Vaginal discomforts can be highly uncomfortable, affecting your sex life and the quality of life in general. For most vaginal discomforts the exact cause can be difficult to determine. Some women are more prone to developing discomforts than other. Underneath are some guidelines on how you could prevent vaginal discomforts, however, they are not a guarantee.
Vaginal hygiene can contribute to the prevention of vaginal discomforts. Especially, bad hygiene habits can cause more damage than no hygiene at all – this is due to the aggressive effect of plain soap and detergents. Instead of using soap that can damage the protective layer of the skin and cause irritation, you can better choose a natural product that contains mild ingredients which will not alter the pH value of the intimate area and will not remove the protective surface of the skin.
You should use an intimate wash only once a day – if you feel the need to shower more often than that, for example after a training or on a hot day, use plain water. However, keep in mind that washing your intimate area with merely lukewarm water is sufficient. When drying, pat the area gently with a soft, clean towel. If you are travelling or you feel the urge to refresh yourself several times a day during a menstrual bleeding, you can use intimate wipes.
When using the toilet, always wipe yourself from front to back – doing this in the opposite direction can cause a transfer of bacteria from the anal area to the vagina, resulting in an infection.
Using birth control is only going to protect you from getting pregnant – that is why it is so important to use a condom throughout the entire intercourse. Keep in mind that there is a higher risk of bacterial vaginosis in women who change partners often.
Allow enough time for foreplay. This is not only to set the mood, but also to allow your vagina to lubricate itself sufficiently in order to avoid friction during penetration. If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, use a vaginal moisturizer or a lubricant to enjoy a painless intercourse and prevent tissue damage.
Sanitary pads and tampons should be changed every 3 to 4 hours to avoid irritation caused by the prolonged contact of menstrual blood with the skin or the inside of the vagina. Same goes for panty liners – even though they seem like a perfect solution to keep you fresh all day long, keep in mind that they do stop your skin from breathing, increasing the chance for irritation and infection. If you do use panty liners on everyday basis, make sure to change them every few hours.
Avoid wearing tight clothing such as skinny jeans, leggings or shorts for prolonged periods of time. Fabrics that fit tightly to the body, especially if they’re not made out of natural materials, cause friction, heat and reduced airflow in the intimate region – all of which contribute to creating a perfect surroundings for microbes to grow.
The same rule applies for choosing underwear. Opt for natural fabrics, such as cotton, instead of synthetic ones.
Whether you’ve chosen to shave, wax, use a depilatory cream or something else, the sensitive skin of the intimate region is at risk of irritation. To avoid discomfort, hydrate your skin prior to the treatment and apply a natural soothing product afterwards.
Avoid public bathing areas, such as public pools, whirlpools, Jacuzzis, etc. Also, avoid using any products (lotions, shower gels, vaginal sprays, etc.) that contain strong detergents, chemicals, fragrances, dyes or preservatives that could act as irritants or allergens.
As a prevention or when the symptoms of vaginal discomforts just start to occur, use products that contain prebiotics. Prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria, helping to keep vaginal flora balanced.