Preventing Vaginal Infection
These steps can help you stay comfortable during treatment of a vaginal infection. They also help prevent vaginal infections in the future.
Keeping a Healthy Balance
Factors that change the normal balance in the vagina can lead to a vaginal infection. To help keep the balance normal, try these tips:
Change out of wet bathing suits and damp exercise clothes as soon as possible. Yeast thrive in a warm, moist environment.
Avoid wearing tight pants. Choose cotton underwear and pantyhose that have a cotton crotch. Cotton keeps you cooler and drier than synthetics.
Don't douche unless directed by your health care provider. Douching can destroy friendly bacteria and change the vagina's normal balance.
Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. This prevents bacteria from spreading from the anus to the vulva.
Wash the vulva with mild, unscented soap or with plain water.
Wash your diaphragm, spermicide applicators, and sex toys with mild soap and water after use. Dry them thoroughly before putting them away.
Change tampons often (every 2 hours to 4 hours). Leaving a tampon in for too long may disrupt the balance of vaginal bacteria.
Staying Healthy Overall
Good overall health can help you resist infection. To be healthier:
Help protect yourself from STDs by using latex condoms for intercourse. Ask your health care provider for more information about safer sex.
Eat a variety of healthy foods.
Get enough rest and sleep.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your health care provider for advice on how to start.