Vagina problems eventually affect all women in some form or another. The problem can be as mild as simple irritation or as serious as an STD. Whatever the issue, recognizing it fast means faster treatment and a healthier vagina sooner.
Vaginal infections are relatively common, affected up to 75% of women at some point in their lives. The three most frequent infections suffered are yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis and the often come with a bad vaginal odor. Trichomoniasis is an STI, or sexually-transmitted infection. Like other STIs, trichomoniasis results from unprotected sex. The other two types of infections are both caused by an overgrowth of an organism in the vagina. Vaginal flora are the natural organisms living inside the vagina. These exist in a healthy balance most of the time. When the balance becomes disrupted by an outside factor, certain kinds of bacteria or fungi can overgrow the rest of the vaginal flora. This leads to an infection. Fungi cause yeast infections, while bacteria cause bacterial vaginosis. Infections can be treated with prescription medication or home remedies.
Irritation is another of the most common vagina problems. A number of things can result in irritation, including synthetic ingredients, fragrances, and dyes in a lot of products. Feminine hygiene products and toilet paper are some of the worst offenders. Strong soaps with additives or heavily concentrated laundry detergents can also leave residues that irritate the vagina. The best thing to do to remedy these vagina problems is to replace the products with gentle, natural varieties.
Allergies are similar to irritation, but are often more specific. Some women, for instance, have a latex allergy and can experience problems when using latex condoms. As with irritants, to eliminate vagina problems from allergens you have to eliminate the products and replace them with something you aren’t allergic to.
4. Improper hygiene
Never cleaning your vagina and cleaning it too much can both cause some problems in the vaginal area. The vagina itself, meaning the internal space, cleans itself through its discharge. The labia and vulva are the area you really need to clean. This means douching isn’t necessary. Store-bought douches often use harsh chemicals that can actually make your vaginal conditions worse, so it’s best to avoid them unless specifically instructed by a doctor to douche. The proper way to clean is to simply wash the area around the vagina with warm water and, if you desire, a gentle soap. Baby wipes are a more hygienic alternative to toilet paper because the wetness removes more contaminants than dry toilet paper would.
Any kind of vaginal problem should be checked out by a gynecologist. This way, you can be sure you’re treating the right infection and that you don’t have any unexpected complications. Stay healthy!