Of course you want to keep your vagina in prime shape. But some of the things you might be doing could actually be harmful. Learning the right habits and ditching old ones may help her stay healthy.
Let's sort through some of the things you should be doing to keep your vagina healthy—and as awesome as ever:
Your annual exam is often the only time a professional gets to examine your vagina.3 It's an opportunity to ask about anything: from birth control to how to test for STIs. Side note: Learn why STDs are now called STIs! Feeling tongue-tied? We've got a Discussion Guide ready.
Certain types of sexual intercourse may increase your risk for BV.2 When you move from anal to vaginal sex, make sure your vagina, the penis, or sex toys are clean, or use new condoms. If you don't you might expose your vagina to unwelcome visitors—bacteria from the anal tract—which can increase her risk of infection.3 Yikes!
It's normal to feel nervous before a checkup. Rest assured, your healthcare provider has probably seen, heard, and treated it all before! But here are some tips to help you have a successful visit.
Keep in mind you'll probably have to strip down for a complete checkup, like a routine breast or pelvic exam. Sweatpants may be more comfortable to slip in and out of, and socks can help when it's time to get in the stirrups.5
Creating a list of concerns and/or questions can help you feel confident about your visit. If you need some tips, check out our Discussion Guide.
If you've noticed some major changes in your cycle, it's important to share that with your doctor. An irregular cycle may be the sign of a pelvic infection, or you might need to consider changing your method of birth control.6
Healthcare providers may see evidence of an infection during a pelvic exam, but it's possible that you've been experiencing something that's not outwardly visible. Mentioning everything can help your healthcare provider better determine which tests to run.5
Women often attempt to self-treat what they think is a yeast infection but, in fact, is often BV.7 A healthcare professional can evaluate the vaginal area and prescribe the correct treatment.8 If it is BV, there are effective treatments to help you get her feeling awesome again.
Survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Symbiomix Therapeutics, LLC, a Lupin Company and the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) within the United States between September 14 and 29, 2017 among 304 US women aged 18-49 who have been diagnosed by a healthcare professional with bacterial vaginosis (BV) within the past 2 years ("women with bacterial vaginosis"). Figures for age, income, race/ethnicity, region, education, and size of household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.9
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