5 Signs Of An Unhealthy Vagina, And What You Should Do To Cure It
A healthy vagina is naturally acidic and contains rich quantities of beneficial bacteria to help fend off infections and maintain a normal pH level. It is also normal to secrete small amounts of discharge to stay clean, just like saliva is produced to help cleanse the mouth. Interference with these normal conditions can cause vaginal irritation or infection, so it’s good to know how to keep your vagina healthy.
Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina, caused by a disruption of the bacteria in the vagina. Experts report 40% of all types of vaginitis are caused by candida, a yeast like fungus, and when it multiplies in the vaginal tract, it is called a “yeast infection”, and around 75% of women experience one at some point in their lives.
- Itching and burning in the vagina and vulva
- Vaginal discharge (small amounts are normal, however)
- Red, swollen, painful vaginal mucous membranes and external genitalia
- Satellite lesions (tender, red, pus filled bumps, which can spread to the thighs and anus)
- Pregnancy causing increased heat, moisture, and hormonal shifts
- Corticosteroid use
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
- Birth control pills
- High sugar intake
- Wearing panty hose, tight clothing, or noncotton underwear
- Menstruation — women report recurrent episodes of vaginitis immediately before and after their periods
First Form Of Defense: A Healthy Diet
You may not realize it, but a balanced, nutritious diet and drinking plenty of fluids are key to vaginal and reproductive health, as certain foods are very effective in treating vaginal health problems. Cranberry juice and yogurt help to prevent yeast infections, aid in their treatment and even protect against UTI’s. Eating more soy products that contain phytoestrogens or a weak form of estrogen, can aid natural lubrication.
- Cranberry Juice: This has long been hailed for its ability to prevent and relieve the symptoms of UTI’s. The acidic compounds in cranberry juice that help combat “bad” bacteria are not broken down during the digestive process. So these compounds make it through to the urinary tract, where they prevent “bad” bacteria from binding together to generate infection. In addition to drinking more cranberry juice, cut back on alcohol and caffeine, which irritate the bladder.
- Greek Yogurt & Kefir: Snacking on Greek yogurt and Kefirwith live cultures, otherwise known as Probiotics, helps boost the good bacteria down there which is HUGE for preventing annoying vaginal problems like yeast infections. Just be sure that you’re not eating the super-sugary kind, because that makes you more susceptible to those infections.
- Foods Rich In Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an essential vitamin with antioxidant properties. In the body, it is commonly associated with healthy skin, but it also plays a role in the proper functioning of many of the body’s organs. You can get it from items like Tofu, Broccoli, Avocado, Spinach & other Greens, Seafood, Olive Oil, Squash, Pumpkin, Chili Powder, Mangoes & Tomatoes Kiwi, & Sunflower Seeds. Also nuts like Almond, Hazel Nuts.
- Water: Which pretty much goes without saying as water helps all functions of the body run more smoothly, especially where muscles and bodily fluids are concerned. Our mucous membranes are found in places such as the eyes, mouth, nose and vagina, and these places need a well-hydrated body to function properly. Drinking the correct amount of water not only aids in natural lubrication, but it can also create a milder vaginal scent and taste.