Women must have a healthy vagina while ensuring good health for the rest of the body. You do not have to make an extra effort always. The vagina will go through some changes as you age. Turning 40 does not mean the end of active sex life. However, your vaginal health may begin to bother you during this phase. Do not fail to take care of this intimate part of your body. Make an effort to improve vaginal health and enjoy a stress-free relationship with your partner.
Do you have a healthy vagina?
The vagina is a tubular canal made out of muscles. It stretches from the vulva (external opening) to the neck of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). You may not notice this part of your body ordinarily, but doctors recommend checking it regularly when you notice any of the following:-
- Pain during sex
- Constant itching
- An unpleasant smell emanating from your vagina
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Greenish or bloody vaginal discharge
- Lumps or sores on the labia (skin folds that hide the openings)
While a bit of discharge is usual from a normal healthy vagina, it should not be accompanied by pain or discomfort.. Make sure to visit your gynecologist when you fail to maintain a healthy vagina.
Best 8 Tips to keep Vaginal Healthy in Your 40s
Keeping your vagina healthy is essential to enjoy a happy and healthy life. A visit to your doctor is sure to inform you about the best ways to improve vaginal health after 40. Some of the tried and tested tips include the following:-
- Have safe sex: It is best to be in a monogamous relationship with a healthy and infection-free partner. Make sure to use protection to prevent STDs (sexually transmitted disease). Being 40 does not mean you are not fertile anymore. Conception may be difficult but not unheard of even in the 40s. Take additional care by insisting on protection if you do not wish to have children.
- Remain protected via vaccinations: It is important to keep yourself protected against the human papillomavirus (HPV) transmitted sexually. You may also ensure a healthy vagina by taking the hepatitis B vaccine for adults, especially if you lead a stressful life or have comorbidities.
- Use Lubricants: The hormonal levels of your body tend to drop after 40. A lack of estrogen can make your vaginal passage dry. You may want to use a good lubricant just before sex to ensure a pain-free experience.
- Visit your gynecologist regularly: Keeping your vagina healthy will not be a problem or extra work when you go for annual pelvic examinations. Do not skip the visits to your gynecologist and discuss all your problems with her, including your anxieties and apprehensions. You will be in perimenopause past 40. You may not be asked to take Pap tests as regularly as before, but your doctor’s advice will help you improve your general and vaginal health.
- Kegel exercises: It is normal for the muscular tone to decrease gradually in proportion with the decreasing estrogen in the body. It is important to tone up your pelvic floor when you are past 40 to prevent vaginal prolapse (dropping down of the vagina from its normal position) and urinary incontinence (uncontrolled passing of urine). Be sure to attend kegel exercise classes or do it on your own. This will help you strengthen the pelvic muscles and enjoy your sex life.
- Avoid: Smoking is a strict no-no whether you are in your twenties or 40s. Nicotine may affect your sexual experience causing discomfort and anxiety. Drinking too much alcohol can impair your sex life and cause several health issues too. Refrain from consuming both alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs to enjoy good health.
- Stay Hydrated: Your body requires water to function properly. Drink at least 7 to 8 glasses of water every day for a healthy vagina. This will flush out toxins from your body while keeping your vaginal passage lubricated enough to permit normal sex irrespective of your age. You may notice the fish-like odour in your vagina reduce substantially as you continue to consume enough water regularly. You may consume cranberry juice, believed to be one of the best drinks for vaginal health. It is acidic and will help restore the pH balance of your vagina. Cranberry juice is anti-bacterial and can eliminate harmful bacteria from your body when you include this excellent beverage in your diet.
- Medication: Yeast infections are common at this time for which your doctor can prescribe appropriate medication. You need to take antibiotics prescribed by your doctor if you are diagnosed with an STD. Creams and ointments for vaginal lubrication may be bought from the nearest pharmacy. These products can help you deal with the dryness associated with reduced estrogen levels in your body. Estrogen creams may also be prescribed if there is thinning and dryness of the vagina associated with menopause .
Do not be overly concerned about reaching the age of 40. Take care of your body and try your best to avoid vaginal infections. Visit your doctor regularly. Discuss all problems candidly with a medical professional, including the ones that embarrass you. Perimenopause is a time that all women go through which may happen in your 40s . Do not be agitated or too stressed due to the changes taking place in your body. Enjoy life as before and deal with the problems by following your gynecologist’s advice to ensure a healthy vagina.