As a woman, taking care of your reproductive system is essential. While regular visits with your gynecologist can definitely contribute to vaginal health, it is important to ensure that your daily routine isn't doing anything to jeopardize the integrity of your reproductive system.

Here are 3 mistakes you could be unknowingly making that might be compromising your vaginal health.

1. Frequent use of panty liners.

There is nothing more embarrassing than experiencing leakage caused by an irregular period or incontinence. To avoid this embarrassment many women choose to wear a panty liner each day. Although a panty liner can prevent unsightly stains, these protective items can contribute to the contraction of a yeast infection.

Since yeast thrives in an environment with little airflow, and the synthetic fibers used to construct most panty liners restrict airflow, frequent panty liner use could be setting you up for poor vaginal health. Instead of relying on panty liners to cover up an accident, try carrying tampons at all times to address an irregular period. Natural treatments for incontinence, like kegel exercises or increased magnesium intake, can also reduce your reliance on panty liners.

2. Using talcum powder for vaginal freshness.

While your mother and grandmother might have sworn by the freshening powers of talcum powder, gynecologists today know that regular use of this powder could compromise your vaginal health.

In a study conducted by Harvard University, women who reported using talc regularly were 40% more likely to contract a serious form of ovarian cancer known as serous ovarian cancer. To avoid the potential risk of developing this life-threatening cancer and ensure the integrity of your vaginal health, switch to a powder made with cornstarch instead of talc for your freshening needs.

3. Ignoring abnormal bleeding.

Many women experience spotting between periods at some point during their reproductive years, so it can be easy to dismiss your own abnormal bleeding as a harmless occurrence. While abnormal bleeding may not signal a problem for most women, it could be an early warning sign signaling the development of some serious problems in your reproductive system.

If you experience abnormal bleeding accompanied by a period that is lighter or heavier than usual, be sure to pay your OBGYN a visit. Your doctor will be able to check for serious problems like cancer, uterine fibroids, or polyps.

Caring for your vaginal health is important when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. By taking the time to avoid some common mistakes that many women make when caring for their vaginal health, you will be able to keep your reproductive system in working order for many years to come.