It’s possible that a few habits you have right now could be contributing to recurring bacterial vaginosis. Read on to find out how you can gain control over this annoying health issue and avoid bacterial vaginosis with these daily healthy habits.
Habits That Can Help You Avoid Bacterial Vaginosis
1. Check Your Underwear Drawer
Is your underwear made from polyester or nylon blends?
Replacing synthetic fibers with natural fibers such as all cotton underwear can potentially cut down on bacterial vaginosis flare-ups. When purchasing cotton underwear, select ones that are not bleached and not dyed, if possible. Bleaching and dyes may leave residues in the clothes that are absorbed by your skin, which cause inflammation or allergies that can open the door to unwanted anaerobic bacteria colonizing vaginal cells.
Similarly, panty liners and sanitary pads can be made from recyclable paper, which is loaded with chemicals, bleaches and dioxins. Any chemicals near the cervix, ovaries and other reproductive system tissues are clearly a threat to the delicate tissues. Choose your sanitary pads and panty liners wisely.
2. Daily Showers, Not Baths
Baths can be romantic and even a welcome getaway from the troubles experienced during the daytime. If you are going to take a bath, make sure you disinfect the bathtub BEFORE you fill it up with water and then again afterwards. Showers are the preferable and recommended way to clean the body when you have bacterial vaginosis because it’s the easiest way to keep the area clean.
3. Personal Hygiene After Sexual Intercourse
It’s easy to want to lie next to your partner after you feel the sexual glow. That’s okay for a short time period, around 10 minutes; but then it’s time to get up and either shower or thoroughly wash the vaginal area.
4. Thorough Cleaning and Rinsing During A Shower and Drying Afterward
Don’t rush through your shower. Wet your body down, suds up the vaginal area thoroughly and rinse it, wash the rest of your body, and then suds up the vaginal area thoroughly and rinse again. The rinsing is very important. Be squeaky clean when you get out of the shower!
Towel drying after the shower is good but dry the vaginal area more thoroughly with a hair dryer set on a cold air setting. Heat and moisture are perfect breeding conditions for most types of bacteria.
5. Examine Your Diet
Bacteria have cravings, too. When you have food cravings for chocolate, candy, cookies, pastries, donuts, white bread, and other processed foods, this sets off a sex craving for the bacteria and they’ll reproduce like crazy! Refined carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol and caffeine are no-no’s when you have bacterial vaginosis. The next time you find yourself craving any of these foods, it’s time to stand back and ask yourself if the momentary pleasure is worth the itching, burning, pain and embarrassing smell.
6. Go Green On Soaps and Laundry Detergents
Avoid the added colors, dyes, and perfumes, which can cause allergies and inflammation that irritates vaginal cells.
7. Reconsider Tampons and Thongs
Thongs may be fashionable but the constant rubbing of the thong material against the vaginal area can cause rashes and irritation that easily wears down the skin, leading to infections. Doctors report a higher incidence of vaginal infections caused by the transference of bacteria from the rectum to the vagina. Doctors also say that there’s a higher incidence of Candida yeast infections found in women that wear thongs.
The modern woman loves tampons; however, you may want to seriously reconsider using them. The reproductive tract cleanses itself monthly with the menstrual cycle and as the blood passes from top to bottom, it brings bacteria along with it. When a tampon is inserted, it’s possible to push bacteria up from the skin into the vaginal tract and up into the cervix. Some of these bacteria can contribute to bacterial vaginosis.