Five Simple Steps to Good Vaginal Health
The best way to avoid getting a yeast infection is to avoid the things which can cause them. It might seem that yeast infections come on suddenly, but there are situations which can increase the likelihood that you’ll get one. Most doctors agree that yeast infections can be greatly reduced or even avoided by taking certain steps.
Step 1: Personal Care
The most important thing you can do to avoid a yeast infection is to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. Avoid wiping from the back to the front as it can bring fecal matter forward to your vagina. It is thought to be one of the leading causes of yeast infections.
Step 2: Vaginal Care
Thorough feminine hygiene is one of the best ways to practice yeast infection prevention. Washing the anal and vaginal area each morning and evening with a mild soap and water will go a long way towards making sure that you don’t end up with a yeast infection.
Though cleanliness is key, regular douching can create serious imbalances in the good bacteria which exists in your vagina. It’s best to use plain water if you feel a need to freshen up after menstruating or sex. If you’re looking for more cleansing, talk to your doctor about a natural douche containing vinegar. He or she won’t recommend you use it often.
Step 3: Clothing
Your bathing suit could be one cause of frequent yeast infections. In the summer, women will often live in their bathing suit, especially if they’re on vacation. It’s important that you remove a wet bathing suit and slip into dry panties after a swim. Leaving a wet bathing suit on will encourage a yeast infection to develop.
When changing into dry panties, make sure your underwear is made of natural materials and not synthetics which can trap moisture. The materials close to your skin should be washed in hot water, but you should only use a mild soap during the wash. Avoid fabric softeners and harsh soaps which can cause irritation.
Step 4: Care When Using Antibiotics
Along with douches, antibiotics can change the level of bacteria in the vagina. It’s the number one cause of yeast infections in women. Never take antibiotics longer than prescribed. Don’t take unused antibiotics for other problems without seeing your physician. If you take antibiotics often and find that you’re getting frequent yeast infections, discuss it with your doctor who may be able to prescribe a different medication, or recommend ways to reestablish a healthy bacterial balance within the vagina.
Step 5: Choose and Use Vaginal Products with Care
Bath soaps and bubbles used in the tub can be a bit problematic to the sensitive skin around and inside the vagina. At the slightest aggravation, stop using that brand of soap. It’s important to avoid washing inside the vagina, too. This will also disrupt the good bacteria that lives there.
Vaginal sprays can be more painful to the skin than helpful in removing natural odors. While you may feel as if you’re cleaner when using them, they can backfire and cause a yeast infection.
Contraceptives and lubricants may also cause yeast infections. Avoid petroleum-based lubricants and stick with those that are water-based. If you find that birth control pills or other contraceptives are causing infections, discuss alternatives with your doctor.
Living Yeast-Infection Free
Though it may be impossible to totally eliminate yeast infections from our lives, we can defintely do our part to avert them. By practicing good personal hygiene, using gentle, natural products, and being mindful of our bodies’ need for a healthy balance of certain bacteria, we can make a huge impact in yeast infections.