Having a healthy vagina is crucial for so many reasons. Your vagina plays an important role in your sexual enjoyment and your ability to achieve orgasm. And during childbirth, your baby moves from your uterus and through your vagina out into the world.
You can take a variety of steps to help keep your vagina healthy. For example, practicing safe sex can help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases that can affect your vaginal area.
Eating a healthy diet can also help support your vagina. Healthy foods help promote wellness throughout your entire body, including your vagina. But some foods may help your vaginal health more directly.
Here at Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, our team of care providers are committed to helping you protect your vaginal health. We’d like to tell you about five foods that may benefit your vagina.
Food #1: Cranberry juice
You may have heard that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice might help reduce the risk of developing vaginal yeast infections. Yeast infections, which occur when the healthy balance of vaginal yeast becomes unbalanced, affect as many as three in four women at some point in their lives.
Although scientists aren’t sure cranberry juice prevents yeast infections, it does appear to help lower the risk of urinary tract infections, which can cause symptoms such as pain, itching, and burning in the vaginal area.
Food #2: Whole grains
Vaginal yeast infections may also be associated with a diet that’s high in sugar and foods made from refined grains, such as white bread and white flour. These “white” foods can lead to blood sugar spikes. Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat bread and whole-grain pasta help keep your blood sugar stable.
Food #3: Yogurt
Yogurt contains live, active cultures known as “good” bacteria. There is some evidence that having a healthy amount of good bacteria in your body can help protect you from vaginal yeast infections. When you buy yogurt, choose unsweetened varieties, and check the label to make sure your yogurt contains live, active cultures, known as probiotics.
Food #4: Beans
High-fiber foods are known as “prebiotics” because the fiber they contain feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains contain fiber, but beans are some of the best fiber sources, containing as much as 9 grams of fiber in a half-cup serving, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.
Food #5: Water
Okay, it isn’t really a food. But water helps your vagina because it helps prevent dehydration. Women who experience urinary incontinence may be reluctant to drink adequate water for fear of unintentionally releasing urine.
If you’re dehydrated, your vaginal tissues may also become dry, which could make sex uncomfortable.
Protect your vaginal health
At Associates in Women’s Health, we make it our business to help you take care of your gynecological and vaginal health. We do this by working with you to identify risk factors and to prevent, diagnose, and treat any GYN conditions that may affect you.
During your annual well-woman exams, we assess your health, check for problems, perform necessary tests, and answer all of your questions. To make an appointment, call our office at 513-794-1500, or request an appointment today.