Nine Tips for Keeping Your Vagina And Vulva Health

The topic of sex , fertility , and pregnancy. The reproductive system is an important part of your body.

You don't have to worry too much about your vagina.

Ob/Gyn Oluwatosin, MD, discusses how to maintain a healthy vagina and when to visit your gynecologist. Your vagina needs very little attention, so it is better to do less than more.

What's the difference between a Vulva and a Vagina?

People tend to use "vagina" when referring to their genitals and vulvae.

How can you tell the difference?

Your vagina connects with your cervix.

The outside of your genitals is called the vulva. You can only see this part. You can see your clitoris (urethra), and labia.

Dr. Goje says that the vagina is often pink and can't easily be seen outside. Your vagina's ability to alter shape is what makes it unique, especially during childbirth .

Because of the differences in cellular composition, it is important to know the difference between your vagina and your vulva. You may have a specific disease that affects your vulva and vagina.

How to have a healthy vagina and vulva

This is how you can keep your vagina working well.

For whole-body wellness, eat right, manage your weight, and get active.

Dr. Goje says that this is not only good for the whole body, but also for the sexual organs.

However, chronic conditions could put your genital and reproductive organs at high risk. Poorly controlled diabetes can increase the risk of developing yeast infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Schedule regular screenings

Keep up to date with your health screenings, and visit your gynecologist regularly for routine care.

Dr. Goje states that screening times for Pap smears will change based on age and Pap smear findings. HPV vaccinations are especially effective in decreasing cervical cancer risk for younger people.

Use condoms

It is vital to be protected from any sexually transmitted disease such as herpes and gonorrhea.

Dr. Goje says, "Insist that you use condoms whenever you meet a new partner."

Condoms are available for your partner who has an allergy to latex.

Use water

Vagina is an organ that self-cleanses itself. Prepackaged douching or harsh chemicals can cause the vagina to stop working as it should. A gentle soap can be used for external genitalia if you have to.

Products that promise to clean your skin and make you smell or feel cleaner are often not supported by scientific evidence. They can also cause problems.

Dr. Goje advises that you should be cautious about what soaps or shampoos are used in your shower if you have sensitive skin. Even laundry detergents and dryer sheets can cause irritation.

Do not prepare for your gynecologist

There's no need to pamper and primp your intimates prior to your appointment with a gynecologist.

Dr. Goje states that showering is everything we want and need.

Natural lubricants Coconut or olive oils may be your best options for lubricants or vaginal moisturizers, especially if you have sensitive or multiple allergic skin conditions. Alternatives include water-based or silicone lubricants.

Dr. Goje says, "They are an option for people who don't use condoms."

Use silicone or water-based lubricants if you are using latex condoms.

Never ignore postmenopausal bleeding

The term postmenopausal hemorhage refers to vaginal bleeding occurring one year after your last period.

You may experience postmenopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness or polyps (noncancerous tumors), cancer, and other reproductive changes.

Dr. Goje suggests that patients who experience bleeding during menopause should consult their doctor.

Don't worry if you have prolapse or incontinence

Pelvic organ prolapse, where the internal supports of your uterus, vagina, bladder and rectum become weak over time, can be caused by vaginal deliveries and aging.

A common problem is bladder leakage, also known as urinary incontinence.

After being diagnosed these conditions are only treated if you have symptoms.

Dr. Goje says, "But, if your bladder is clogged or you are experiencing pain , bleeding or difficulty emptying it, then get medical attention."

Pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegels, can help, too.

Consider vaginal estrogen

You might consider vaginal estrogen when you are going through menopause. It is available in various forms, such as capsules or creams.

Dr. Goje states that vaginal hormones can prevent and reverse many of the changes associated with old age, including painful sex and decreased elasticity. There is also an increase in risk for UTIs [urinary tract infection] due to changes in pH as the vagina becomes more acidic.

Although your vagina does an excellent job keeping it clean and healthy, your healthcare provider should check if there are any signs of infection.

Pain during intercourse.

A bulge or mass in the vagina. Changes in color, smell or quantity of vaginal fluid. Itching or reddening of the vaginal skin. Vaginal bleeding after periods, after sex and after menopause. Your vagina does not require much care. According to Dr. Goje, the vagina functions like an oven that self cleans itself when functioning properly.