Along with other parts of the body all women are concerned about the vaginal health. As regular secretion of saliva helps to cleanse the mouth, vagina also produces secretions which help in cleansing. Vagina harbors rich quantities of beneficial bacteria which maintain the vaginal pH to acidic. The acidic pH acts as a natural barrier for the growth of certain harmful organisms. Thus under normal circumstances like any part of the body the perineal region needs to be cleaned with plain water and a mild un-perfumed soap (with neutral pH).
Conditions that lead to Vaginal Infection
There are certain conditions like menstruation, prolonged use of antibiotics, intercourse, pregnancy, menopause which can alter the vaginal pH, due to which women can become susceptible to vaginal infections.
Symptoms of Vaginal Infections
Women with vaginal infection often develop pain in lower abdomen and back, foul smelling discharge from vagina, irritation and itching over perineal region.
Use of Vaginal Wash
Often women with vaginal infections are advised vaginal wash. After consulting your doctor use a vaginal wash which is mild and has natural ingredients. It should not contain strong perfumes. The hygiene wash should ideally have a pH between 4.5-5.5.
The main component of the wash is lactic acid which helps restore the acidic pH of vagina. Along with it there are elements to reduce irritation and moisturizing agents that help reduce dryness.
Thus use a vaginal wash as advised only under certain conditions otherwise good old soap and water are okay.
Some steps to maintain Vaginal Health
Keep yourself well hydrated and eat a balanced diet of nutritious food.
Include unsweetened cranberry juice, yogurt and raw garlic in your diet.
Don’t douche as it removes the good bacteria from vagina.
Avoid vaginal wipes and deodorants.
Dry it by patting and not rubbing.
The Bottom Line: The vagina is physiologically built to take care of itself. Needs special care, only when normal physiology gets disrupted.