Vaginal Infections (cont.)
Follow up with your doctor for results of your cervical lab tests and Pap
test. It is recommended that you have a complete physical examination every
year, whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms.
- Because the chemical balance of the vagina is very sensitive, it is best to
let the vagina clean itself. The vagina takes care of cleaning itself naturally
through secretions of mucus. Warm water and gentle, unscented soap during the
bath or shower is the best way to clean the outside areas of the vagina.
Products like feminine hygiene soaps, powders and sprays are not necessary, and
may be harmful.
- Douching is rinsing or cleaning out the vagina by squirting water or other
solutions (such as vinegar, baking soda, or douching solutions you can buy at
drug and grocery stores) into the vagina. The water or solutions are held in a
bottle and squirted into the vagina through tubing and a nozzle. Although
douching is a common practice among women in the United States, health care
providers do not recommend douching to clean the vagina. Douching changes the
delicate chemical balance in the vagina, which can make you more likely to
develop a vaginal infection. Research shows that women who douche regularly tend
to have more problems such as vaginal infections than women who do not douche or
who rarely douche.
- Douching is not a form of birth control, and douching after sex does not
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