Vaginal Discharge | Prevention

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Tips on preventing vaginitis

  • After using the toilet, always wipe from front to back. This may help prevent getting bacteria from your rectal area into your vagina.
  • Wear cotton underpants during the day. Cotton allows your genital area to "breathe." Don't wear underpants at night.
  • Avoid wearing tight pants, pantyhose, swimming suits, biking shorts or leotards for long periods.
  • Change your laundry detergent or fabric softener if you think it may be irritating your genital area.
  • The latex in condoms and diaphragms and the sperm-killing gels that are used for birth control can be irritating for some women. If you think one of these things is a problem for you, talk to your doctor about other types of birth control.
  • Avoid hot tubs.
  • Bathe or shower daily and pat your genital area dry.
  • Don't douche.
  • Avoid feminine hygiene sprays, colored or perfumed toilet paper, deodorant pads or tampons, and bubble bath.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 01/99

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