The vagina has many functions, including being a passage for sperm, menstruation and delivering babies into the world! Honestly, what can’t a vagina do?!
However taking care of the physiological status of the vagina is so important in order for your vagina to perform its incredible work. This is because the health and state of your vagina can influence everything from conception, pregnancy, mode and timing of delivery and the risk of developing a sexually transmitted infection.
Here are some things to consider down there:
Ah, no one likes a UTI. So what causes a urinary tract infections? They occur when pathogenic bacteria rise from the vagina and replicate. Sometimes this also happens within the bladder. An estimated 50% of women suffer from these infections in their lifetime. Symptoms include a painful or burning sensation while urinating, blood in the urine, a feeling that the bladder is still full after urinating, or smelly urine.
Feminine hygiene products
Many women use various feminine hygiene products as part of their daily routine. Since harsh soaps may irritate the vulvar and provoke or worsen vulvar dermatitis, feminine wash products should be formulated and tested specifically on that area to ensure they do not cause irritation. When it comes to that time of the month, selecting organic pads and tampons, or a hypoallergenic menstrual cup, may be a good option as these do not contain the chemicals found in conventional female sanitary items.
Intimate feminine hygiene
Vaginal douching is common for many women, however, there are no researched health benefits and this may actually be detrimental to the immune defence system by changing the normal vaginal flora, and therefore increasing the risk of infection. Even though washing the vulva is desired to prevent an accumulation of discharge, sweat and urine, vulvar cleansing products are not designed to treat infections. Aim to use a natural gentle hypoallergenic liquid wash.
Support for your vagina
Using the right supplements can be a great way to take care of down there. Here are our favourites:
Cranberries have been used as a treatment for urinary tract conditions due to its antibacterial activity. They contain over 80% water, 10% Carbohydrates (glucose and fructose) and other antioxidants. Cranberry has been shown to be a therapeutic agent for urinary tract infections.
Lactobacillus probiotic strain
The Lactobacillus species maintain the vaginal ecosystem in a healthy condition by producing antimicrobial substances. A lack of lactobacilli in the vagina can lead to bacterial vaginosis (vaginal inflammation), where the normal healthy flora is replaced by bacterial toxins.
Dover SE, Aroutcheva AA, Faro S, Chikindas ML. NATURAL ANTIMICROBIALS AND THEIR ROLE IN VAGINAL HEALTH: A SHORT REVIEW. Int J Probiotics Prebiotics. 2008;3(4):219-230.
Chen Y, Bruning E, Rubino J, Eder SE. Role of female intimate hygiene in vulvovaginal health: Global hygiene practices and product usage. Women’s Health. December 2017:58-67.
Das S. Natural therapeutics for urinary tract infections-a review. Futur J Pharm Sci. 2020;6(1):64.
Consult a healthcare practitioner before starting a new supplement to check it is right for your individual needs. Always read the label and the health warnings. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.