Most women are, understandably, a little uncomfortable taking about their vaginal health. Besides the usual reproductive or menstrual concerns, it’s an area of the body that we don’t often think about unless something goes wrong. Then, when the discomfort is intense, it’s all that we can think about.
Maintaining your vaginal health is an important part of living an overall healthy lifestyle. We've put together a few of the basics to help you understand a bit more about the products we offer you.
It’s really important to know not only the basic anatomical names (vagina and vulva), but also how they look and function. This way, when something seems a little off, you’re able to speak with your doctor with language that accurately reflects your issue. So, go ahead, take a look. There’s really nothing to be embarrassed about! It’s your body and knowing it intimately will help keep you healthy and make you feel empowered.
Normal vaginal bacteria produce factors that keep the vaginal environment slightly acidic. The acidic environment helps suppress the overgrowth of abnormal bacteria. When abnormal bacteria overgrow or parasitic infections like trichomoniasis become established, it results in abnormal vaginal activity—yeast infections usually do not result in a change in the vaginal acidity.
The MONISTAT® COMPETE CARE™ Vaginal Health Test can help determine if seeing a doctor is necessary by testing if a vaginal pH is abnormal, which may indicate that you have a vaginal infection. On the other hand, a pH that is normal along with symptoms like vaginal itching, burning and thick lumpy discharge could indicate a yeast infection.
Vaginal discharge is a normal part of the body’s cleansing system. While levels and consistency differ from woman to woman, most discharge contains, secretions from glands in the vulva, cervix and vagina, bacteria and a little saline. It is usually clear or slightly cloudy and can range from white to yellowish. It shouldn’t irritate your vulva or vagina and is free of unpleasant odor.
When discharge has a foul odor or irritates the skin, there is cause for concern. It is important to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible for a diagnosis. However, if you have experienced a yeast infection in the past, and are certain that your symptoms are the same, you can begin treatment with your choice of MONISTAT® yeast infection treatment products.
|COMMON SYMPTOMS||BACTERIAL VAGINITIS||YEAST INFECTION||TRICHOMONIASIS|
|Odor||Fishy or unpleasant||None||Musty or unpleasant|
|Discharge||Thin, milky white or gray||Thick, white, cottage cheese like||Frothy, yellow-green|
|Common Treatments||RX Antibiotics||MONISTAT®||RX Antibiotics|
Care and Maintenance
Seeing a healthcare professional regularly is important to maintaining your vaginal health, but there are a few other habits that will help you maintain your vaginal health:
- Avoid douching
- Avoid using feminine deodorant sprays, scented pads or tampons, colored or perfumed toilet paper or bubble bath
- Always wipe from front to back
- Wear cotton underwear during the day to let your skin breathe
- Avoid wearing tight pants, pantyhose, swimsuits, biking shorts or leotards for long periods.
- Change out of wet clothing as soon as possible
- Use a mild laundry detergent
The body, including the vagina and urinary tract, contains complex, finely-balanced ecosystems where beneficial bacteria keep disease-causing organisms in check. When these systems are thrown out of balance, the result can be conditions like urinary tract infections, yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.