With 90% of womens marketing aimed at looking after our health, from fad diets to hair masks and fancy food revivals, its all about doing whats best for us inside and out. Leah Millheiser, M.D. an Ob/Gyn in the San Francisco Bay Area and specialist in female sexual medicine reminds us that while vaginal health trends come and go, genital health is not a fad to participate in, rather an important health lifestyle to maintain.
If I can think of one positive aspect that has come out of the controversies around health fads like vaginal steaming and jade eggs, its that its no longer taboo to talk about the vagina in the media. Its 2019 and its high time for women to take control of their overall health, which includes the genitalia, says Millheiser. The vagina is like a self-cleaning oven that usually takes care of itself. To keep that oven working correctly, there are a few good rules to stick by:
- Protect. Use a condom during sex “ it prevents against unwanted pregnancy and STD transmission.
- Probiotics. These little guys are big players when it comes to maintaining healthy balance; a regular probiotic improves your overall wellness. Take a supplement with lactobacillus, such as Pro-B, or eat foods high in probiotics regularly (for example, opt for a healthy, no-sugar-added Greek yogurt)
- Moderation. Sugar (yes, even the kind found in alcohol) can have a troublesome habit of contributing to the growth of yeast. Maintain healthy moderation, or flat-out avoid them when youre going through a funk.
- Keep it simple. Stick with mild soap and water to keep the vulva clean. Never douche, as this can create an imbalance in the normal vaginal microbiome and make you more susceptible to infection. If youre prone to vulvar irritation, avoid exposing that area to unnecessary products such as perfumes, scented dryer sheets, or vulvar exfoliators. This will make the problem worse.
- Dont ask Dr. Google. When things seem off down there, go see your health care provider ASAP. Some tell-tale signs of an infection are a fishy or unpleasant odor, itching, burning urination, or an atypical white, grey, or green vaginal discharge. These can all be signs of an infection. If youre prone to recurrent bacterial vaginosis infections, RepHresh Gel may help hold them at bay by keeping your vaginal pH within the normal range.
Bay Area OB/GYN and Specialist in Women’s Sexual Health:
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