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Preventing Vaginitis


 

Preventing vaginitis may be as simple as changing a few habits related to your hygiene, lifestyle, or clothing. Follow the tips below and see your health care provider if you suspect vaginitis again.

Use mild, unscented soap when you bathe or shower to avoid irritating your vagina.

Hygiene

  • Avoid using douches (unless recommended by your health care provider), vaginal sprays, scented toilet paper, or scented tampons. They contain chemicals that can irritate your vagina.
  • Wash your vulva (outer vaginal area) thoroughly every day and keep it as dry as possible to guard against bacterial growth.
  • Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. This prevents spreading bacteria from your anus to your vagina.
  • Change tampons frequently during your period to allow the flow of normal vaginal discharge.

Eat a variety of healthy foods. Too many sweet or starchy foods in your diet may speed up the growth of harmful bacteria.

Lifestyle

  • Limit your number of sexual partners and use latex condoms to reduce your risk of infection.
  • Get enough rest and sleep to help keep your resistance to infection high.
  • Lose weight if you're very heavy. Obesity can promote infection by preventing air circulation around your vagina.
  • Exercise regularly to reduce stress and strengthen your body's resistance to infection.

Clothing

  • Don't sit around in wet clothes, since yeast thrive in a warm, damp environment.
  • Avoid wearing tight pants or pantyhose without a cotton crotch, since they trap warmth and moisture.
  • Wear cotton underwear to allow good air circulation around your vagina.
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