Although there are no 100 percent effective ways to prevent bacterial vaginosis, here are some tips for keeping the vagina healthy:
- Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Avoid douching and using other chemical products (e.g., vaginal deodorant sprays, powders, perfumed soaps) in the vaginal area.
- Wear cotton or cotton-lined underpants.
- Bathe or shower regularly; try to keep the vaginal area clean and dry. Wear cotton underpants and cotton-lined pantyhose; avoid extremely tight-fitting clothing; promptly change out of damp swimsuits and exercise clothing.
- Consider using condoms during sexual intercourse. Some practitioners believe that women who are prone to bacterial vaginosis have flares of trouble after intercourse, and avoiding sperm in the vagina may (or may not) help.
- After intercourse, oral sex, or penetration, wash and dry the vulva carefully using a mild soap and warm water.