Experts affirm that all women tend to suffer some form of vaginal infection over the course of our lives. There are some steps to prevent these infections, but in certain cases, they happen anyway.
As women, we are exposed daily to a variety of activities, even more so in modern times when the belief that women belong solely in the home, without other job opportunities, has been cast aside.
A high-activity life sometimes results in a lack of care or preventative measures, either in correct intimate hygiene or nutritional aspects, both of which can be very important when trying to prevent health inconveniences.
A stressed and agitated body is less efficient in fending off microorganisms that cause illness.
What Are the Most Common Vaginal Infections?
The most common type of infection is vulvovagnitis caused by a fungus called Candidiasis vaginosis, vaginal bacteria called Gardnerella, and Trichomoniasis through sexual contact.
Why Do They Occur?
Normally, certain microorganisms coexist in the genital zone, and which do not damage our body, though, sometimes, the normal balance is altered and gives way to infections. They can also be contracted through sexual contact (trichomoniasis).
What sort of situations or events can alter this normal balance?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, diabetes, or prolonged use of antibiotics.
- Excess vaginal discharge with disagreeable odor
- Redness of the vulva
- Inflammation of the labia
- Pain and burning when urinating
- Discomfort during intercourse
Fortunately, vaginal infections can be treated. In many cases, women refuse to speak about them to their physician due to fear or embarassment, without realizing that a minor bother can quickly become a major problem.
For your safety, it is always best to consult your physician first before trying any natural treatments or remedies.
Plants with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, and which strengthen the body’s immune system:
- Boldo: is useful for infections caused by fungus. Possesses antifungal properties. Take boldo baths.
- Marigold: may be used to prevent or treat vaginal infections. Possesses antibiotic and antifungal properties. Put a small amount of marigold in boiling water, let it steep, and place on the infected zone.
- Chamomile: may be infused into the water of a sitz (or hip) bath.
Other Natural Methods
- Garlic: Excellent antibacterial and also antifungal. Crush a clove of garlic to make a paste, and apply externally.
- Tea Tree Oil: Put a few drops in bath water. Possesses antibacterial properties.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps balance pH. Mix 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Drink three times a day.
Eating natural yoghurt is a great help for avoiding vaginal infections, and if you are already suffering from one, you can put a little in your vaginal zone.
Nutrition also plays an important role in these cases, as certain foods have properties that prevent or eliminate infections.
Additionally, it helps strengthen the immune system so it is capable of fighting any microorganism impeding its improvement.
We should eat foods that contain:
- Iron: clams, organ meats, legumes, green vegetables.
- Zinc: lamb, oysters, peanuts, pumpkin, wheat germ
- Vitamin B: liver, milk, eggs, fish
Which should we avoid?
Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, bread, processed and preserved foods, yeasts, and sugars.
- Practice proper intimate hygiene, if possible with soaps with a neutral pH and which do not alter the natural flora of the vagina.
- Do not wear tight jeans, nor underwear made with synthetic fibres. Remember that the intimate zone requires proper ventilation. When humidity rises in that zone, microorganisms can reproduce more easily and rapidly.
- If using feminine products such as pantyliners, change them at least 4 times a day, and the same advice goes for using tampons during menstruation.
- Wash underwear in neutral detergent.
- When using the toilet, wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria that normally is found in the anus from causing infection in the vaginal area.
- Lead a more relaxed life; stress and anxiety lower our defenses, and we will be more likely to suffer illness.
- Always use cotton underwear that absorbs the natural moisture of the body.
- Although it may seem ironic, do not go overboard with cleaning the vagina, even when using proper soaps for the area. It is recommended that you wash with soap once a day, and water after that for rinsing.
- The vagina has an automatic cleansing mechanism, so only wash the external part.
- Using a female condom will help prevent sexually transmitted infections.