9 Steps to Prevent Vaginal Infection

A vaginal infection is uncomfortable and something that you really want to avoid. Learn how to prevent infections with the 9 tips in this article.
9 Steps to Prevent Vaginal Infection

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Changes in your vaginal pH can create the perfect environment for bacteria, fungi, and viruses to grow and lead to a vaginal infection.

Your intimate area is often warm and moist. And so, this combined with other factors, allows microorganisms to proliferate, causing a range of uncomfortable symptoms.

Many types of infection are contracted during sexual intercourse, but they can also be the result of poor hygiene. Using public toilets, stress and the type of underwear you wear can also cause you to contract an infection.

How to prevent vaginal infection?

Experts say that 8 out of 10 women will suffer from a vaginal infection at least once in their lifetime, especially if they’re exposed to the agents that cause them.

The good news is that there are a few steps you can take to prevent vaginal infections.

We know how concerned you are about this, so we want to share 9 of the most important steps in preventing vaginal infection with you today.

1. Hygiene

6 Tips for Alleviating Fungal Vaginal Infections

Practicing proper hygiene in your intimate areas is the best way to keep all types of vaginal infections at bay.

You need to be careful though because the vagina is sensitive and harsh soaps can alter its natural flora. Given its physical characteristics, the interior often forms a suitable environment for yeast and bacteria to grow.

Use a soap that won’t alter its natural pH. Also, remember to always wipe from front to back.

2. Educate yourself about STDs

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are one of the main causes of disorders affecting female intimacy. Being familiar with the symptoms of these diseases and how they spread is the first step to prevent them. This alone won’t guarantee perfect health but will let you have a healthy and sex-filled life.

3. Say no to vaginal douches

Some think that vaginal douches are the best way to prevent bad odors and infections.

However, it’s been proven that douching the vagina is harmful and destroys the healthy bacteria that prevent infections. Altering the vagina’s microbiome may leave it more susceptible to yeasts, bacteria and other diseases.

4. Avoid tight-fitting clothing

Tight pants may contribute to vaginal infections

Jeans that are too tight can block airflow around your intimate areas, creating a warm, moist environment where bacteria and fungi can grow. When possible, wear loose clothing to allow air to flow freely.

5. Change your clothes after exercising

When you exercise, your clothing absorbs your sweat which can lead to infections.
You should change your clothes and take a shower after exercising if you want to prevent vaginal infections. Therefore, doing this is fundamental.

6. Don’t use perfumes or deodorant sprays

Perfumes, soaps and vaginal deodorants are processed products that contain harsh chemicals that can alter the natural microbiome of your intimate areas.

Even though the presence of fluid can be uncomfortable for some, you need to understand that this fluid is what keeps the vagina lubricated and protected against infection. Using these products in your vagina area leads to dryness and increases your risk of infection and can also affect your sex life.

7. Strengthen your immune system

The immune system plays a role in vaginal infections

The immune system is responsible for producing antibodies that fight off the pathogens that try to invade our bodies.

And so, eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water each day and other healthy habits are some of the simplest ways to reinforce your body’s natural defenses.

8. Only take medications as directed

Certain medications, like antibiotics, weaken the body’s bacterial flora which can lead to a fungal infection in the vagina.

While some are designed to control infections, many bacteria and viruses have developed resistance to these drugs.

In addition, the excessive intake of the chemicals they contain lower the body’s defenses and leave the body susceptible to microorganisms.

We recommend you also read:

6 Tips for Alleviating Fungal Vaginal Infections

9. Wear cotton undergarments

Cotton underwear to avoid vaginal infections

Many prefer lace and other materials for their underwear because it’s more attractive and intimate.

The problem is that these materials don’t let the skin breathe and they can trap moisture. Moisture can then harbor many different types of microorganisms.

In order to avoid these types of problems, you should opt for cotton and other breathable fabrics when choosing underwear.

And finally, remember to see your gynecologist regularly for a checkup in addition to following the above tips.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Gonçalves B, Ferreira C, Alves CT, Henriques M, Azeredo J, Silva S., “Vulvovaginal candidiasis: Epidemiology, microbiology and risk factors”, Crit Rev Microbiol. 2016 Nov;42(6):905-27.
  • Workowski, K. A; Berman, S; Centers for Disease Control Prevention (2010). “Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010”. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report59(RR-12): 1–110
  • “How You Can Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases”cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 31 May 2016
  • Pincay, I. P., Quinde, C. F., Villacreses, W. L., & Rivadeneira, M. C. (2018). Especies de Cándidas como agentes causales de micosis vaginal en mujeres sexualmente activas. RECIMUNDO: Revista Científica de la Investigación y el Conocimiento, 2(1), 283-301.
  • Runeman, B., Rybo, G., Forsgren-Brusk, U., Larkö, O., Larsson, P., & Faergemann, J. (2005). The Vulvar Skin Microenvironment: Impact of Tight‐fitting Underwear on Microclimate, pH and Microflora. Acta dermato-venereologica, 85(2).
  • Enfermedades de transmisión sexual (ETS) – Síntomas y causas – Mayo Clinic. (2019). Retrieved 11 July 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/symptoms-causes/syc-20351240
  • Hongos. (2020). Retrieved 11 July 2020, from https://www.aego.es/enfermedades/vulvovaginitis/hongos

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.