Taking care of your private parts is one of the many things one should do to maintain proper hygiene. When it comes to the vagina, it is quite the responsibility, especially since it goes through many changes, and it’s also responsible for many activities such as periods and pregnancy.
Taking care of your vagina means taking care of your overall health, and neglecting this could lead to some pretty severe health issues. It is essential to take good care of your private parts. Your vagina is one of the paths in the body where infection can spread and reach other parts of the body, such as the ovarian tubes, the uterus, and the pelvic structures.
Drinking plenty of water and healthy fluids, maintaining daily personal hygiene and washing your private parts are all the most basic ways to ensure your vagina is in its optimal condition. Doing an annual pap smear and check-up and avoiding the use of vaginal douches and creams also help maintain a healthy pH down there.
You’ve taken all the necessary care and given your private parts the maintenance it needs. But somethings, your body or, in this case, your vagina signals that something isn’t right. Here are some signs that you need to get your vagina checked by a doctor if you see these signs:
It hurts for no reason
Any pain you experience in your vaginal area should be a cause of concern, especially if this pain comes with odor, abnormal discharge, and itching. One fine day you wake up, and suddenly your neither region hurt. This could be a sign of vaginitis. Other reasons for vaginal swelling could also be bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. All of these should be looked at and treated by a doctor.
One of the most obvious signs your body gives when something isn’t right in your vagina is discharge. Discharge should be clear and smooth, not watery discharge or chunky. If it resembles cottage cheese, or if you feel it’s itchy down there, these are all signs of a yeast infection, and the pH balance is off. A yeast infection could result from many things, from irritation caused by douching, improper diet, dirty toilets and wearing too-tight clothing.
It smells funky
Generally, your vagina is not supposed to have any smell. If you smell something fishy down there, it could be bacterial vaginosis. It’s a significant sign that you need to take better care of your vagina because a bad case of bacterial vaginosis could impact your general health. A doctor will usually administer a course of treatment immediately if it’s BV.
It feels different down there after having a baby
Having a baby will change plenty of things in your body. If you recently had a baby and are now experiencing pain during sex, it could be a problem with your pelvic floor muscles. Check with your doctor first and explain the sensations you feel. Your doctor may suggest you make an appointment with a pelvic floor therapist or a postnatal fitness specialist. They would be able to check you for any pelvic floor dysfunction and teach you how to take care of your pelvic floor and overall vaginal health so that sex can be enjoyable once again.
You have trouble inserting tampons
Pelvic floor changes could also result in problems inserting a tampon, especially if you’ve been using one before childbirth. However, if it’s not an issue with your pelvic floor, it could also be due to extra tissue, vaginal cysts or tense vaginal muscles. These symptoms need to be mentioned during your consultation to make your doctor aware and can administer the correct diagnosis and treatment. If you have difficulty inserting a tampon, speak to your doctor.
UTIs are pretty common among many women, but it’s a significant cause of concern if you experience frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are caused by many things, such as not showering after a workout or not peeing after sex. Not drinking enough water and hormonal changes also cause UTIs. You’ll need a course of antibiotics from your doctor to knock off UTI, but if it’s frequent, you need to speak to your doctor to find the best way to manage this issue. It could also mean making lifestyle changes, such as making sure to drink more water than you usually would.
It looks swollen and red
A red, swallowing vagina is never a good thing. Swelling in the vagina could result from douching, a cyst, a vaginal infection or even an STD. If you see any redness or swelling, meet with your doctor to determine the cause and treat it appropriately.
Sometimes, changes in the environment can cause our skin and our vaginal area to become dry. Vaginal dryness could also result from an allergy reaction, side effects of specific medication such as birth control and not drinking enough fluids. There’s an easy fix for this and plenty of ways to remedy the issue. Depending on the cause, you can try using lubricants during sex, using vaginal moisturizers and even stop using soaps and liquids that can cause a pH imbalance.
Change tampons and pads often
If you are menstruating, the most important thing you should be doing is switching your tampon or pad every four to eight hours. It not only keeps the area clean but it also prevents severe health complications. It is never a good idea to keep wearing tampons or pads for an extended period as it can cause toxic shock syndrome or TSS.
Pain during sex
If you are starting to experience pain during sex, this could result from several things. Dryness is one of them, but it could also result from UTI, bacterial vaginosis and even a yeast infection. This is a sign that your vaginal area needs extra care. You are probably in need of lubrication and antibiotics—the best thing is to speak to your doctor about it and get your vagina checked.
The vagina is a wonderfully efficient organ that is capable of many things. But it still deserves proper care. Aside from good hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular checkups, you can also look into using vaginal dilators or trainers. Regular use can provide an array of short- and long-term benefits by training the pelvic muscles. They can prevent vaginal atrophy, which can come with age, hormonal imbalance, or medical treatments, by keeping the muscles flexible. If you also struggle with pain during sex, dilators can help you to feel more relaxed about penetration. With dilators and the tips mentioned above, you can take charge of your vaginal health and feel your best every day.