Both thrush and bacterial vaginosis (bv) are vaginal infections caused by imbalances in your vaginal flora (i.e. not enough good bacteria and too much bad bacteria hanging around). They’re both extremely common conditions - so if you’ve experienced either before, know that you’re not alone. Thankfully, there’s some healthy habits we can implement to keep our vagina feeling its best.
Incorporating vaginal probiotics into your daily health regimen is one the best ways to bolster your vaginal microbiome with all the right bacteria. Think of probiotics like a tall glass of green juice for your vagina - delivering a dose of healthy goodness to fight off infections. We created bac it up probiotics to contain over 4 billion live cultures (the good bacteria) and vitamin b6 to supercharge your vaginal microbiome.
News flash: Your vagina is self-cleaning and definitely doesn’t need any fragrances, perfumes or deodorant to “freshen up.” We’ve been fed marketing bullsh*t to have us believe our natural scent must be masked, but nothing could be further from the truth. These products are often loaded with unnatural ingredients that throw off our vagina’s natural pH and wind up making matters worse. fragrance-free is the way to be.
The practice of douching became a popular way to clean your vagina by squirting a solution directly up there, but similar to the above: this is totally unnecessary and can seriously backfire. Douching can push STIs further upwards toward your fallopian tubes and potentially cause pelvic inflammatory disease (not fun). Let your vagina do its thing!
Safe sex is sexy sex. Before anything enters your vagina - fingers, penises, toys, etc. - be sure that it’s extra clean (even if you’re wearing a condom!). And speaking of condoms, be sure to check the ingredients label - the same goes for lube. Your vaginal skin is extremely sensitive and absorbent, so it’s best to stay clear of sex products that are loaded with chemicals and spermicides.
Bad bacteria loves breeding in damp, sweaty environments - so instead of lounging around in your yoga pants post-workout, swap into a pair of fresh, dry pants and knickers to be extra safe.
It's advised to change your pads and tampons every 4-8 hours, even if you don't experience any leaks. This will vary depending on the heaviness of your flow, so if you feel your pad or tampon is already saturated within an hour - change it out (and consider upping thing absorbency for that portion of your period). The key is to change it out before you feel any moisture or leaks.
Last but definitely not least, a lil reminder from your childhood: it's imperative to wipe from front to back to decrease the chances of bacteria from your GI system entering your vagina. Your vaginal microbiome knows exactly what kind of bacteria it needs to keep a healthy, acidic environment and it doesn't play well with the bacteria from your backside. Keep it front to back, capiche?
Image credit: @billiebodybrand