Questions about our vaginas can be embarrassing, making it hard to bring them up with even close friends or partners. Doctors, however, have seen and heard it all. Here are some questions about your vagina health that have been answered.
What are the common causes of vaginal odor?
Excessive washing, douching, tight clothes and certain chemicals (scented body washes, antibacterial soap, etc) can cause vaginal infection and odor. Certain contraceptives and foreign body in vagina can provoke vaginal odor and other major health issues.
Vaginal and anal intercourse alternation during the same session can cause vaginal infection resulting in vaginal odor. Though rare, diet can affect the smell of your vagina. In some cases of vaginal odor, eating a healthy diet (eating fruit and vegetables abundantly) can remediate the condition without any medical treatment.
Which common factors contribute to vaginal dryness?
Women with this condition may have a variety of symptoms that may include vaginal and vulvar pain, external and internal irritation, and aches in the vulva and vagina. Here are some factors that can contribute to vaginal dryness:
- Hormonal Changes – Decrease in estrogen levels during conditions such as menopause, childbirth, or during breastfeeding, is one of the most common cause for vaginal dryness as the vagina depends on estrogen for health.
- Sexual problems – Insufficient arousal due to low libido or sexual problems can also lead to a lack of vaginal lubrication.
- Allergens and Chemicals – The vagina can become irritated from soaps, laundry detergents, lotions, perfumes.
- Stress – Stress and anxiety can cause decreased interest in sex which may lead to vaginal dryness.
- Medications – Some allergy and cold medications contain decongestants that can decrease the moisture in many parts of your body, including your vagina. Anti-estrogen medications can also result in vaginal dryness.
Is coconut oil effective for treating vaginal dryness?
Coconut oil is one of the most effective remedies for vaginal dryness. Also, consuming flaxseeds and foods rich in fatty acids can help counter this problem, but slowly. Applying coconut oil can be quick and effective.
Coconut oil helps lubricate and moisturize your vaginal area, without any side effects or irritation of any kind. It is devoid of harsh chemicals and can be used as a lubricant too.
Should you detox your vagina from cosmetic chemicals?
Detoxing your vagina may sound like an odd and even tender torment, but Asian women have been doing it for centuries to regulate their menstrual cycles.
It is important to maintain vaginal hygiene and keep it clean and odorless. The safest bet would be to prepare natural vaginal wash at home with natural ingredients. Here is some natural vaginal wash that you can make at home:
- Aloe Vera gel: You will require fresh Aloe Vera to make this. Slice a fresh piece of aloe and remove the gel and add it to a cup of water. Use this water as a vaginal wash.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a very effective natural remedy to clean the vagina. Apply homemade yogurt directly to remove candida infection.
Are lifestyle habits to blame for poor vaginal health?
Vaginas are strong to fend off most minor infections and imbalances; however there are certain practices and foods that could lead to poor vaginal health.
- Underwear: Women should all be wearing cotton underwear.
- Hair removal: Pubic hair removal is linked to a list of unforeseen possible complications, as it protects the vagina from friction and infection.
- Douching: Douching can mess up the natural balance of good bacteria in the vagina, and doing it regularly can leave a woman open to a number of ailments, including yeast infections, STDs, and even infertility.
- Strong smelling food and too much sugar: Strong-smelling foods, such as garlic, asparagus, and curry, are known to change your overall body odor, your vagina being no exception.
- Other factors: General poor health, including lack of sleep, poor diet and stress, changes in hormone levels through pregnancy, breast-feeding, menopause, some oral and intramuscular contraceptives and steroid use.
Which foods improve your vaginal health?
Good hygiene and several foods can help keep your vagina healthy and your pH levels balanced. Here are a few foods that you must incorporate in your diet for a healthy vagina:
- Yogurt – Eating yogurt daily is great for maintaining vaginal health. It also helps maintain healthy pH levels in the body. Eat 1 to 2 cups of probiotic yogurt daily. Other good probiotic foods that you can include in your diet are miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir.
- Lemon – Lemons also support vaginal health as their acidic nature helps maintain the vagina’s healthy pH level.
- Cranberry Juice – Cranberry juice is great for improving your vaginal health. It helps balance the vagina’s pH level and its acidic property helps fight bacteria that cause vaginal infections and other problems.
- Flaxseeds – High in omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds can also combat many vaginal issues. In addition, the zinc in these seeds help treat vaginal dryness, itching and burning.
- Avocado – Avocado is another food that stimulates vaginal health. The healthy fats in avocado support healthy vaginal walls and keep it naturally lubricated.
- Pumpkin Seeds – Every woman should include pumpkin seeds in their diet. Being a rich source of zinc, pumpkin seeds help regulate the menstrual cycle and even combat symptoms of vaginal dryness, such as itching and burning.
- Sweet Potatoes – You can also include sweet potatoes in your diet to keep your vaginal and uterine walls healthy. When absorbed by the body, the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes is converted into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant.
Drink sufficient water throughout the day, avoid processed and sugar-rich foods, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, while treating an infection, avoid foods that contain yeasts, such as beer and bread, quit smoking and drinking, wear cotton underwear, exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, avoid douching, avoid unprotected sex, avoid using scented soaps, wipes and other vaginal products as they can lead to dryness.
Root cause of recurring vaginal yeast infections
Frequent yeast infections can be caused by introducing chemicals or objects into the vagina that encourage the growth of fungus. This includes frequent douching, daily use of products such as feminine deodorant sprays and bath products that are in extended contact with the vagina (bubble baths, bath salts), and extended use of pads and tampons. To avoid frequent yeast infections caused by these factors, avoid the use of douches, sprays and bubble baths, and when using pads and tampons, change them frequently.
While avoiding the factors that cause vaginal yeast infections will often prevent them for most women, frequent yeast infections that cannot be prevented are often the result of medical conditions.
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