What are some tips for preventing vaginal infections?

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Most methods to prevent vaginal infections are common sense; other nutritional measures may be surprising!

My Top Tips for Preventing Vaginal Infections:

  • Bathing suit caution-don’t stay in too long, and wash it well with hot soapy water after each and every wearing
  • Avoid panty liners for prolonged periods of time
  • Use only non-deodorant tampons, party-liners and pads
  • Stay well hydrated drinking water thru the day
  • Wipe front to back always
  • No douching
  • Avoid feminine hygiene sprays, cleansers and perfumes
  • If the vagina is low in estrogen, seek GYN evaluation for localized treatment to improve defenses
  • Do Kegal exercises, even Yoga and Pilates for good tone and circulation
  • Use Condoms- especially with new partners!
  • Avoid harsh soaps, deodorants & harsh chemicals
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables for fiber and micronutrients
  • Use Probiotics daily like acidophilus supplements or kefir and yogurt foods
  • Take Essential fatty acids daily like omega 3 fish oil or krill oil

Some Vaginal fluid is normal; it can be a bit more abundant at ovulation mid cycle, or more dry or pasty if on birth control pills or near your period. Normal vaginal fluid has a pH is about 3.8-4.2, which you can now buy test kits to see on your own at drug stores! Lower pH could be a sign of yeast if there is itching present, higher pH could be a sign of bacterial or trichomonas infection especially if a fishy odor is present. Menopause and lower estrogen can cause the higher pH environment and make you more prone to bacterial infection as well!

A healthy normal vagina is without lesions, excess discharge, inflammation or foul odor. Excess milky white discharge & fishy smell is not normal, can occur if with abundance of odor causing bacteria or a protozoan infection – both require a prescription antibiotic. Curdy discharge, and or itching/burning can be a sign of yeast infection. Other sexually transmitted infections can cause discomfort or altered discharge, such as herpes.

Any discomfort or changes in noticed in the vagina, or different discharge should be evaluated by a GYN practitioner. Use of condoms prevents contact to semen and sexually transmitted infections- safe sex is always smart!

 

 

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

The best way to avoid getting yeast infections is to wear breathable underwear as well as to not stay in wet clothing such as after exercising or swimming.  Some patients have benefit from taking daily acidophilus pills.  Acidophilus is a probiotic that will help fortify the body with good bacteria.  This will help increase the bacterial load in the vagina, and the extra bacteria can help fight against yeast infections.  A diet with low carbs and less sugar can also decrease the chances of a yeast infection.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.