simple thing, but it really is important. As you can imagine, you do not want to bring what’s lurking in the back over to the front –as this could introduce E. coli, and other bacteria into the vagina which could lead to nasty UTIs.
5. Beat vaginal dryness
As many as 22.5 percent of Irish women say vaginal dryness affects their confidence, according to a recent survey from Kora Healthcare. Unfortunately, this can lead to mood problems in the bedroom. But guys, there is nothing wrong with using a little aid to help you feel more comfortable between the sheets. If you need lubricant, there are many options available in the chemist. One of these are Regelle, a handy little vaginal gel that comes in a discrete applicator.
6. Pick the right underwear
When picking your smalls, cotton underwear is the best kind for your vagina because it’s most breathable. For the same reason, you’re better off not wearing any knickers at all when in bed. Are you one of those rare people who still wear thongs? Listen up: These are best avoided as they can bring bacteria to the urethra, which can lead to UTIs. And if you do insist on still buying thongs, at least avoid ones made out of synthetic materials like polyester and nylon.
7. Wash your underwear with unscented detergent
Take care when choosing your washing detergent. Some washing powders and liquids contain so many chemicals and these can interrupt your vaginal oils – and warp the way it protects against infections. It’s best to go for detergents that are as natural and toxin free as possible- so try shopping in your local health store for these, and for the sake of your delicates, you’re better off using these ones which will be softer on expensive underwear materials.
8. Make time for exercise
Believe it or not, mamas, but exercise and stretching can have an effect on lady parts too. Tight inner thigh muscles can lead to tension and pain in the vagina – so book a yoga class today, and make sure you stretch out your thigh muscles. And while you’re at it, slouching doesn’t help your bits either- it can put stress on the nerves in the sacrum that connect to the vagina, which impedes nerve conduction and blood flow.
Instead, sit with your lower back resting against the back of good chair, not perched at the front of your seat with no back support. Your feet should touch the ground (dangling them can also stress your back). If you are stuck in an office all day, make time to get up and walk around. Your blood flow will improve and so will your vaginal happiness.