The Benefits of Maintaining Good Vaginal Health
As women, ensuring we achieve and maintain total body health from the inside out is essential for our well-being. But before reaching this optimal level of wellness, we must first address the sometimes taboo but completely normal topic of vaginal health.
In addition to keeping our gut and brain in perfect harmony, maintaining good vaginal health is a must because all three (also known as the gut-brain-vagina axis) are connected.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of maintaining good vaginal health — and what you can do to help.
What Is Vaginal Health?
Before you learn how to maintain good vaginal health, you must first get acquainted with everything that’s happening down there.
To put it simply, your vagina is made up of several different parts, including the vulva (outer lips), clitoris, labia minora (inner lips), urethra, and hymen. It's also home to a unique set of bacteria that helps keep it healthy and balanced.
When your vaginal health is off-kilter, it can lead to a variety of issues, such as yeast infections, Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), and even urinary tract infections.
Other symptoms of poor vaginal health include:
- Itching and burning
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful urination or intercourse
- Unusual vaginal discharge
Have you experienced one or more of these symptoms? Most women have — and there’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about!
Before taking your vaginal health routine into your own hands, we recommend first consulting with your doctor to get a clearer diagnosis. While these symptoms are common health issues for women, in rare cases, they may signal a more serious condition or infection.
Why Is Vaginal Health Important?
Keeping your vagina healthy can provide you with a number of benefits:
1. Decreased Risk of Infections
Taking steps to maintain good vaginal health can reduce your risk of infections and other medical conditions, such as Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Here’s how: Cleanse the area regularly with water, avoid douching, wear breathable, loose-fitting clothing, and use condoms to practice safe sex.
2. Reduced Vaginal Dryness
Dryness in the vaginal area (aka vaginal dryness) can be a common issue, particularly during menopause. Maintaining good vaginal health can help reduce this problem by keeping your vagina lubricated and moist.
Here’s how: Avoid tight clothes, use cleaner, safer lubricants during sex, and stay hydrated throughout the day.
3. Improved Sexual Performance
Good vaginal health has been linked to improved sexual performance in both men and women. A healthy vagina can help to keep the other organs healthy and support vaginal sensitivity, which can make your sex life more pleasurable for everyone involved.
4. Improved Odor
The vagina naturally has a slight odor that depends on certain factors, such as your diet and activity level. However, poor vaginal health and a disturbed vaginal pH balance can cause the odor to become more pungent or fishy. Maintaining good vaginal health can help minimize odors you may consider unpleasant, leaving you feeling more comfortable in the skin you're in.
Pro Tip: Experiencing some off-putting smells coming from down there? Try The Killer® — a single-ingredient, boric acid suppository that balances pH and maintains healthy yeast levels to support a healthy vaginal flora.*
5. Improved Confidence
Maintaining good vaginal health can also help you to feel more secure and confident in your body. Knowing that you're taking care of your body and keeping it healthy can give you a boost in self-confidence, making intimate moments more enjoyable.
How Can You Support Vaginal Health?
Maintaining good vaginal health doesn't have to be difficult. Here are V simple steps you can take to keep your vagina healthy and functioning properly.
Avoid Using Harsh Soaps and Products
Harsh soaps, detergents, sprays, and perfumed products can disrupt natural vaginal pH levels, potentially leading to an imbalance of good bacteria and contributing to vaginal infections. Avoid scented soaps and instead opt for natural over-the-counterwellness products — like our pH Balancing Cleanser™ — that are specifically designed for the vagina.
It’s also important to note that the vagina is self-cleaning — there’s no need to regularly douche or deep-clean it. If you’re noticing a consistent vaginal odor, this could be a sign of bacterial overgrowth or a more serious women’s health issue, in which case you should consult with your primary health care provider or OB/GYN.
Eat a Balanced Diet
What you put into your body has a direct impact on the health of your vaginal environment. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats can help keep your hormones and pH levels in check.
Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as foods that are high in probiotics, like yogurt and kimchi. And as much as we love sweets, try to limit having too many sugary and processed foods that can upset your hormones and lead to infection.
Pro Tip: Boost your daily wellness routine with a doctor-developed probioticsupplement, like our Good Girl Probiotics®. Made with various strains of Lactobacillus bacteria, this supplement can help support your health from the inside out.
Water helps to flush out toxins and keeps your body's pH levels balanced. That’s why, as a general rule of thumb, try to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily to stay hydrated and healthy. Not a fan of plain water? Flavor it up with lemon or orange slices.
Get Regular Pap Smears and Check-Ups
Regular pelvic exams and Pap smears are important for catching any abnormalities or infections that may be present. During a pelvic exam, your doctor or gynecologist will use a speculum to examine your vagina, uterus, and cervix. During a Pap smear, cells are collected from your cervix and tested for any changes.
Regular exams and check-ups can help catch any problems early and allow for proper treatment to maintain good vaginal health.
Practice Good Hygiene
While it's important to cleanse and refresh down there, good hygiene starts with the right products. As we touched on earlier, soaps that are made with harsh, toxic ingredients can strip the vagina of its natural lubrication and cause irritation.
Avoid this by using gentle, fragrance-free cleansers for your vagina. And always remember to use breathable cotton underwear whenever possible. It’s also important to change your tampon regularly during menstruation to support your vaginal flora.
The Bottom Line
Just like the gut and brain, maintaining a healthy vagina is also essential. Doing so leads to life-changing benefits, ranging from a reduced risk of infections to improved overall health and self-confidence. If there’s one personal care goal you should commit to this season, it’s maintaining good vaginal health. We bet you didn’t think it was this simple.
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