Dr. Amie Napier Discusses the Basics of a Healthy Vagina
What is a normal vagina? A normal vagina is one you are not constantly thinking about due to abnormal discharge, irritation or odor.
A vagina is not a sterile place, but if everything is in harmony (enough good bacteria and few bad bacteria or yeast) you should not constantly be thinking about it. It is not normal to have a constant heavy discharge. This usually indicates an overgrowth of yeast or bad bacteria or something worse, like a sexually transmitted infection.
Do not douche to try and clean yourself. Vinegar douches actually help the bad bacteria grow more. If you are compelled to douche for whatever reason – use a baking soda douche or warm water. It is normal to have a scant white or clear discharge, especially around ovulation. This tends to get more pronounced the older one becomes. Women on birth control pills tend to have less normal discharge.
Frequent Vaginal Bacterial or Yeast Infections?
You may need an anti-fungal cream or pill or vaginal/oral antibiotic, especially if you are miserably symptomatic. One way to try and combat yeast and bad bacteria is to increase the good bacteria in your vagina. There are several ways this can be done.
- Take a “probiotic” dietary supplement; i.e. good bacteria in a pill – like eating gallons of yogurt a day; be sure to take with food so the stomach acid doesn’t kill all of the good bacteria. When you are really symptomatic I would take it with every meal 3 times/day. For maintenance you could get away with just taking it once daily. Not a bad idea to have your partner take it as well.
- Put the good bacteria back in your vagina. This can do this by douching with diluted buttermilk or plain yogurt.
- Get lots of good bacteria in your diet. Eat fresh, unprocessed food (yes it always comes back to your diet) and avoid processed foods full of chemicals and devoid of beneficial nutrients and bacteria.
- Change the pH of your vagina. Take a daily vitamin C supplement or try vaginal boric acid suppositories.
More Tips and Tricks For a Healthy Vagina
- Get rid of those panty liners for daily use. Most of them do not breathe at all and yeast loves trapped moisture.
- If you are dealing with external yeast (on the perineum, inner thighs), dry off with a blow dryer on cool setting. You would be amazed how wet you stay down there after a bath or shower.
- Urinate after sex and rinse off after oral intercourse. The mouth can be a dirty place!
- Wipe front to back and wear cotton panties, just like your mother told you!
- No double dipping! Don’t have anal intercourse followed by vaginal intercourse. You are asking for a vaginal infection.