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There are many things related to sexual health that some women feel uncomfortable talking about, such as vaginal itching, vaginal odour, vaginal burning or white discharge. There is a stigma attached to some such topics in our society that make it harder for women to open up and ask for help. In this article, we list some important advice related to sexual health that can help women protect themselves from infection.

(Read more: Home remedies for vaginal yeast infection)

Use separate towels

Whenever you use public toilets, swimming pools, steam baths, bathtubs or spas you should use your own personal towel to avoid bacterial vaginosis as the infection can be transmitted by bacteria present on the towel surfaces in such places. 

Avoid using antibacterial soap

If you are out of the house for a long time, then clean your vagina with clean water, dry it thoroughly and protect it from wetness for extended periods of time. Avoid using chemical-laden antibacterial soap for cleaning the vagina, as it upsets the pH balance of the vagina, which is different from the rest of the body. Not only this, due to excessive use of soap, there is a possibility of destruction of good bacteria along with bad bacteria. In such cases, there is also a possibility of odour emanating from the vagina.

(Read more: How to wash your vagina)

Wear comfortable and loose clothes

Try not to wear pants that are too tight for a long time as they leave no room for any ventilation for the vagina. Wearing ventilated or loose clothing keeps the vagina dry and an odour can also be avoided.

Avoid wearing synthetic underwear

Always use cotton underwear to keep the vagina and its surrounding area dry. Wearing synthetic underwear can make you more prone to allergies and rashes.

Regular checkups are necessary

Even if you are unmarried or not sexually active, you should consult with a gynaecologist from time to time to know whether there is any infection in the vagina, ensure the health of your vagina and more.

(Read more: How to have safe sex)

If you are sexually active and are experiencing discharge after having sex, then you should consult a gynaecologist regarding the possibility of having an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). If you test positive for an infection, then you should start treatment without delay and your partner(s) should get tested as well.

(Read more: What to do before and after having sex)

Do not have vaginal sex after anal sex

If you engage in anal sex, then you should avoid having vaginal sex in the same session. Doing so can transmit harmful bacteria to the vagina. Along with this, you can also be a victim of serious diseases like cystitis, endometritis, pelvic infection, pelvic pain and fertility problems. When having anal sex, condoms must be used so that both you and your partner can avoid bacterial infection. Also, avoid using the same condom during vaginal and anal sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

Dr Ahmed Ismail, Chief Gynaecologist at Queensway Gynecology, London, says that a healthy vagina is odourless and symptom-free. Experts say that whether women are sexually active or not, they should keep getting themselves checked regularly so that any potentially serious problems can be avoided.

(Read more: Tips to keep your vagina healthy)

Doctors for Things every woman needs to know about sexual health
Dr. Sonam Yadav

Dr. Sonam Yadav

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
7 Years of Experience

Dr. Priyanka Gupta

Dr. Priyanka Gupta

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
10 Years of Experience

Dr. Vrinda Khemani

Dr. Vrinda Khemani

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
6 Years of Experience

Dr Megha Apsingekar

Dr Megha Apsingekar

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
4 Years of Experience

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