Disclaimer: I am NOT a medical professional. I am just sharing what has worked for me, some of which was based on advice I received from doctors.
Do you find yourself wanting to improve your urinary and vaginal health due to constantly having Yeast Infections, UTIs, and/or Bacterial Vaginosis? There are 5 simple steps I took to completely eliminate these infections from my life for the past several years.
The best part? These tips won’t cost you a penny!!
Why is Vaginal Health Important?
Like so many other things to do with our bodies, it sure would be nice if the vagina came with a users manual. I mean really. It seems self explanatory but there are a lot of products out there that aren’t ever actually needed but are marketed to us to keep us ‘fresh’ down there.
What’s worse? A lot of these products are marked as ‘safe’ yet they contain many toxic chemicals that should never be near that very delicate area.
Women’s Voices for the Earth has a very informative chart of the toxic chemicals that feminine hygiene products often contain. These include endocrine disruptors, chemicals that lead to cancer, chemicals that may lead to reproductive issues, and so many more.
1. Stop Using Daily Pads
As a young woman, I was taught to use light daily pads everyday to stay ‘dry’ down there. It worked, I felt fresh always having a pad on and changing it frequently. Turns out, that was a bad idea.
By using a pad all of the time, I was blocking the air flow down there which led to all sorts of issues from frequent Yeast Infections to Bacterial Vaginosis. Both of which needed medicine that would then throw my body homeostasis off even more which in turn would lead to more infections.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first child at 30 years old and went into my OB for an additional appointment to see if I had an infection down there that an OB told me to stop wearing these pads. I protested as I felt that I would always feel wet down there, especially at the end of pregnancy. She told me it was up to me but best for the baby, and me, to not use pads everyday and instead keep a couple pairs of fresh underwear with me in my purse at work if I needed to change them.
Honestly, this seemed like a huge hassle but it really has helped over the years. In the past 7 years since I stopped wearing daily pads I haven’t had ANY yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis infections. Whereas, before that I had them at least once every couple years, if not more.
2. Don’t Use Soap or Anything Else Down There
Growing up, I was taught to use a washcloth and soap to clean my whole body, including down there. Turns out, that was just further confusing things and leading to more infections. Finally, again in my 30s, I learned that I should only use water and my hand to wash down there.
At first, I protested as I didn’t want to touch myself down there with just my hand (I’m not a prude, just wasn’t wanting to do that everyday in the shower) but decided to give it a try. I truly believe that’s one of the biggest things that has helped me no longer have infections.
The reason using soap, wipes, creams, or douches down there is bad is because the vagina has it’s own ecosystem. When we use these other things, besides water, we disrupt that very delicate ecosystem and as much as it tries to adapt, it’s difficult for it to do.
No Soap? Really?! Don’t you smell gross down there?!
Seriously, no soap down there, and no, I don’t smell gross at all. I am married with three littles but my husband and I still get our special time together and he has not noticed a difference at all. And yes, he’d totally tell me if he did. Lol
Even though I use just my hand and water to clean, I do use soap just to wash my hands after cleaning myself with just water, even though I’m in the shower, before I rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I’m sure it’s not needed but makes me feel less weird. Lol
You could surely use a wet washcloth instead of your hand but I opt to not do that as the washcloth could harbor bacteria as well, especially if not washed between every use.
3. Urinate After Being Intimate
Urinating after being intimate is something I actually remember reading in Cosmo back in the day. After a quick Google Search to see if this really holds true, other than my own use of the tactic, I found the Cleveland Clinic agrees! Peeing within 30 minutes after intimacy helps any trapped bacteria transferred during the act from getting into the urinary tract and causing issues like an infection.
I tend to go to the bathroom within 5 minutes of having sex or any intimacy down there, which has really helped.
4. Also After Intimacy…
Use a wet paper towel to wipe from front to back, as well as get between your lady parts, after intimacy. This will further help any lingering bacteria be washed away which will help reduce infections.
NOTE!!!! Do NOT flush the paper towel! Put it in the garbage can.
5. Reduce Sugar
No matter the health problem, reducing sugar, especially refined sugar, is a good thing. This is especially good if you are expericing frequent yeast infections.
Yeast feeds off of sugar so the more sugar you ingest, the more likely you’re going to have an imbalance that will then lead to yeast infections.
In all honesty, I have reduced my refined sugar intake significantly over the years but I do still ingest sugar. It surely isn’t the case that you have to cut out ALL sugar to not have these vaginal and urinary issues, but it surely can be part of the puzzle.
Bonus: Don’t Use ANYTHING Scented Down There
Scents are NOT meant for that area, even if you’re afraid that you smell down there. Scented products like creams, sprays, scented tampons or pads, even scented laundry detergent or fabric softener, can really cause irritation down there. Beyond irritation such as itching, scented products can lead to the yeast infections, UTIs, and bacterial vaginosis.
The Cleveland Clinic has an informative post about why scented feminine products are harmful to your health.
The Way it Really Is
I wish I would have known all of these things 20 years ago. So many rounds of harmful antibiotics that I’ve had and just pure uncomfortableness could have been avoided had I known these things decades earlier.
All I know, is I’m glad that I know and follow these things now. I haven’t had a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or UTI for over 6 years since I learned all of this and started implementing it.
As I stated in the beginning, the best part of all of this is it doesn’t cost ANY money and actually, will save you money if you’ve been buying vaginal products that really shouldn’t be used or those daily light day pads!
As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.