Q: How can I prevent it?

A: Here are some general suggestions:

  • Stay healthy; eat well, get enough sleep, drink enough fluids.
  • Keep vaginal area clean and dry.
  • Wear cotton, not synthetic, underwear.
  • Change your detergent and use one without perfume.
  • Wipe from front-to-back (NOT back-to-front) after urination or bowel movement.
  • Avoid using deodorant pads or tampons.
  • Don't use petroleum jelly or other oils as lubricant.
  • Don't douche.
  • Use medication as long as directed.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse until treatment is completed and you are symptom-free.
  • Don't scratch infected or inflamed areas; it can cause further irritation.
  • If using medication inside the vagina, use it during the menstrual period.
  • During an infection, use pads rather than tampons if menstruation occurs.
  • Avoid vulvo/vaginal irritants, including perfumed or deodorant soaps/body washes.
  • If symptoms persist after completing the treatment, an exam is recommended.
  • Have new partners wear condoms during sexual intercourse.