The vagina, a source of both pain and pleasure remains a mystery to some women and most men. This is beside it having more nicknames than any other part of the female anatomy and a health care professional dedicated to it. Did you know that vagina is actually just one part of the vaginal area and cannot be seen unless you spread a woman’s labia? Well, if you did not know now you do: the vagina is a small canal connecting to the cervix, and only its opening is visible. With little-known facts about the vagina, it becomes tricky to ensure it is in good health, as you cannot tell right from wrong. So, what are some of the ways to maintain vagina health at all time:
Protect vaginal pH
The vagina contains a range of bacteria that makes it acidic, to prevent harmful organisms from thriving on it. The normal pH is around 3.8 to 4.5, and when you interfere with it, you disrupt the healthy vaginal biome. Activities that interfere most with vaginal pH include douching and use harsh soaps and products within the area. According to experts, the vagina is self-cleaning, the constant discharge expelled from it sweeps away bacteria and dead cells. Thus, you need not wash it, but since the vulva area may require cleaning, only use warm water to prevent introducing any harmful substance into the vagina.
Keep a healthy diet
Yes, what you eat can have a significant impact on the health of the vagina. Keeping a balanced and nutritious diet facilitates overall reproductive health. In addition, some foods have been shown to help eliminate some vaginal health concerns. For instance, yogurt, which is rich in probiotics is believed to help keep off yeast infections while cranberry juice helps fight off urinary tract infections.
Practice safe sex
There is a lot that can be passed on from one person to another during intercourse. It is therefore wise to take some precautions at all times. For instance, consider using a condom, either male or female to protect against sexually transmitted infections like HIV, herpes, and gonorrhea. Additionally, make sure to properly clean your sex toys before and after use and store them well. Do not share sex toys as they can pass on STIs. It is also advised that you change condoms when alternating from oral or anal sex to vaginal sex to avoid introducing harmful bacteria into the vagina.
Perform pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises have a number of benefits for all women: whether you want to enjoy great sex, recover from or prepare for childbirth. The good thing about these exercises is that they can be performed anywhere at any time. The exercise simply makes the muscles around the pelvic area stronger and flexible to allow for painless sex and childbirth.
Visit the gynecologist regularly
Going for an overall reproductive health check-up will help identify any potential problems before they get out of control. It is recommended that once a woman reaches 21, she should take her first screening gynecologic exam, which should include a Pap smear test.