COVID-19 and its surprising effect on vaginal health

  • August 24, 2021
  • General Gynaecology
  • Vaginal Health
  • Women's Health

18 months into the biggest pandemic of our lifetime, and our health is still at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Getting vaccinated is important to bring the health system under control, and taking charge of our mental health is proving to be the next major obstacle. But it is not just our mental health that needs attention, we must also not neglect our lady bits.

The first guilty party is the lockdown effect

With nowhere to go and nothing to do, we’re restricted in what we can do to keep ourselves entertained. Because we’re usually allowed out of the house to exercise, a lot more people have adopted fitness routines.

This is wonderful for our sanity and physical wellbeing, but it can be bad for our vaginal flora. The more we sweat, the more we use deodorants, detergents, and soaps that disrupt the bacterial harmony. This can cause bacterial vaginosis.

What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) happens when the vagina’s normal balance of bacteria is upset. It often causes a smelly greyish-white discharge and isn’t painful., but it can make you susceptible to chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Lockdown equals love down

Statistics show that we are having less sex during lockdown, maybe because we are unable to hook up, or maybe because we don’t look and feel sexy during lockdown. The numbers are not the same for all, and there is a small group of people celebrating an increase of sex during lockdown, and they too might be at risk.

Sex is the biggest driver of cystitis in women. The easiest way to prevent it? Always pee after sex.

What is cystitis?

Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, and the most common type of urinary tract infection. It results in stinging sensations while peeing, needing to pee more often, and smelly, cloudy pee.

If we can’t go out, we’ll drink at home

Bottle shops are essential services in Australia, so most stayed open during lockdowns. And many of us used the opportunity to catch up with old friends like Johnnie, Jim and Jack.

Unfortunately, the high sugar content in alcohol is not great for our vaginas. It can contribute to vaginal thrush.

What is thrush?

Thrush is another name for a yeast infection. It can affect both men and women. Symptoms of vaginal thrush include a white discharge, itching and irritation, and pain during sex or while peeing.

Do it yourself

Bottle shops might be classed as essential, but beauty salons are not. And not wanting to let things go out of control down there, some of us have taken to at-home beauty treatments. This opens us up to a higher possibility of bacterial skin infections like cellulitis.

You can get cellulitis from waxing, but it’s more common when shaving. It happens when your skin follicles get infected, and may need antibiotics to treat.

What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that results in red, painful skin. If left untreated, it can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream, making it life-threatening.

Caring for you vagina

Your vagina is self-cleaning, so it is advisable to avoid soaps and other beauty products down below. Use warm water, dry with a towel, and try to wear clean underwear that is light on detergents.

Don’t use scented sanitary products, or toilet paper, and most important of all, don’t scratch.

If you require further information about vaginal health, Northside Gynaecology, our doctors, or our services, then please give us a call today.

Northside Gynaecology

538 Gympie Road

Kedron

(07) 3088 9005

Opening Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm

We are close to the Westfield in Chermside, and have free parking on site.

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