For many people, aspects of health care regarding their vagina can be difficult to talk about.
These issues can be very personal, and not many people discuss them, resulting in misinformation, stigma, and unfortunately, a delay in dealing with these issues when they do arise.
Today we’re going to look at some common signs of vaginal health issues, and then we’ll take a look at some naturopathic vaginal health solutions.
Keep reading to learn more.
Factors That Can Affect Vaginal Health
The vagina is a muscular canal which extends from the vulva to the cervix.
There are a number of factors which can affect vaginal health. These include:
● Sexual intercourse: unprotected sex may result in disease or infection. Forceful sex could cause vaginal trauma or injury to the pelvic area.
● Health Conditions: Pelvic inflammation and endometriosis are conditions which can result in painful sexual intercourse if left untreated.
● Medication: Use of antibiotics may increase the risk of a yeast infection.
● Birth control: Use of barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms can cause irritation. This is especially true for those with a latex allergy, but there are other possible causes.
● Pregnancy and childbirth: Many people experience increases in vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Vaginal deliveries can cause a decrease in muscle tone.
● Hormones: Changes in hormone levels can have an impact on the vagina. For example, loss of estrogen can cause the vaginal lining to thin, resulting in painful sex.
Most Common Vaginal Health Concerns
As you can see, there are a large number of factors that can impact vaginal health and well-being, and some of these may also have an impact on sexual health.
Now we will outline some of the most common vaginal health concerns.
When there is an imbalance in the levels of vaginal yeast and bacteria, this can result in vaginitis.
This means there is inflammation of the vagina, and symptoms may include vaginal discharge, odour, itching, and pain.
There are different types of vaginitis, including bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis.
The complete list of Sexually Transmitted Infections is long, and could merit its own article.However, some of the more common STI’s which could affect the vagina include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts, and genital herpes.
If you notice signs such as genital sores or abnormal discharge, talk to your doctor about getting tested.
Painful intercourse, or pain experienced before or after sex may be the result of sexual problems.
Vaginismus is involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal walls, where they become tense and cause chronic pain.
Vaginal dryness can also be a reason for painful intercourse.
Pelvic Floor Relaxation
If the connective tissues which hold the uterus and vaginal walls in place become weak, it could cause prolapse of the uterus, bladder, rectum, or vaginal walls.
This may result in urine leakage when coughing or sneezing, or a bulge in the vagina.
Signs Of Vaginal Health Concerns
Being vigilant for the signs of vaginal health issues is the first step towards being able to recognize issues and get early treatment.
If you notice any of the following, be sure to consult your naturopathic doctor or qualified medical practitioner:
● Changes in your vaginal discharge, especially if the colour, odour, or quantity changes.
● Redness or itching of the vagina
● Vaginal bleeding which is not associated with your regular menstrual cycle (between periods, after sex, or after menopause)
● Pain during sexual intercourse
● The appearance of a mass in your vagina
Contact Annex Naturopathic
Have you been experiencing any of the symptoms listed in this article?
Are you tired of always reaching for over-the-counter medications and pharmaceutical treatments, and would prefer to try a more natural approach?
Annex Naturopathic can help.
We use botanicals, lifestyle changes, and nutritional counseling to address your concerns, by helping to balance stress, diet, and inflammation.
Contact us today to set up a consultation.
Yours in Health,
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND