26 Vaginal Health Tips Your Mother Never Told You

Did your mum teach you anything about your vaginal health?Vaginal Health Discussion

When I was growing up vaginal health wasn’t talked about openly.

I do recall mum telling me (in hushed tones) to wear cotton briefs to help me ‘breathe’.

I think that’s about all mum really knew to tell me back then.

Women can avoid the most commonly experienced vaginal infections (i.e. yeast infections/bacterial vaginosis) by knowing simple vaginal health tips.

Vaginal Health Tips Daughters Need to Know

These practical lifestyle tips promote healthy vaginal flora

Please scroll down for more information

You are most welcome to share this vaginal health tip sheet with women in your life

Vaginal Health Tips


Healthy Vaginal Flora

Your vagina is one of the most flora (bacteria) rich areas of your body. Vaginal bacteria is very important; when a baby passes through the birth canal it acquires an abundant diversity of bacteria (and immunity).

Vaginal bacteria exist in a state of delicate balance of ‘good’ and ‘not so good’ bacteria.

When this balance tips and ‘good’ bacteria decrease in number, the ‘not so good’ bacteria flourish and vaginal infection can occur.

Bacterial vaginosis (Gardnerella vaginosis) is an imbalance in the vaginal bacteria.

Yeast infection (Candidiasis or thrush) is a fungal overgrowth that can result with vaginal flora imbalance.

More Information on Vaginal Health Tips

Tip 1 Wash with water

Water is best for washing and avoid acidity changes, avoid using soap to wash the vulva or vagina

Tip 2 Avoid bubble bath & bath salts

Bathing/sitting in these chemicals can change the acidity of the vagina allowing bacteria to proliferate

Tip 3 Change your briefs daily

Changing reduces the chance of fungal growth

Tip 4 Wash your briefs in hot water

Hot water helps to kill fungi

Tip 5 Wash your briefs with mild detergents & no harsh chemicals 

Chemicals can change the acidity of the vagina

Tip 6 Regularly change panty liners or pads

Moist warm environments promote fungal growth

Tip 7  Change your wet swimwear

Moist warm environments that promote fungal growth

Tip 8 Wear loose fitting clothing when you can

Air flow helps prevent the warm moist environment that promotes fungal growth

Tip 9 Don’t live in your gym tights

Synthetic fibres create a warm moist environment for fungal growth

Tip 10 Avoid pantyhose where possible 

Synthetic fibres create a warm moist environment for fungal growth

Tip 11 Avoid perfumed vaginal deodorant or talc 

Perfumes can alter the acidity of the vagina allowing bacteria to proliferate

Tip 12 Avoid petroleum or oil-based lubricants

Bacteria can adhere to these lubricants and proliferate e.g. Vaseline or olive oil/baby oil

Tip 13 Avoid lubricant additives

Additives can change the vaginal acidity e.g. antiseptics, scents, flavouring

Tip 14 Use silicone or water-based lubricant 

When additive and paraben free these silicone or water based lubricants are best for vaginal health

Tip 15 Don’t douche 

Douching or water spray into the vagina can upset the bacterial balance

Tip 16 Pat dry from front to back

When cleaning after toileting avoid wiping gut bacteria forwards toward the vagina or urethra (urine tube opening)

Tip 17 Avoid scented/alcohol cleaning wipes 

These wipes contain chemicals that can change the acidity of the vagina

Tip 18 Eat a healthy diet

There is no good evidence supporting sugar free diet for Candida treatment however a healthy diet that includest dietary fibre and minimises fast food favors beneficial bacteria

Tip 19 Eat yogurt rich in ‘good’ bacteria

One of the beneficial strains of vaginal bacteria is Lactobacilli found in some yogurt

Tip 20 Manage stress well

Stress can reduce immunity – a strong immune system favors bacterial balance

Tip 21 Don’t smoke 

Smoking can cause bacterial imbalance

Tip 22 Know your flora changes with hormonal changes

Hormonal changes occur naturally with menopause, pregnancy and menstruation can upset your vaginal flora

Tip 23 Ask about anti-fungals when prescribed antibiotics

Speak with your doctor since antibiotics along with some other medications upset the flora balance

Tip 24 Ask about probiotics with antibiotics

Speak with your pharmacist for probiotics rich in Lactobacilli

Tip 25 See your doctor about persistent vaginal symptoms

Rather than self-treating with over-the-counter remedies see your doctor for accurate diagnosis i.e. with unusual discharge, odour, itchy irritation

Tip 26 Wear cotton underwear

To help you breathe!

Key Points for Maintaining Vaginal Health

Some of the most commonly occurring vaginal health problems can be readily prevented by keeping vaginal flora healthy and balanced.

These vaginal health tips are positive steps you can take to maintain your own vaginal health.

Why not share these tips with your daughter or female friend and help them stay healthy on the inside too.

Did your mum share any tips with you? I’d  love to hear about them below!

Inside Out Book & DVDABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michelle Kenway

Michelle Kenway is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of Inside Out – the Essential Women’s Guide to Pelvic Support, along with Dr Judith Goh Urogynaecologist.

The Inside Out exercise DVD and book show women how to strengthen the pelvic floor and exercise effectively with pelvic floor safe exercises.


  1. For some time during summer I had difficulties with persistent itching and burning symptoms that weren’t thrush . The solution for me was pure sweet almond oil applied to the area . Symptoms disappeared quite quickly . It was a tip given me by a post menopausal friend . I am so grateful for it. Only apply when symptoms are occurring.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Dale

      Thanks for the great tip Dale! Almond oil can also be a really nice oil to use with dilators so this makes complete sense to me.

      All the best

  2. Thank you so much for the timely updates. Just when I begin to tire with the specific slow exercies to protect my pelvic floor, and long for my hard reg workouts; you bring me back to my present reality and remind me to be patient and continue with the appropriate exercises. My prolapse seems to be under control for now.
    Thank you

  3. Michelle Kenway says:

    New tip: For some ladies blow drying briefly after showering with a blow dryer can be helpful.

    Thank you to Alison who has suggested doing a handstand in front of the hand dryer in the ladies room, I’m not endorsing this one – just passing it on!