It's easy to forget about vaginal health, but the last thing any woman wants is an unhealthy vagina. If you see these warning signs, it's time to make a change.
Vaginas. About half the world has one.
Yet, we're still squeamish when we talk about them.
Talking about your vaginal health can be uncomfortable, even with your doctor.
However, the sooner you are comfortable talking about your vagina to anyone really, the easier it'll be to discuss any health concerns you have about it.
Vaginas are amazing body parts. They regulate their yeast levels and pretty much clean themselves.
Even if you follow all the best practices to cleaning "down there," you can still end up with a vaginal infection. In this article, we'll discuss 5 warning signs that something's wrong with your vaginal health.
Dryness or Irritation
Bacteria need warm, damp places to thrive. Having a dry vagina is not helping those bacteria out.
Many factors can contribute to a dry vagina. These include external irritants, anxiety, hormonal changes, and medication.
Dryness can lead to vaginal irritation. You might feel a burning or itching sensation if your vagina is dry for too long.
Itching typically means you have an infection. If the itching persists for more than a day, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.
When you have a vagina, you know it has a scent all its own. But how can you tell if it's the smell is healthy or not?
A fishy smell combined with extra-clear vaginal discharge can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV occurs when bacteria grow too much in the vagina and causes a pH imbalance.
BV is a common occurrence in women. The CDC estimates that approximately 29.2% of women between 19 and 49 will get BV at some point in their life.
The good news is BV is easily treated with a round of antibiotics from your gynecologist.
Most women know how their vaginal discharge changes throughout their menstrual cycle. It typically ranges from clear to milky-white.
A change in the color of your discharge is a strong indication that your vagina is trying to restore balance or there's an infection.
Red or brown discharge on days other than immediately following your period can be an indication of cervical cancer. If you notice this color discharge, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.
Yellow or thick white discharge is usually just a sign of BV which is cured with a round of antibiotics.
If you seem to always have an infection, that means it's time to start paying attention to your vaginal health.
When you move from a yeast infection to a UTI to a bacterial infection, your vagina doesn't get the chance to recuperate.
This means it's time to give your vagina a break. You can do this by having sex for a few weeks, overhauling your diet for a healthy one, or finding ways to destress your life.
As a general rule of thumb, when the rest of your body feels happy and healthy, so does your vagina.
An early sign of vaginal cancer is a bump on your outer vagina.
A bump might start out as a mole and change texture and color to form a hard bump. You'll typically notice it near the clitoris, but bumps can still form elsewhere around the vagina.
If you notice a bump that's dark in color or one that's hard and red or pink, ask your gynecologist to check it out.
Improve Your Vaginal Health!
For the most part, your vagina is great at taking care of itself. Only occasionally does it need some help in the form of antibiotics or extra TLC.
Your everyday activities can help your vaginal health. Wearing cotton underwear, using all natural feminine products, and not using harsh chemicals on your vagina will help it regulate itself.