When it comes to women’s health and wellness, there’s more to consider than just diet and exercise. Vaginal health is vital, and it is a topic that has become a growing concern. An imbalance can alter the pH levels and the microbial environment in the vagina, which can lead to conditions such as vaginitis, for which people would seek medical consult. In the United States, CDC studies show that bacterial vaginitis affects around 30% of women aged 14 to 49. Because of this, it is important to focus on vaginal health as it can have a significant impact on your overall well-being, both physically and mentally.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to improve vaginal health:
Ensure that your body is getting the essential vitamins and minerals to keep the vagina healthy and balanced.
Increase female lubrication and decrease vaginal dryness.
Reduce the risk of infection
Provide relief from painful symptoms that can occur due to certain conditions.
In this article, we’ll look at some vitamins and supplements for a healthy vagina, what they do, and how they can be helpful.
What Factors Affect a Healthy Vagina?
The normal pH of a healthy vagina ranges from 3.8 to 5, which is on the acidic side. Having this pH is important to maintain a good environment for healthy bacteria and combat infection caused by unhealthy bacteria.
The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, meaning it can take care of itself without much external intervention. However, certain factors can affect it. Factors that affect vaginal health include aging, hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause, stress, poor diet, medical conditions, or medications. These changes can alter the balance of the vagina, which can lead to irritation or vaginal dryness that may also increase the risk of infections.
Ensure that your vaginal health is at its best by eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding stress, seeking medical consult if necessary, and taking supplements that can promote favorable conditions to avoid illness. If you are suffering from vaginal dryness or irritation, you can use different supplements to boost your vaginal health.
What Vitamins Can Promote Vaginal Health?
One of the ways to improve vaginal health is by taking your vitamins. Vitamins can have a big effect on your overall well-being and can have a dramatic effect on your vaginal health as well. Some vitamins helpful for vaginal health are the following:
- Vitamin A: Aside from promoting good vision, this fat-soluble vitamin can help support the vaginal mucous membranes, which can be damaged due to vaginal dryness or irritation. Older studies have shown that women with lower retinol levels had an increased risk for precancerous cervical lesions. Taking retinol supplements can decrease the risk of these lesions, but more studies are needed as these were conducted in a small subset of women.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin helps prevent infections by boosting the immune system and helps to protect against vaginal infections. Also known as ascorbic acid, it can help to keep the vaginal mucosa moist and supple, increasing female lubrication and decreasing vaginal dryness and discomfort. A study on Vitamin C being placed intravaginally was found to lower the pH levels of the vagina; more studies are needed to strengthen this claim.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is well known to help strengthen bones but also helps in promoting the health of the vaginal lining, which can reduce the risk of infections. Some studies have shown that vitamin D improved the vaginal health of post-menopausal women with vaginal atrophy, a condition where there is thinning of the vaginal lining that leads to vaginal dryness. Other studies have shown that low Vitamin D levels were associated with bacterial vaginosis. More studies are needed to show that significantly increasing Vitamin D levels cause these effects. It is still an important vitamin to consider for vaginal health.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is an antioxidant that can help to protect the vaginal mucosa from damage caused by free radicals; this can promote cell growth and repair. It also helps to reduce inflammation and promotes the healing of vaginal tissue. Studies have shown that vitamin E vaginal suppositories have helped post-menopausal women with vaginal atrophy.
Taking these vitamins can have other positive effects in other areas of the body, however, there are no specific doses that can help specifically for vaginal health. Some of these vitamins can also be found in our regular diet. Before increasing your intake of these supplements, it is important to consult a medical professional to ensure that you are still taking them at the appropriate doses.
Botanic Choice and Vaginal Health
Botanic Choice is a natural supplement company that offers a range of products for various health concerns, including vaginal health. Botanic Choice's vaginal health supplements are formulated with natural ingredients that are designed to support a healthy vaginal environment and address common issues such as vaginal dryness and discomfort.
Hello Bonafide is a women's health company that focuses on providing natural and effective solutions for women's health concerns. Vaginal health is one of the many areas that Bonafide specializes in, offering a range of products and resources to support women's vaginal health.
Can Probiotics Improve Vaginal Health?
Probiotics are live bacteria, also known as “good bacteria,” because they provide some benefits to the human body. Probiotics are usually given to help improve gut health, but some studies aim to prove that they can also be helpful to improve vaginal health. Probiotics have been found in many studies to improve the vaginal microbial environment, promoting the growth of good bacteria and decreasing risks for infection.
Studies show that it can maintain the acidic pH of the vagina and decrease the number of harmful bacteria. However, more studies are needed in larger populations to validate the claim that it can actually treat vaginal infections. At present, probiotics are found to be helpful as an adjunct treatment, but antibiotics are still needed if you have bacterial vaginitis or other vaginal infections. Probiotics can be taken in capsule form. Food such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and other fermented vegetables are good natural sources of probiotics.
Can Buckthorn Oil Improve Vaginal Health?
Buckthorn oil is obtained from the sea buckthorn plant. In other parts of the world, it is used traditionally as a natural remedy for vaginal conditions such as vaginal dryness, burning, or itching. Buckthorn oil is found to reduce inflammation, promote healthy vaginal mucus membranes, decrease vaginal dryness, and improve elasticity. Key substances found in buckthorn oil include palmitoleic, palmitic, and linoleic oils, which help promote supple and moist vaginal tissue; this contributes to increase female lubrication and decreased vaginal dryness.
Studies have shown that buckthorn oil can help relieve symptoms of vaginal atrophy. However, it should not be used as a replacement for medical management when necessary. Consult first a medical professional before relying on supplements such as buckthorn oil.
Can Balance Pills Improve Vaginal Health?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also known as balance pills, treats vaginal problems such as vaginal dryness and irritation brought about by vaginal atrophy. Studies have shown that these symptoms arise due to a decrease in estrogen, especially in menopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy, specifically estrogen replacement, can be given to supplement the hormones that become deficient as women age; this has been found to relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness and itching.
The improvement in the vaginal lining also helps in preventing urogenital infections. It also helps with postmenopausal bone loss and relieves hot flashes. Hormone replacement therapy can come in the form of creams, patches, or taken per orem as balance pills. Because of its potential side effects, such as the increased risk for heart attacks or strokes, it is crucial that prior to starting treatment, you discuss the risks and benefits of balance pills or any HRT with a healthcare provider.
Vaginal health can be a difficult topic to talk about with other people. You might feel embarrassed or ashamed if you have concerns about it, or you might feel like you're being judged by others. There are many different vitamins and supplements available in the US that claim to improve vaginal health and address issues such as dryness, irritation, and infections. These are some of the vitamins and supplements you can take to improve female lubrication, decrease vaginal dryness and promote overall vaginal health.
It is not a substitute for medical advice. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, as even some of the best vitamins or supplements may interact with any medications you are currently taking or may have potential side effects. Talk to a medical professional if you feel like you might have concerns with your vaginal health.
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