Tips for vulvar care - The vulva contains many bacteria that naturally coexist with other organisms in a health balance. However, sometimes other bacteria may be introduced that can lead to an infection and irritation. Here are tips on how to properly care for your vulva to keep it healthy and happy.

  • Use only warm water to wash the vulva. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel. (If the vulva is very irritated, you can try drying it with a blow dryer set on cool.)
  • The vagina cleanses itself naturally in the form of normal, vaginal discharge. Avoid using douches unless prescribed by your physician. These products can upset the natural balance of organisms.
  • Wear 100 percent cotton underwear. Avoid wearing nylon, acetate, or other manmade fibers.
  • Avoid wearing thongs.
  • Rinse underclothes carefully after washing. Or, double-rinse.
  • Wash new underclothes before wearing.
  • Use a mild soap (such as Woolite) for washing underclothes. Do not use detergents (especially Tide) or fabric softeners (including dryer sheets.)
  • Use soft toilet tissue 
  • Use tampons instead of sanitary napkins to control menstrual bleeding. (Do not use deodorant tampons.) Do not leave tampons in for a long period, due to toxic shock syndrome. Do not leave tampons in all night.
  • Don’t scratch.
  • Avoid wearing nylon pantyhose or panty girdles. They trap heat and moisture, providing an ideal breeding environment for organisms. When nylons or leggings are required, wear cotton or nylons with a cotton panty.
  • Avoid these feminine hygiene products, which can irritate the vulva: sanitary pads, feminine spray and deodorants, Vaseline, oils, greases, bubble baths, bath oils, talc, or powder.

Signs and Symptoms of Gynecologic Problems - Vaginal bleeding and discharge are normal for menstrual cycles, however if there is something different or unusual this may be a sign of a problem. Symptoms may be the result of a mild infection that is easy to treat but if not treated it can lead to more serious problems including infertility or kidney damage. It could also be an indicators of a more serious problem from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to cancer. You should consult a physician if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Frequent and urgent need to urinate, or a burning sensation during urination
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, particularly during or after intercourse
  • Pain or pressure in your pelvis that differs from menstrual cramps
  • Itching, burning, swelling, redness, or soreness in the vaginal area
  • Sores or lumps in the genital area
  • Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant or unusual odor, or of an unusual color
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pain or discomfort during intercourse

Always consult a physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Recognizing symptoms early and seeing a doctor right away increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

Sources:
Philadelphia Aria Healthcare Provider 

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