How Diet Affects Vaginal Health

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Hi, I'm Tanya!

As you guys know, I am passionate about women’s health, maternal and child health, and as a result, I’ve decided to share more about the things I’m passionate about here on the blog. Today’s post as you can already see by the title is about vaginal health. Many of us live our lives trying to do the best we can to survive but how much attention are we really giving to our body parts? Let’s get into today’s post.

The human body is made up of intricate systems that are considered delicate. Our overall well-being depends on how we care for our bodies, this includes the types of foods we consume. Each body system and its functionalities are affected by our diet and this includes the vagina. This may seem a bit taboo because there are a lot of misconceptions about diet. Typically, when diet is mentioned, it is associated with the microbiome that resides within our gastrointestinal tract, general gut health, or weight loss. However, everything is interconnected one way or another and diet can affect vaginal health. 

According to general research conducted, the pH level of a healthy vagina usually ranges between 3.8-4.5 which makes it naturally acidic. I know that you may be wondering how on earth can an acidic environment be a good thing. However, the acidic pH level found within the vaginal microbiome provides protection from sexually transmitted pathogens and unhealthy bacteria that can cause infections. Hence, the foods we consume can create an imbalance and disrupt the natural function of the vagina.

For instance, if enough water is not consumed daily but there is an increased intake of alcohol, that can lead to a host of skin-related issues. This includes dry skin, flakiness, and wrinkles. As a result, both the external and internal parts of the genitalia may become dry which could lead to itchy sensations. Due to this uncomfortable feeling, one may engage in constant scratching of the area which can cause inflammation. Additionally, drinking enough water can help prevent possible UTIs and yeast infections. Remaining hydrated will naturally cause you to urinate and can help get rid of the unhealthy bacteria before it gives you an infection. 

The consumption of processed and fried foods daily can also affect the health of your vagina. Ultra-processed foods are known for containing high amounts of added sugar, fats, unhealthy preservatives, and artificial ingredients which are all harmful to one’s overall health. Ingesting processed or fried foods can alter the pH level of the vagina, causing an unnatural foul odor. Excessive sugar on a daily basis can create an environment in the vagina for yeast to grow because it has the potential to destroy the good bacteria in your vagina. Be mindful of eating meat or dairy with preservatives or animals who have been fed growth hormones. These growth hormones may block the body’s formation of estrogen; inhibiting the function of the vaginal mucosa, which as a result, can increase the likelihood of infection.

A healthy and balanced diet is key to maintaining your vaginal health. Experts recommend eating foods that are considered prebiotics and probiotics. These may include cranberries, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, yogurt, salmon, and foods rich in vitamin C.  It will help to fight against infections and maintain the normal vaginal pH range. If the foods that you consume daily affect your immune system and general health, they will affect your vaginal health. Be sure to make your health a priority. 

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