This Trick For A Healthier Vagina Is Shockingly Simple

Photographed by Nicholas Bloise.
Jen Gunter, MD, is our go-to source for gynecological truth-bombs, from "don't put garlic in your vagina" to "only use coconut oil as lube under very specific circumstances." Today, she revealed a trick to maintaining vaginal health that we'd never considered, but that just about anyone can do: Simply eat more fiber. Dr. Gunter praises the nutrient for both its "fecal-bulking" (yes, we're going there) and prebiotic properties. "Constipation messes with the vagina, too," she writes, explaining that when people are constipated, they tend to "strain" on the toilet. That's bad for the pelvic floor and can cause muscle spasms, potentially leading to pelvic pain and pain during sex. Luckily, fiber famously helps prevents constipation, as it "bulks up" the stool, softens it, and ultimately makes it easier to pass. Eating fiber-rich foods is really a win-win for your regularity and your pelvic floor. Beyond the impact it has on your vagina's muscular health, fiber might help prevent infections, too. Dr. Gunter writes that the same strains of lactobacilli, or good bacteria, that ward off vaginal infections have been found in the intestines, which suggests that what we eat can affect our vaginal health. And it's thanks to prebiotics like fiber that these bacteria grow in the first place. "So if fiber can help nurture the good bacteria in the bowel, that can be helpful for the vagina," she explains. As far as sources of fiber go, Dr. Gunter gives Kellogg's Bran Buds, her favorite cereal, a shoutout, but you can find fiber in all sorts of foods, from beans to berries. There are plenty of other reasons to make sure you're eating enough fiber. As mentioned earlier, it keeps you regular, but it also helps prevent against heart disease and might even improve your sleep. In other words, fiber's already kind of a wonder-nutrient, so it's no huge surprise that it might offer benefits for your vaginal health, too. It's just one more reason to enjoy carbs.

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