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Knowing About Your Body: Vaginal And Reproductive Health

Posted: August 29, 2020

It’s very important to know about your vaginal and reproductive health. So here is a guide to help you know it better.

What is a vagina?

It is a tube of muscle that runs from the cervix (the opening of a woman’s womb) to the vaginal opening inside a woman’s body. Normally what we know as a vagina is actually the vulva, the external sex organs that surround the vaginal opening. The vagina is designed in a way to keep itself clean with the help of natural secretion (vaginal discharges) but looking after its health is also important by regular exercises and a healthy diet.

All about vaginal discharge

It’s normal to produce clear or white discharge from your vagina apart from your normal menstrual cycle or periods. A discharge which does not have a strong colour or smell is not a bad sign and mostly is not linked with any sexually transmitted infection. 

The mucus is generally produced from the cervix or the neck of the womb. It may be thinner during the days leading up to the ovulation or when an egg is released and during ovulation, and may become very thick and stretchy indicating to you that it’s time to have sexual intercourse. Vaginal discharge keeps the vaginal tissues moist and lubricated and is influenced by your reproductive hormones. If you experience a foul odour or a strong colour in your discharge, itching or soreness in the vaginal opening, it’s time to see your gynaecologist and get a check-up done.

How to clean your vagina

  •       There is a lot of good bacteria inside the vagina to help keep the vagina’s PH balance at the optimum (less than PH 4.5) which also prevents the growth of other organisms. Washing your vagina with perfumed soaps, gels and antiseptics can disturb the PH balance and cause irritation, itching and abnormal discharge. Therefore, wash your vagina every day gently with mild soap and plain water
  •       Avoid vaginal douching which is flushing water up into the vagina to clean out the secretions. It can disturb the good bacteria population inside the vagina and may even increase the risk of infections
  •       There’s a reason for the growth of pubic hair near the vaginal opening. It is to maintain an optimal temperature and prevent bacterial infections. Therefore, complete removal of pubic hair is not advised but it’s important to keep them clean and trim them regularly.
  •       Avoid using scented wipes or vaginal deodorants as they may disrupt the healthy natural PH balance. Instead use a clean soft cloth and wipe your vagina gently with it after urination, sexual intercourse or during periods. The way to wipe is to run the cloth from the vaginal opening towards the anus and not vice versa
  •       Have safe sex by using condoms every-time so as to prevent sexually transmitted infections and diseases
  •       Cervical screening from time to time is also important for women once they reach the age of 24 years so that any abnormal changes in the cervix can be identified early on.

To get more details on Vaginal and Reproductive health, Watch this episode from Kya Tum Jaanti Ho series with Pooja Priyamvada.

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