It’s a topic we tend to shy away from and only ever seem to speak about in hushed whispers, but the time has come to talk vaginas – more specifically, the dos and don’ts of maintaining good vaginal health.

No one should feel uncomfortable down there, so we spoke to the experts at Reuterina for some tips on how to keep your vagina happy and healthy. And the best thing about their advice? It’s really easy to put into practice!

1. Know your normal

Doctors’ advice is always to see a medical professional if you experience any changes or anything of concern, but what is ‘normal’ when it comes to vaginal health?

Of course it differs from woman to woman, but a vagina that has loads of good bacteria, has an acidic pH, is generally lubricated and secretes a small amount of discharge is seen as healthy. If you notice any persistent odours or discharge, or experience any discomfort, visit your doctor and get it looked at immediately, before it gets any worse.

2. Bacteria is your buddy

Get this – it might sound strange, but just like your gut, your vagina actually needs bacteria to keep healthy. There are a number of factors that can affect vaginal flora levels, which is why it’s a good idea to take a daily probiotic like Reuterina Femme, to help maintain healthy vaginal flora and fight off infections.

3. Ditch the douches

Douching often does more harm than good and can, over time, affect the pH balance of your vagina and actually encourage bacterial infections. If you’re experiencing odours or unfamiliar discharges, rather see a doctor who can advise on more effective treatment plans.

4. Be wise…

Using a condom is obviously always a good idea, and it’s particularly helpful in protecting you (and your vagina) from sexually transmitted diseases. Practicing safe sex keeps the bad germs away and the vagina virus free.

5. Let it be

Keeping things clean always seems like a good idea, but in the case of your vagina, you may be doing more harm than good by exposing it to ‘cleansing’ products. These products can wipe out your good bacteria, leaving you susceptible to nasty infections. If you have been cleaning your vagina, don’t panic. Stick to cleaning the outside and try a probiotic to help restore balance to that helpful bacteria.

6. Clothing conscious

Let’s face it, being trapped in restrictive clothing without ventilation all day can leave the vagina feeling (and smelling) less than fresh as a daisy. Keep your vagina clean and dry by choosing comfortable cotton underwear and by changing out of wet swimming costumes or gym clothes as soon as possible. This is particularly important if you’re prone to vaginal infections.

7. Daily dose

Reuterina Femme combines two probiotic strains into one product that helps to restore and maintain healthy vaginal flora. The specific strains have been clinically validated for vaginal health, and taking just one a day has been proven to help prevent recurring infections like yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis.

You can also use Reuterina Femme with antibiotics or antifungal medicine to increase the effectiveness and cure rate of yeast and bacterial vaginal infections.

To find out more about Reuterina Femme and how it can help you maintain a healthy vaginal flora, visit reuterina.co.za/index.php/products/femme.

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.