By the time you reach 21, you’ve already experienced some pretty significant changes: growth spurts, puberty, the realization that bubblegum pink probably wasn’t the best color for your bedroom. But as you enter adulthood, the next two decades can bring about some surprising physical and mental upheaval. We talked to dermatologists, gynecologists, and psychologists to find out some of the most common changes women experience in their 20s and 30s and what to do about it.
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Your 20s: Problems "Down There"
UTIs, STDs, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis: All terribly unpleasant, and all common among women in their 20s. The biggest offender, of course, is sexual intercourse—having too much of it or with too many different partners can cause infections and STD’s such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea, as well as herpes and HPV. Stress, poor nutrition, dehydration, and drinking too much alcohol can also contribute to UTI’s.
How to keep these pesky problems at bay? These three C’s can help protect your lady parts: Condoms, commitment (to one guy), and cranberry juice, which can help prevent UTIs in the first place. If you suspect a yeast infection—which can occur when there is an imbalance of healthy bacteria—see your doc. A single dose RX pill can clear it up quickly. A yearly pap smear is also essential, and depending on your age, your gyno may recommend the HPV vaccine.