1) Change immediately after working out or swimming.
Yeast infections thrive in moist, warm places. Sweat and water can both create this kind of environment in your body, so the sooner you can change out of your swimsuit or workout clothes, the better.
2) Wash it right!
Experts don't recommend douching because it can disturb the pH balance in your vagina. You should only be washing with a natural cleanser that is pH balanced for your most sensitive area. If you're sensitive or easily irritated down there, you may want to forgo soap entirely and try a gentle, pH-balanced product like SERENITY Intimate Wash.
3) Eat a vagina-friendly diet.
Like your gut, your vagina relies on healthy bacteria to ward off bacteria that causes infections. Probiotic foods like yogurt and cheese and prebiotic foods like raw onions and leeks are important for maintaining these good bacteria.
4) Always wipe from front to back.
You've heard it before, and it sounds simple, but it really is important.
As you can imagine, you do not want to bring what's lurking in the back over to the front. This can introduce E. coli and other bacteria from the GI tract into the vagina.
5) Use a vaginal gel.
Sometimes, your period or having sex can increase your vagina's pH balance, which then increases your risk of infections. If you notice any vaginal discomfort after either of the two experiences, We highly recommend trying SHADES OF SHIELD Vaginal Gel once every three days. It coats your vaginal walls to keep the pH low.
6) Select your underwear wisely.
Cotton underwear is the best kind for your vagina because it's most breathable. For the same reason, you're better off not wearing any underwear at all when you sleep. And avoid thongs. They can bring bacteria to the urethra, which can lead to UTIs.
7) Take a probiotic.
To further boost your healthy bacteria supply, in addition to eating cheese and yogurt, you can supplement your diet with a probiotic. A daily supplement contains lactobacilli, a strain of bacteria that helps maintain a low pH level and a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina.
8) Wash your underwear with unscented detergent.
Your vagina contains oils and discharge that protect it against infections, and the chemicals in scented detergents break down this natural barrier.
Especially if you're prone to infections, it's best to nix detergent with artificial chemicals or perfumes.
9) Do your kegel exercises
If you're not already familiar, Kegel exercises involve squeezing then fully relaxing your PC muscles – the ones around the vagina, anus, and urethra that you use to prevent leaking.
To make these fun, you can even get toys (some can even connect to your smartphone!) to guide you through exercises, and track your vaginal fitness.
Having relaxed and strong vaginal muscles not only leads to better sex but also can make childbirth easier and prevent leaking down the line.
10) Use a water-based lube
Lube prevents micro-tears in the urethra and vagina that contribute to infections. SHADES OF SHIELD Vaginal Gel also doubles as lube, so if you're already using it, you can just leave it in.
11) Stretch your inner thighs!!
Believe it or not, your vagina will thank you for exercising other parts of your body. Tight inner thigh muscles can lead to tension and pain in the vagina.
You can stretch out your inner thighs be extending one leg outward, place it on the seat of a chair. Then bend from your hip toward your leg until you feel a pull in the groin and inner thigh area.
12) Sit up straight.
You've heard it from your mom, and from your teachers: Don't slouch.
It can put stress on the nerves in the sacrum that connect to the vagina, which impedes nerve conduction and blood flow.
Instead, sit with your lower back resting against the back of a good chair, not perched at the front of your seat with no back support. Your feet should touch the ground (dangling them can also stress your back). Been sitting in front of your computer screen for hours? Get up and walk around. Your body — and yes, your vag — will thank you.