Is YOUR Vagina Healthy?

The vagina is a mysterious organ. Sometimes it can be hard to realize whether or not your vagina is healthy. There are times when a discharge of mucus is actually healthy. For the most part, the vagina has some of the best “self-cleaning” properties on the female body.

The vagina can maintain a great balance of bacteria and can even make mucous that will wash away foreign substances. When you are wondering if your down there area is healthy, keep in mind that a healthy vagina does not have a bad odor. There are a few different reasons why your vagina could start to smell. Some of these reasons include STI’s, bad hygiene and infections.

Bad Hygiene

Bad hygiene is not something that anybody will admit to. However, when you have great hygiene you are already a one step closer to stopping vaginal odors. You can use a regular bar soap or body wash on your vagina and the outside of the genital area. Make sure that you are drying the vagina properly so it stays clean.

If you use overly scented soaps or body washes, you run the risk of creating irritation in the vaginal area. This irritation could eventually lead to infection so be careful. One of the most common infections occurs due to feces entering the vagina after a bowel movement. Remember to wipe front to back to avoid this.

Combating Infection

One of the best ways to combat infection and odors is to get a little air down there. Start to wear loose fitting, cotton underwear. This will bring more airflow to your vagina and decrease the amount of sweat to the organ. When the sweat builds up in the vaginal odors can occur. If you ever smell “fishy” down there, you probably have a bacterial infection.

There are a variety of medications that will treat bacterial infections. You can either buy something over the counter you can see a doctor to get a prescribed medication. Although rare, some women could mistaken their vaginal odors for infection when they actually have pelvic inflammatory disease. This is also known as cervical cancer. If you think that you might be at risk of PID, talk to your gynecologist about getting tested.

Avoid Douching

While douching seems like a great idea, it can actually hurt you. Despite popular belief, douching does not help treat odors. Douching is usually employed before sex to make sure that everything is clean. The problem is that when you squirt water into the vagina, you wash away the natural fluids that are used to combat infection.

Douching can increase the development of bacterial infections because it increases the acidity level. Douching can also cause the vagina to become irritable. Only douche if your doctor has instructed you to do so. Instead of douching, wet the genitals with warmer water. Do not put any of the water inside. Simply wash the outside of the vulva and then pat down your body with a towel.

Yeast Infections

One of the most common infections to the vagina is a yeast infection. A very usual symptom of a yeast infection is itching. Another sign is soreness in and around the vagina. If your vulva is red or swollen, you probably have a yeast infection. It is never recommended to have sex while you have a yeast infection. This can make your problem even worse. Yeast infections can also lead to abnormal discharges. Sometimes the discharge can be white or clear.

Other times the discharge can be gray or green. If you have a very strong fish smell, you might want to see a doctor. You could have bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Your doctor will be able to tell you what you have and what will clear it up.

STI’s

STI’s are another cause of vaginal discharge and odor. STI’s  (also known as STD’s) are generally given through unprotected sex or when a condom breaks. Gonorrhea is a very common STI that usually appears within 2-5 days after the infection has occurred. Gonorrhea can cause vaginal discharge and increased urination.

This can also cause pain or burning when urinating. Chlamydia is another STI that typically causes vaginal odor. Chlamydia can cause burning during urination and vaginal discharge. This can also cause very painful sexual intercourse. Get tested regularly to you know whether or not have come into contact with these particular STI’s. Both of these can be cleared up in matter of weeks through antibiotics.


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