Intimate Hygiene : 8 Basics you need to know
LET’S TALK FEMININE HYGIENE
Enough of drawing a veil over it, it’s time to go on record about Feminine Hygiene! As the mind sets are making headway, it’s about time that we open up about this hush-hush little secret and acknowledge the fact that just like the other body parts, our private part down there needs everyday TLC.
The intimate area of every woman is one of its kind ecosystem resided by over 100 kinds of microorganisms. Amongst these species are the bacteria from the Lactobacillus family, whose metabolic product, lactic acid, protects the vaginal area from pathogens, giving it an acid pH. Nevertheless, inappropriate intimate hygiene can obstruct the balance of the protective flora (pH balance) leading to unpleasantness and hazardous health issues. On that account, it is of the essence to take proper care of the most delicate part of the body by adopting appropriate hygiene practices.
THE INTIMATE CARE YOU NEED
Does it smell down there? Feeling itchy? Does it burn?
Your intimate area deserves all the care and attention as it rarely sees the daylight, undergoes monthly bloody shows and not to forget it even squeezes out teeny-weeny bundle of joys. While the intimate region of a female’s body has a natural self-cleaning system, still it is imperative to be aware on how to keep up with intimate care in order to stay healthy and avoid issues such as dryness, abnormal discharge, unnatural odor, irritation, infections and other diseases.
Treat your lady parts to a little extra pampering with these measures to stay on top of the feminine hygiene:
Keeping your intimate part clean is perhaps one of the most important feminine hygiene tip that exists. Things like getting your menses, daily vaginal discharge, and sweat from your sweat glands makes it all the more crucial to regularly and thoroughly clean the delicate area using water or mild cleansers. Do not over-wash as it can give rise to or irk problems such as odor, dryness or periodic infections by upsetting the pH balance of your intimate area.
Say no to ‘douching’
For those, who must be wondering what douching is? Douching means to spray or shower inside of the vagina with water or other mixed fluids.
Your lady part self-cleans and naturally produces some discharge that helps get rid of germs and bacteria from your body. Avoid douching or using harsh or scented cleansers as these are laden with harmful chemicals, perfumes and antiseptics which may affect the healthy balance of the bacteria. Moreover, douching can only cover up the smell, not treat the actual issue.
Put on comfortable clothing
Let your skin (down there) breathe by wearing clothes that allow good air flow as it prevents the moisture and bacteria formation which may cause vaginal infections or smelly odor. Stick to breathable innerwear preferably in cotton with crotch linings of the same fabric rather than synthetic or silk. Wear clean undies everyday and avoid tight clothing as it can cause chafing.
Sex and hygiene
Make sure you wash up every time before and after sexual intercourse. Make certain that you release your bladder after having sex as this precaution will help to remove any bacteria that might have spread into your urethra (the tube that connects your bladder to just above your vaginal opening) in order to help prevent cystitis. Also, when you go to the toilet, ensure you wipe from front to back in order to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Avoid using sponges or gloves to wash
Hygiene down there doesn’t require any special equipment or tools, just some mild feminine wash and water. The skin in your intimate area is extra sensitive and can be irritated by the harsh touch of implements such as sponges, gloves and loofahs. Moreover, bacteria tend to build up and grow on sponges and gloves and you don’t want to introduce them into your private part. So wash away with your hands applying gentle force!
Wipe in the correct fashion.
The rule of thumb is to wipe front to back, always! After using the washroom and taking a shower, wipe in this manner in order to avoid letting bacteria from your anal area move towards the vaginal area, which may lead to urinary infections. Also ensure to wash your hands every time before and after using the washroom, so that no germs are passed from the hands to the genitalia.
Use fresh towels or washcloths
Wash and replace towel and washcloths after each use. Reusing towels can put you at risk for an infection or some other issue related to your intimate health as bacteria can stick to these kind of surfaces.
Eat right, Drink up water
Maintaining healthy diet and drinking plenty of water can do wonders to your intimate health. Foods which are fried and junk may damage your internal body and may produce discharges like sweat and genital discharges that smell off badly. Consuming fresh and healthy foods will help in keeping your discharges maintain its natural pH, keeping everything balanced and smelling natural, whereas taking in ample amount of water will help you to stay hydrated and flush out toxins that can cause odor.
Every woman wants to feel clean, odor free and comfortable during ‘red flag days’ of the month. Change your pad or tampon every 4 to 5 hours at least depending on the flow. Some women leave them until they are loaded and then change, resulting in triggering more bacteria to develop and you may also have an infection that causes serious problems like itchiness and dryness.
Be cautious when you shave
Be careful when removing pubic hair as after epilation the sensitive area becomes more vulnerable to infections. If you decide on shaving, it’s important that you do it correctly. Always use a clean tool be it a razor or an epilator and do not share it with anybody. Sharing can increase the risk of you catching an infection and/or virus, and certainly you don’t want to go there. Also, you would want to use a hair removal cream or gel that will help reduce friction and the risk of cuts or wounds. Take your time when shaving, as there is nothing you have to rush through. It’s best to shave towards the end of your shower as the pores will be open and it’ll make it easier to remove your hair.
See your doctor
It is recommended to pay a visit regularly to your gynaecologist even when you are not experiencing anything abnormal and stay vigilant of your intimate health. They are your go to people to learn about and discuss feminine health and concerns. Regular visits will ensure that you get checked for early detection of certain female conditions and get treated right away, if needed. They can even address any of your concerns and will even demonstrate how to properly care for your genitalia.