If you experience vaginal symptoms such as discomfort, dryness, or irritation, you can take steps to improve your vaginal health. While some issues can be treated by removing an irritant or making a lifestyle change, others will require the skill and experience of a vulvovaginal specialist.
What Factors Affect Vaginal Health?
A healthy vagina contains populations of bacteria and other microorganisms. This vaginal microflora usually keeps itself in balance. Lactobacilli, the most populous residents, feed on cells shed from the vaginal lining. They keep the vagina at a healthy pH that suppresses the growth of problem bacteria. When the population of lactobacillus changes, other microorganisms, such as yeasts can overgrow and cause vaginal symptoms.
How to Improve Vaginal Health
If you have occasional vaginal health issues such as itching or irritation, you may have episodes of unbalanced microflora. Taking some simple steps can prevent irritation and avoid introducing unwanted bacteria.
- Do not use any kind of cleanser on the vulva or entrance to the vagina
- Wear breathable clothing
- Use caution with anything inserted into the vagina
- Ask your doctor about medication side effects
Some women have a tendency to develop altered vagina microflora (AVMF) even if they maintain healthy habits. If your symptoms continue to return after you have removed potential irritants, you should see a vulvovaginal specialist such as Dr. Fowler at Fowler GYN International. Women with chronic, recurring vaginal symptoms often have AVMF that will not resolve without treatment.
Symptoms of Vaginal Health Problems
You may need help with your vaginal health problems if you deal with these symptoms regularly and they do not go away. AVMF is the most common underlying cause of vaginal health issues. Symptoms will keep coming back until your vaginal microflora has returned to its normal balance. Symptoms may include:
- Itching, burning, or stinging sensation
- Pain on contact
- Painful intercourse
- Yeast infections
- Bacterial infections
If these symptoms keep coming back, you may need the help of a vulvovaginal specialist. Most gynecologists do not have the tools or knowledge to treat this condition. Basic testing will only identify a few of the many possible causes and will not assist in treating them.
How Can I Treat Vaginal Health Problems or Vulvodynia?
Dr. Fowler will perform a Vaginal Fluid Analysis to determine the conditions inside your vagina. Depending on what he finds, he will assign you to one of the over 40 treatment protocols. These will guide you through a process that restores your vaginal microflora to a healthy balance. Dr. Fowler works with you throughout your treatment to monitor your progress and make adjustments to your plan.
Take the Next Step
The experts in vaginal health at Fowler GYN International (FGI) Phoenix, AZ specialize in the treatment of vulvovaginal conditions. The team at FGI is led by Dr. R. Stuart Fowler. Dr. Fowler is an Emeritus Mayo Clinic board-certified gynecologist.
You can reach FGI at https://www.fowlergyninternational.com/, or by calling (480) 420-4001.