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Vaginal infections: what you need to know

Learn how to identify the symptoms and causes of vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis. Discover our tips on how to improve your vaginal health here.

Vaginal health conditions: what to look out for

Intimate health affects all women, but the subject is still not being raised enough. Always remember you are not alone, and your intimate health isn’t something you should feel embarrassed about. Most vaginal conditions such as thrush and bacterial vaginosis (BV) are easy to resolve and can cause discomfort if left untreated. That’s why it’s always best to take special care of your intimate parts and seek medical advice whenever you feel something isn’t right.

The reason why it’s best to take extra care of your intimate areas is that your vagina is a highly susceptible environment for microbes to develop. The pH of your vagina is different from the pH of the rest of your body, so even using a harsh soap can disturb the pH level. 

Vaginal infections can start with itching between your legs or an unusual, often smelly discharge. If you notice these symptoms, remember it’s never a good idea to keep quiet about it and hope it will just go away. Don’t stress as these conditions are common and usually easily treatable. However, it’s always advisable to seek help from your GP when you notice anything unusual for the first time.

If you don’t know your body well, you might struggle to notice if your vaginal discharge has changed. You might even think that typical discharge alone is already a sign of infection. However, typical (clear or white) discharge is a normal sign which indicates that your vagina is healthy. Your body produces discharge so that your vagina can clean and lubricate itself. However, smelly discharge that changes color might indicate that you have an infection.

Cause of vaginal infections

Vaginal infections may be caused by bacteria, yeast or other microorganisms. There are some conditions that can make them more likely to happen: 

  • Taking antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill your good bacteria as well as bad bacteria, so there is nothing to prevent the yeast from overgrowing.

  • Impaired immune system. If you have lowered immunity you are more likely to get yeast infections. 

  • Reduced acidity (increased pH) of the vagina. Lower acidity in your vagina leads to reduced number of good bacteria and the growth of bacteria causing infections.

  • Tight, non-absorbent underwear. By wearing this type of underwear, you may be encouraging the growth of yeast and bacteria because of the trapped moisture. 

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Why taking control of your vaginal health is important

Many women don’t consider intimate hygiene as separate from their regular hygiene routine. However, proper intimate hygiene requires different habits and it’s important because your intimate area is delicate and can be prone to infection.

Canesfresh Gentle Refreshing Mousse 150 ml

How can you prevent the infections from happening?

There are simple ways that may help to prevent intimate infections from happening or reoccurring. Regular and proper hygiene of your intimate parts can keep your good bacteria in check. You should wash every day with mild, non-scented soap. Some products, such as Canesfresh Daily Foaming Wash are actually developed specifically for your intimate area. They help to maintain your natural pH balance while gently, but effectively cleansing. After washing yourself, you should remember to dry your intimate parts thoroughly. 

Another way  to keep your vagina healthy is to wear loose, absorbent clothing and cotton lined underpants. This type of clothing will help air to circulate and will help keep your genital area dry.

You should also remember about hygiene when having sex.  Make sure that you empty your bladder after having sex. Taking this precaution will help to remove any bacteria that might have spread into your urethra (the tube that connects your bladder to just above your vaginal opening) in order to help prevent cystitis.

Other things to remember if you want to avoid vaginal infections include:

  • Wipe from front to back after going to the toilet to prevent bacteria from the anus from being moved to the vagina.

  • Remove wet clothes, for example swimsuits or workout gear straight after finishing exercising. 

  • Avoid vaginal douching which might remove some of the good bacteria.

  • Avoid using hot tubs and taking very hot baths.

It is very important to take special care of your vaginal area. Using normal soaps and shower gels or over washing could lead to pH imbalance which in turn, can lead to infections. Canesten offers a range of products that can help you care for your intimate hygiene leaving you feeling clean and fresh.

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