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Preventing Vaginitis

Tips for preventing vaginitis include avoiding tight clothing or other garments that trap heat and moisture near the vagina, practicing safe sex, and practicing proper hygiene. Evidence also indicates that eating yogurt containing active cultures ("good" bacteria) can help maintain the delicate balance in the vagina. Women with low levels of estrogen are advised to talk to their doctors about means of preventing vaginitis, such as hormone pills or creams.

Preventing Vaginitis: A Summary

There are certain things you can do to decrease the chances of getting vaginitis. If you suffer from chronic (recurring) yeast infections, it is usually helpful to avoid garments that hold in heat and moisture. Wearing nylon panties, pantyhose without a cotton panel, and tight jeans can lead to yeast infections.
Good hygiene is also important in preventing vaginitis. However, because vaginal sprays or heavily perfumed soaps for cleansing this area can cause vaginal irritation, most doctors do not recommend using them. Likewise, repeated douching may cause irritation or, more importantly, may hide a vaginal infection.
Safe sexual practices can help prevent the passing of diseases between partners. The use of condoms is particularly important in this regard.
Also, many doctors have found that if a woman eats yogurt that contains active cultures (check the label), she will get fewer infections.
If you are approaching menopause, have had your ovaries removed, or have low levels of estrogen for any reason, talk to your doctor about possibly using hormone pills or creams to keep the vagina lubricated and healthy.
(Click Vaginitis to read more about this condition, including causes, symptoms, and treatment options.)
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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