Preventing VaginitisVaginitis: PrevenciĀ³n

Preventing Vaginitis

Preventing vaginitis may be as simple as changing a few habits related to your hygiene, lifestyle, or clothing. Follow the tips below and see your health care provider if you suspect vaginitis again.

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Use mild, unscented soap when you bathe or shower to avoid irritating your vagina.


  • Avoid using douches (unless recommended by your health care provider), vaginal sprays, scented toilet paper, or scented tampons. They contain chemicals that can irritate your vagina.

  • Wash your vulva (outer vaginal area) thoroughly every day and keep it as dry as possible to guard against bacterial growth.

  • Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. This prevents spreading bacteria from your anus to your vagina.

  • Change tampons frequently during your period to allow the flow of normal vaginal discharge.

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Eat a variety of healthy foods. Too many sweet or starchy foods in your diet may speed up the growth of harmful bacteria.


  • Limit your number of sexual partners and use latex condoms to reduce your risk of infection.

  • Get enough rest and sleep to help keep your resistance to infection high.

  • Lose weight if you're very heavy. Obesity can promote infection by preventing air circulation around your vagina.

  • Exercise regularly to reduce stress and strengthen your body's resistance to infection.


  • Don't sit around in wet clothes, since yeast thrive in a warm, damp environment.

  • Avoid wearing tight pants or pantyhose without a cotton crotch, since they trap warmth and moisture.

  • Wear cotton underwear to allow good air circulation around your vagina.

Publication Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Publication Source: Planned Parenthood Association

Online Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Online Source: Planned Parenthood Association

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00