Woman Talk: Ways To Keep Your Vagina Healthy

Face it: Women simple care more for themselves physically than men do. And they should. Monthly periods, childbearing, hormonally, induced cravings, feminine hygiene – all these demand special care that only a woman understands. Unlike a man’s penis, a woman’s vagina requires special attention, like every other part of her body. Long gone are the days when a bath in the river sufficed. Even showering every day is no longer enough.

Women nowadays really have to take better care of their vaginas.

Understanding Femininity

According to menstruation.com.au, a healthy vagina is a self-regulating system and is cleaner than our mouths. Dr. Karen Icamina, resident OB-gynecologist in training, adds: If there’s no abnormal discharge in a woman, meaning the natural discharge that appears is curdy white and odorless, the vagina is healthy.

Your vagina should have a natural ecosystem of microorganisms composed of good bacteria that helps ward off bad bacteria from your reproductive organs. These good bacteria are composed mostly of lactobacilli, the same bacteria found in yogurt.

Women under the reproductive age group naturally have a more acidic pH because of the presence of estrogen in their system. In menopausal women, the pH rises slightly as the estrogen levels in the body gradually decline. Estrogen promotes the production of glycogen in the vaginal mucosa.

Another thing to understand about your vaginal area is that it is very sensitive – even more sensitive than your skin. Contrary to what many believe, the vaginal area is actually a mucosa (membrane with glands that secrete mucous), not normal body skin. The mucosa has a thinner lining, making it more delicate and prone to irritation.

Proper Care

Because the vaginal mucosa is sensitive, care must be taken to preserve its health. Here are crucial ways to keep your vagina healthy;

  1. Wash the vagina using a gentle soap, cleansing bar or vaginal wash, but don’t overdo it as it can cause irritation. Ordinary body soaps may be too harsh on the mucosa, leaving your vagina dry. Vaginal washes help, but take note of the pH and hypoallergenic properties of the product you are using. Use it at least once daily. If you experience irritation when using it, stop immediately, consult your doctor, and if possible, switch brands.
  2. To prevent infections, always perform from to back – not from back to front. Note that there is little space separating the vagina from the anus. If you wipe from back to front, you may get bacteria from the anus into your vaginal area, possibly causing infection.
  3. As much as possible, wear cotton underwear, it helps air the vaginal area and absorbs the sweat in the area around it.
  4. Douching is not recommended. It can introduce infection into the vagina.
  5. Never ever insert any foreign object in your vagina.
  6. Be mindful of vaginal discharges that are watery, smelly and have an abnormal color. Foul discharges in particular, may be due to a foreign body, such as forgotten tampons. Watch out for associated symptoms, such as itchiness, dryness, or burning of the vaginal mucosa. These signs indicate potential infection. See your doctor immediately.