Your vaginal health and relationship with stress may be more interlinked than you’d imagine. Stress in healthy doses is harmless and exists as your body’s response to pressure. However, a consistently highly stressed body may invite a wave of unwanted complications in the body. One of those complications include an imbalance in your vaginal health. Learning how to manage and identify the effects of stress will be pivotal in improving overall health. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know. 

Research on Vaginal Health and Stress

Maintaining a healthy vaginal PH and keeping things in harmony depends on a number of things. Among them is recognizing what may cause stress in the body and how that may directly impact reproductive and hormonal systems. Getting familiar with these stress triggers may also benefit your understandings of how to protect yourself from damaging patterns. For instance, research has shown that perceived stress has links to Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). While stress is not the sole cause of BV, it does seem to have a notable part to play in it. 

Otherwise, various studies have shown the role that stress plays in sexual health and UTIs. With chronic, consistent stress interrupting the bodies’ functionality, it is easy to see why addressing stress is a top priority for vaginal health. 

Identify Stressors for Better Vaginal Health

Identifying the effects of poor vaginal health early could be helpful in soothing or correcting the issue. Noticing where stress shows up in your life, whether emotional, physical, or emotinal, is a good first step.

“Studies indicate that stress, whether originating from physical, mental, or emotional sources, can have adverse effects on vaginal health,” Peggy Roberts, a board-certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner said.  

Paying attention to any bodily changes is also a good indication and something to take note of in the early stages.

“This may present as vaginal itching, abnormal discharge, and discomfort,” Roberts added.

Link Between Perceived Stress and Vaginal Wellness

There are various ‘stressors’ or causes for an imbalance in the vaginal PH.

“Stress alone does not lead to vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Nevertheless, the presence of vaginal abnormalities can exacerbate stress,” Roberts said. 

Leaving stress unchecked may cause unwanted issues within your body. Finding and routinely practicing wellness may add considerable ease to your mind and body. Noticing the effects of stress is important as a preventative as well as a supplement to physical healing and recovery. 

Lifestyle Changes To Support Better Health And Minimize Stress 

Some examples of internal stress include worry, low self-esteem, and negative self-talk. In a similar sense, external stressors can be spotted in the examples of financial stress, work-related issues, injury, major-life changes, and difficult relationships. 

Combatting stress with lifestyle adjustments may be a useful tool.

“Embrace lifestyle adjustments like adopting a nutritious diet, engaging in regular exercise, surrounding yourself with supportive individuals, and redirecting your focus towards hobbies or new ventures. These strategies can be instrumental in managing stress levels effectively,” Roberts suggested.

Managing stress levels with lifestyle changes and awareness of the body’s warning signs of stress is sure to support better wellbeing. Support from your OB-GYN and healthcare provider may further support improved vaginal health.