All women must take action on the matter in their intimate health . A healthy vagina is naturally acidic and contains rich amounts of beneficial bacteria that help fend off infection and maintain a normal pH level .

8 natural tips for feminine hygiene and intimate health

If your vagina is healthy, it also secretes small amounts of discharge or discharge to stay clean, as well as saliva is produced to help clean the mouth. Any interference with these normal conditions, and can lead to vaginal irritation and / or infection .

1. Keep the pH in balance without douching

Douching can interfere with the pH levels of your intimate area, reducing its acidity and setting the stage for bacterial infections. Normally, a vaginal pH is around 3.8 to 4.5.

If your private parts have a strong or unpleasant odor, consult your doctor; a shower will only cover the odor without curing the problem it is causing. If your intimate hygiene includes the use of strong soaps or cleansers on the vulva or vagina, avoid them, as these can also affect the healthy pH balance.

2. Eat a healthy diet for intimate health

You may not realize it, but a balanced, nutritious diet and drinking plenty of fluids are key to vaginal and reproductive health. In fact, certain foods can be effective in treating health problems related to your genitals.

Cranberry juice and yogurt can potentially help prevent yeast infections and aid in their treatment.

3. Practice safe intimate relationships to avoid harmful bacteria

Using condoms during intimate relationships helps protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, genital herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts, and chlamydia.

Some of these diseases, such as HIV and genital herpes, have no cure. And others, like the human papillomavirus that causes genital warts , are also known to cause cancer or lead to other diseases.

You should switch condoms when switching from one type of intimate activity to another with your partner, to prevent the introduction of harmful bacteria into the vagina.

4. Visit your gynecologist for preventive care

Undergoing regular gynecological exams is crucial to maintaining your intimate health. Every woman should have her first gynecological exam around age 21 or within three years of active sex life.

Gynecologists and many family doctors are trained to diagnose diseases and disorders that can damage the vagina or the reproductive system as a whole. Gynecologists also perform Pap tests , which can detect changes in vaginal cells that could indicate the presence of cancer.

5. For intimate hygiene and health, treat infections that may arise

Three types of vaginal infections are common: yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Yeast infections are caused by various types of fungi, while bacterial vaginosis is caused by the overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina.

Trichomoniasis is spread through intimate relationships. Treating infections is crucial especially this type, because not treating them can lead to unpleasant, painful and serious reproductive health problems. All three can be treated with oral or topical medications.

6. Use enough lubricant, but not commercial petroleum jelly

Lubrication is an important part of intimate relationships. Without it, the skin on the labia and vagina can become irritated, sometimes to the breaking point.

While lubrication usually occurs naturally during female arousal, some women do not produce enough natural lubricant. In this case, women should use an artificial lubricant to reduce friction and irritation, and to increase pleasure.

Avoid commercial petroleum jelly and other oil-based products for this purpose, as they can cause the latex in male condoms to break down and can also cause infection.

7. Choose your clothes carefully to stay dry.

Your vagina needs to be kept clean and dry – and what you wear can affect that. Certain types of fabrics and styles of clothing worn near the genitals can increase heat and humidity, and can lead to bacterial overgrowth and infection.

Wear cotton underwear during the day, and avoid thongs. Try not to wear too tight clothes, and change out of wet bathing suits and sweaty workout clothes as quickly as possible.

8. Follow good feminine intimate hygiene

Common sense can help you protect the health of your vagina. After defecation, wipe from front to back to avoid bacterial contamination of feces in the vagina and to decrease the risk of bladder infection .

Change sanitary pads regularly during menstruation . When you are not having your period, try to use pads or panty liners to absorb the normal vaginal discharge as little as possible, this will keep a lot of moisture and heat near the vagina, which can lead to infection.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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