What we choose to feed our bodies have a huge impact on vaginal health. For years we have been confused by what's best for the vagina. What ph wash is best to use, which cream, lube, latex vs non and the question, to douche or not to douche. Truth is, your vagina is capable of a hell of a lot and this is all due to the bacteria's present there. In terms of the normal ph of the lady garden, we are aiming for the same acidity range as tomato juice but as soon as it starts creeping up to the same ph range of coffee then we are at risk of bacteria overgrowth infections such as bacterial vaginosis, which can affect up to 1-3 women.
Lowered levels of certain vitamins and minerals could be a factor which may be due to a lowered intake of fruits and vegetables. Its good to note that higher intakes of saturated fats in the diet may be another contributing factor as these foods have an effect on your vaginas ph levels. So, what is the best way of supporting one's va-j-j?
MsHolistic's Top Vag Tips
1. Increasing fibre - Increasing vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds to help boost your antioxidant, vitamin and mineral levels.
2. Reducing processed foods & sweets. These foods are known to feed bad bacteria's increasing them to multiply.
3. Getting fermented food into your diets such as sauerkraut to support your healthy bacteria.
4. Avoiding using high perfumed washes the vagina has an ability to wash itself so only use something natural and unscented if you really have to.
5. Reduce sugar intake. This is a BIG one, If your body is having a flare-up and only when, reducing all sugars including your tropical fruits, grapes and dried fruit but I would advise increasing your berries, blueberries, raspberries etc. Just to highlight. I only recommend reducing fruit from the diet while in a BV flair-up.
MsHolistic's Top Tips On What NOT to do.
1. Cranberry juice - Although this can be beneficial in the prevention of UTIs, when infected, studies show that cranberry juice is in fact ineffective. However, if you are one who swears on cranberry juice It's also important to remember that are naturally incredibly bitter. If you enjoy the taste of cranberry juice chances are it’s the sugar content you're enjoying more than the cranberry itself. Containing a ridiculous amount of sugar to help disguise its bitter taste. Which for most UTI can be more damaging than beneficial.
2. Dairy yogurt - I often come across articles even advising women to smother their lady garden in yogurt. The fact is, when yogurt is recommended to support health they are often talking about the probiotic benefits. When it comes to probiotic's, which are very beneficial for vaginal health, most probiotic's in yogurt isn't naturally occurring due to the pasteurization process. This means the naturally occurring bacteria's found in yogurt are killed off leaving manufacturers no choice but to fortify. I would spare the yogurt and reach for the probiotic supplement instead as this will give you a larger dose of good bacteria's without all the side effects of dairy.
3. Creams/lotions that claim to balance your ph levels?
In my experience, I have seen more clients react worse to these creams than washing with water alone. After washing allow yourself to breathe at night, that's right #nopanties
4. Do not Douche Unfortunately, we often put all bacteria into the same box. In the West, we have been programmed to fear all bacteria and will use whatever harmful chemicals we can get our hands on to rid them. But there is so much more to bacteria and without them, truth is, we wouldn't survive. With trillions of microorganisms out numbering human cells by 10 to 1 it's fair to say that we are more bacteria than human. For us ladies, many of these bacteria's are found in the vagina and have a role in regards to one's health. The more we douche the more at risk we are of losing these very much crucial part of the bodies microbiome. Most doctors recommend that women should not douche. Douching can change the necessary balance of flora and natural acidity in a healthy vagina. Not only that, douching can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria which can lead to... a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.