6 Things That Damage Your Vaginal Health
Most women worry about having good vaginal health. Although some prefer not to talk about the subject, it’s essential to maintain certain habits to prevent diseases from developing.
This area is protected by bacterial flora that is responsible for creating a barrier against microorganisms that cause infections.
Also, estrogen activity determines vaginal health. This group of hormones lubricates the vagina and provides elasticity.
In addition, any internal or external factors that alter it can trigger uncomfortable symptoms that can affect a woman’s sex life, self-esteem, and fertility.
Therefore, to avoid any complications, it’s best to know the things that can damage vaginal health.
Read more about them in this article.
Use of Douches
Many women douche because they consider it a healthy practice that eliminates period residues and other fluids that can cause bad smells.
The truth is that, although douching was once thought to be beneficial, it doesn’t protect against infection and can cause counterproductive effects in a woman’s private parts.
These douches produce an imbalance in the bacterial flora that protects the vagina and can alter the acidity of the genital tract.
Douching increases your risk of yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Pubic Hair Removal
Pubic hair removal is a controversial subject. Although many have considered it a harmless habit, its continued practice may cause symptoms that damage vaginal health.
Hair protects the skin from friction, chafing, and some microorganisms that can cause infections.
- When women get rid of it, the hair follicles tend to swell and may obstruct, facilitating the appearance of ingrown hairs and injuries.
Use of Thongs
Thongs are widely popular in women. They are sexy and can be quite comfortable when wearing certain clothes.
The problem is that many thongs are made with materials that retain moisture, which increases the imbalance in the vagina’s natural pH.
- This type of underwear facilitates the transport of bacteria from the rectal area to the vagina, so it can trigger various types of vaginal and urinary infections.
- When they are too tight, they can cause small tears and irritation in the delicate skin of the outer parts of the vagina.
Eating Foods with Strong Smells
Many foods can alter the pH of vaginal fluids. This causes strong odors that are more easily perceived.
While some are part of a regular diet, it’s important to limit their intake to avoid having to deal with this annoying symptom that makes women feel insecure.
- Garlic, asparagus, and curry are some of the ingredients that you should consume in moderation to avoid changes in vaginal odor.
Excessive sugar intake alters the body’s pH. In turn, this causes imbalances in the bacterial flora that protects the vagina.
The accumulation of this substance in the body changes the mucous membranes in a woman’s private parts and creates an environment conducive to the proliferation of bacteria and yeast.
- When the blood sugar level rises, so does the risk of infections such as vaginal candidiasis.
- This ingredient affects the composition of discharge and increases itching and odor in the area.
We recommend that you read: 9 Natural Remedies for Bad Vaginal Odor
- The long-term use of some medications can cause mayhem in the activity of healthy bacteria that protect the vaginal area.
For example, this applies to antibiotics, which are used to kill pathogenic bacteria, but also kill and damage good bacteria known as lactobacilli .
- Taking antibiotics can cause an increased yeast growth that causes vaginal candidiasis.
- Also, other drugs such as antihistamines can affect the natural lubrication of the area and cause excessive dryness.
How do I Know if I Have a Vaginal Infection?
Symptoms of vaginal infections vary depending on the microorganism that causes it. However, there are certain symptoms that alert you that something is wrong:
- Yellow, green, or gray vaginal discharge
- Itching or irritation of the outside part of the vagina
- Strong or bad smell
- Thick vaginal discharge
- Painful intercourse or urination
It’s important to identify whether the infection is caused by any of the above factors. If not, it’s best you go see your doctor to determine what is causing it.
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.
- Sobel, J. D. (2014). Genital candidiasis. Medicine (United Kingdom). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpmed.2014.04.006
- Tariq Sadiq, S., & Hay, P. (2016). The vaginal microbiota in health and disease. In The Human Microbiota and Chronic Disease: Dysbiosis as a Cause of Human Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118982907.ch16
- Malazy, O. T., Shariat, M., Heshmat, R., Majlesi, F., Alimohammadian, M., Tabari, N. K., & Larijani, B. (2007). Vulvovaginal candidiasis and its related factors in diabetic women. Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1028-4559(08)60010-8
- Martino, J. L., & Vermund, S. H. (2002). Vaginal douching: Evidence for risks or benefits to women’s health. Epidemiologic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxf004