Answers you always wanted about keeping the vagina healthy (don't be embarrassed to ask us)!
1. Yes your diet can affect the number of vaginal infections you have. High levels of sugar and fat increase risk of infections, as does low levels of folate and vitamin E. Low levels of vitamin D, calcium, and iron are known to increase your risk of vaginal infections.
2. Smoking can also increase risk of vaginal infections. Since smokers are more likely to have low levels of the good lactobacilli, if you smoke, consider more yogurt and more probiotics! Or just quit, in fact, just quit!
3. Well, some say you cannot have too much sex. And maybe you really cannot, however, more sex leads to more infections 'as a general rule.'
4. You are less likely to get a vaginal infection if you have your guy use a condom. There is more than double the rate of vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis if there is more prostate-specific antigen in the vaginal fluid (no, girls don't have this substance, only semen does!).
5. If a guy is circumcised and you have sex, you are slightly more statistically likely to get an infection. But don't let that stop you, or require any changes to your guy!
6. Although contrary to popular myths, most oral and anal sex has not been consistently associated with infections. However, if you are getting recurrent infections, check out any sexual practices with your personal gyno, just to be sure what is going to be healthiest for you.
7. Digital sex (either vaginal or anal) hasn't been associated with infections either.
8. Stressed women do have more infections. Meditate, deep breath, show up to yoga, and just plain have some 'me time'; this is good on virtually all health fronts.
9. HPV infection and vaginal infections with yeast or bacterial vaginosis is very complicated; there are both associations with more infections and with worse HPV disease if you have infections. See your gyno to get more information.
10. Sex toys that are properly cleaned, not a problem.
In addition to incorporating some of these healthy vagina tips, we suggest regular gynecologic care, using preventative strategies, and keeping the pelvic muscles healthy as well. Separately, if you have pain or bleeding, unusual discharge, odor, or itching. Time to be checked! Infections will still occur no matter how well you eat or how stable your hormones are.