Steps to take

Some steps you can take to prevent vaginitis.

Wash your vaginal area every day. Use mild soap. Rinse well and pat dry.1 This will help to remove secretions that get stuck in between the skin folds.2

  • Wipe your vagina and anus from front to back to help prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to vagina1,3
  • Don’t douche, this can upset the natural balance of the vagina. When this natural balance between the “good” bacteria and the “bad” bacteria is upset, “bad” bacteria grow too fast and cause infections.1
  • Take antibiotics only when needed. Antibiotics can kill “good” bacteria. Inappropriate use of antibiotics can lead to drug resistance rendering the antibiotic less effective against certain bacteria.1,4,5
  • Limit the number of your sex partners. Always use condoms with a new partner or with multiple partners, as bad bacteria and other germs can spread through intercourse.1
  • Wear cotton or cotton-lined underpants, cotton also helps to absorb moisture and allows air to get through.1,6
  • Don’t wear tight pants and don’t wear pantyhose in hot weather, they can keep moisture in and irritate your vagina.1,6

How to prevent vaginal discharge.7

You can’t prevent vaginal discharge. The discharge fluid helps to keep the vagina clean and moist and protects it from infection.

The amount of discharge varies. You usually get heavier discharge during pregnancy, if you’re sexually active or if you’re using birth control. It’s often slippery and wet for a few days between your periods (when you ovulate).

Vaginal discharge usually isn’t anything to worry about if it:7

  • Doesn’t have a strong or unpleasant smell
  • Is clear or white
  • Forms a thick and sticky fluid substance
  • It is slippery and wet

Panty liners can help with heavy or excessive discharge or if you’re worried about any smell.7

Wash gently and use a plain soap to help prevent irritation, soreness or dryness. Do not use perfumed soaps or gels.7

 See your healthcare professional if:7

  • Your discharge changes colour, smell or texture
  • You produce more discharge than usual
  • You feel itchy or sore
  • You bleed between periods or after sex
  • You get pain when peeing
  • You get pain in the area between your tummy and thighs (pelvic pain)

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been commissioned and brought to you by iNova Pharmaceuticals. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional

Name and business address: iNova Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd., Co. Reg. No. 1952/001640/07. 15E Riley Road, Bedfordview. Tel. No. 011 087 0000. IN2967/19


  1. American Sexual Health Association. Vaginitis. [online] [Cited] 5 November 2018. Available from URL:
  2. Center for Young Women’s Health. Vulvar and Vaginal Care and Cleaning. [online] 19 April 2018 [Cited] 13 November 2018. Available from URL:
  3. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). [online] May 2015 [Cited] 13 November 2018. Available from URL:
  4. Experts: End ‘complete the course’ for antibiotics. [online] 27 July 2017 [Cited] 12 November 2018. Available from URL:
  5. World Health Organization. How to stop antibiotic resistance? Here’s a WHO prescription. [online] 20 November 2015 [Cited] 12 November 2018. Available from URL:
  6. Center for Young Women’s Health. Vaginal infection (Vaginitis). [online] 1 June 2017 [Cited] 13 November 2018. Available from URL:
  7. Vaginal discharge. [online] 17 January 2018 [Cited 5 November 2018. Available from URL: