It’s easy to take vaginal health for granted. After all, the vaginal microbiome is pretty much self-regulating and helps to keep everything healthy down there. Nevertheless, it is a delicate area and without realizing it, we can practice some pretty bad habits and end up with an unhealthy vagina. To make sure you don’t compromise vaginal health, avoid these seven common bad habits.

You wear damp panties, swimsuits or gym clothes

Yeast needs a warm, damp place to grow. And that’s exactly what you give yeast when you stay in your sweaty panties, gym pants or wet swimsuits for too long. So, be sure to change into something dry ASAP.

You use douches

Your vagina has its own microbiome – a delicate balance of bacteria that helps prevent infections. When you use douches, you can actually throw off this balance and make it easier for bad bacteria to grow. 

Your sex toys aren’t clean

Any infections or bad bacteria you have can spread to sex toys, and if they’re not cleaned properly, you can reintroduce these problems back into your system. 

You love a good bubble bath

Like douches, bubble baths can disrupt your vaginal mucosa and microbiome. That’s because you end up sitting in a bath with chemicals and perfumes your vagina shouldn’t be exposed to. 

You live in skinny jeans

They may be chic, but skinny jeans can be a problem for two reasons. They’re tight, and they can irritate the vulva and contribute to vaginal inflammation. What’s more, they keep your vaginal area warm and damp – a recipe for a yeast infection.

You don’t finish antibiotic prescriptions 

If your doctor prescribes a round of antibiotics to treat a UTI, yeast infection or a sexually transmitted infection, it’s crucial to finish the entire round to clear away all the bad bacteria. Otherwise, the infection might return, and who wants to deal with that all over again? 

You skip protection 

It goes without saying that wearing protection helps to prevent the spread of infection and disease. And while many of us think we only need it for vaginal and anal sex, it’s a good idea to use protection for oral sex, too. 

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