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We wish you a merry V-mas – Protect your intimate area from these festive dangers

Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones, enjoying food and relaxing.

But did you know some festive food traditions can be problematic for the intimate area?

Here, Intimate Health Expert Stephanie Taylor from Kegel8 discusses those that could be damaging your vaginal health and how to tackle them.

Indulging in fried, sugary or processed treats

This time of year, supermarket aisles are full of naughty but nice treats. But, while these might tantalise your tastebuds, they may not have the same effect down there.

That’s because introducing too many foods high in sugar, fat, and preservatives can upset the vagina’s natural PH balance, promote yeast growth and increase the risk of infection.

Sugar is especially damaging as it increases the production of bad bacteria and yeast, dominating the vagina’s good bacteria (Lactobacilli) and paving the way for bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections.

While it’s fine to enjoy yourself over Christmas, be aware of the amount of these foods you are consuming over the festive period and consider adding more probiotics to your diet to increase the good bacteria in your body and fight off potential infections.

Enjoying a Christmas tipple (or two)

Many of us like to raise a glass with our nearest and dearest over Christmas, but in excess, this can dehydrate the body leading to vaginal dryness.

With less liquid flowing through our bodies, we can struggle to promote natural lubrication, which can cause pain or irritation during penetrative sex.

So, if you’re planning on having a few drinks, consider spacing them out with water for hydration purposes and avoiding drinks that are too sugary and drinking to excess.

Slaving over a hot stove

According to one study, Brits spend an average of 7 and a half hours slaving over the stove on Christmas day. And last year another found a quarter of new chefs spent four weeks practising ahead of the big day.

For women, this could be causing havoc on the vagina due to increased exposure to heat.

When exposed to heat, the vagina can produce more yeast than usual, or Candida Albicans, which, when overgrown, can result in a yeast infection, better known as thrush.

Symptoms of thrush include itchiness, soreness, heavier and thicker vaginal discharge and pain and discomfort peeing or during sex.

To avoid this issue, take precautions by wearing loose cotton underwear and clothing around the intimate area and limiting time spent around hot appliances.

…So what’s good?

No one’s saying not to eat, drink or cook over Christmas. However, it’s important to care for your vaginal health just as you would your general health.

While enjoying a few festive treats, keep your diet rich in key nutrients found in fruits and vegetables.

Seasonal favourites such as cranberries contain powerful acidic compounds, which are beneficial for warding off bad bacteria and balancing the vagina’s PH levels, while leafy greens enhance circulation and prevent vaginal dryness.