Vaginal Health: 7 Ways To Ensure Yours
How you ensure your vaginal health changes as you age. Being aware of these changes can mean the difference between premature and graceful aging.
Dr Trudy Smith, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, outlines the health of the vagina as we age.
Q: When does the vagina start to age?
A: The vagina will age at a normal rate up until menopause. After this, the changes become more noticeable and require more attention.
Q: What are the signs of vaginal aging?
A: The vagina becomes thinner and drier. It also has increased difficulty with lubrication.
Q: How does this change the way you ensure good vaginal health?
A: One should not use douches and put products in the vagina without advice. Lubricants also need to be specific to the vagina, and household products such as olive oil should not be used.
Vaginal estrogen also improves the health of the vagina. It is important to note that vaginal estrogen is not absorbed and does not increase blood pressure levels significantly. It aids in lubrication and prevents bladder and vaginal infections.
Q: Does age make you more vulnerable to diseases of a vaginal nature?
A: Yes. It makes one more susceptible to candida infections and bladder infections.
Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, shares these seven simple ways to maintain vaginal health.
Click here to find out how researchers are using new technology to assess the health of vaginas.
- Wear cotton underwear. Cotton breathes and absorbs moisture. Other materials can have an adverse effect on the vagina.
- Eat Greek yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is known for having live cultures, which can boost healthy bacteria growth and prevent yeast infection. The yoghurt should not be sweetened and the container should state that it contains live cultures.
- Go for your annual exam.
- Use lubricants. This prevents painful sex and abrasions.
- Say “no” to douching. The vagina cleans itself. Studies have shown that using intravaginal hygiene products can increase your risk of infections.
- Don’t overuse antibiotics. This can throw your healthy bacteria out of balance. When you do use an antibiotic, always use a probiotic as well.
- Be careful with soap. Soap can dry out the sensitive skin around your vulva. Rinsing your vagina with warm water is sufficient to keep you clean. However, you can use a gentle, unscented soap.
Remember that, no matter how uncomfortable the topic may be, if you experience unusual vaginal symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor. Click here to discover the concept of vaginal fitness and why they handed out fitness trackers for this specific organ at the Oscars last year.