Maintaining one’s hygiene is of utmost importance especially among women. Hygiene is important because it keeps you healthy and protected from the bacteria and germs that may enter your body. These may lead to several health problems of the genitals that may take a serious turn if not paid attention to and treated well. Women are biologically more prone to being diagnosed by several intimate vaginal diseases and problems such as the UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) and many more which may be the result of lack of proper hygiene. As is well said, “Prevention is better than Cure”, we have enlisted 10 important hygiene tips that women should follow every day to maintain their vaginal health and well-being.
Always keep your Undergarments dry
All women must ensure that you wipe your vagina dry after urinating. Not wiping the vagina may leave drops of urine that may wet the undergarment. This may lead to not just bad odor but also cause several vaginal infections. Therefore, make sure that you always dry your vagina with a soft cloth or the toilet paper and in return keep your underwear clean and dry.
However, remember that the vaginal discharge is the way of the body to keep everything healthy down there. In such cases, excessive wiping off of the vagina may lead to dryness and itchiness. This may also lead to higher chances of injury and pain during intercourse. It was even proven in one of the research that excessive use of talcum powders in order to keep vagina dry may lead to higher risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Douching is a No
For all those who don’t know, a douche is a term used to refer to a device that fills up the vagina with water in order to cleanse it of vaginal secretions. Douching the vagina also involves certain chemicals. These chemicals may lead to a disturbance in the pH level of the vagina. This results in the disruption of the normal bacteria in the vagina. To add to this, no solid evidence has been provided that douching helps in cutting down the risk of acquiring vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
Don’t use soap to wash your vagina
While cleaning the vagina, one should strictly avoid using harsh and scented soaps. Using soaps that are full of harmful chemicals like the glycerol, antiseptics and perfumes, may have a harmful impact on the natural bacteria of the vagina. It may also lead to alteration in the vaginal pH level which may lead to excessive irritation and give rise to unhealthy bacteria as well. Instead of all this, one should make use of the healthy and plain soaps and wash the vagina with lukewarm water.
Also see: Helpful Tips In Buying A Menstrual Cup
Changing Sanitary pads after every 4-6 hours is necessary
According to several gynecologists all over the world, changing the sanitary napkin after every four to six hours is of utmost importance for all women who have a normal flow during their cycle. This also is applicable to the days when the flow has reduced and is light. However, for women who have a heavy flow, changing the sanitary pad every three to four hours becomes a necessity. In case, one is using tampons, it needs to be changed after every six hours without fail.
Women must also ensure that the vaginal area is cleaned at every visit to the restroom during the menstruation period. If the tampons and the sanitary napkins are not changed timely, it may lead to bad odor and rashes in the skin. Besides, it also makes you more prone to catching several vaginal infections. There are several women who also use reusable cloth sanitary napkins that should be avoided but if in case in use, should be washed and dried properly before use. For women using menstrual cups, make sure that you clean them in hot water well and boil them in hot water. After this, dry them and then use them.
Clean your vagina after an intercourse session
Every time you indulge in any kind of sexual activity, make sure that you clean and wash your vagina well. The reason for this is that, certain particles of the condom and body fluids can result in irritating the skin around and of the vagina. Besides, not cleaning after indulging in activities of sexual nature can increase the chances of you contracting vaginal infections. Therefore, make sure that you always clean your vagina after sex in order to avoid being victim to infections such as the UTI and to have good health.
Always practice Safe Sex
Engaging in unprotected sexual activities can lead to several sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs and STIs). These may include warts, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Therefore, simply using condoms can help in avoiding the risk of getting vaginal infections, STIs and unwanted pregnancies as well. However, when you go to buy a condom, before using make sure that you are not allergic to any of the material used in its production and choose the one that would suit you.
Other than the condoms, you should also not use lubes as they may lead to contraction of vaginal infections and health disturbances. When using lubricants, the glycerin content of the lubricant can lead to an irritation and damage of the vaginal cells, which increases the risk of STIs like the herpes and the HIV(2). Do not engage in sexual activities with your partner if he/she has any sexually transmitted diseases, unless the symptoms have subsided or else as advised by the doctor.
Avoid the use of feminine scented products
It is suggested not to use scented feminine hygiene products such as vaginal deodorants and scrubs and scented vaginal wipes for protection of the vagina. They do not do much good and instead increase the risk of you getting more infections. Another thing you should remember is that using such products, especially vaginal scrubbing can lead to the peeling of the skin, which makes you more prone to catching infections.
Avoid wearing tight undergarments and clothes
Excessive sweating in the vaginal area may lead to growth of bacteria and yeast which may result in infections. Make sure that you do not wear a wet bathing suit, leather pants or tight spandex for very long. Make sure that you always change your clothes after any exercise or workout that involves a lot of sweating.
Also see: Top Health Tips for Women
Do not ignore signs off Vaginal infection
If you notice any symptom or sign of vaginal infection, make sure you see the doctor immediately. The signs and symptoms include colored vaginal discharge, stinky smell, and excessive discharge from the vagina. Other things that you should always report to a doctor is include an itchy vagina or if you have any kind of pain in the vagina. These signs may indicate an underlying health condition that needs immediate medical assistance. It is very important to keep up with the doctors and get yourself regularly checked.
Do not go for Self-medication
There are many women who feel shy and hesitant in going to a gynecologist to seek advice about their vaginal health issues. These infections, diseases and issues may include itchiness, dryness, pubic lice infection, ringworm infection, and many others. Therefore, they may resort to one or the other home-made remedies and solutions. This though, is not at all recommended. One must strictly not use any kind of antifungal ointments or creams because they may have an adverse effect on the skin and the vagina itself. Immediately consult a doctor in such a case.
Healthy Vagina, Healthy You!
We hope that the article was useful for all the readers. It is necessary for all the women to follow these simple hygiene tips and maintain themselves. If your vagina stays hygienic, it will be healthy and so will you be. Thus, practice these on a daily basis and also spread awareness among other women regarding health of the vagina. Stay healthy and safe at all times and always take medical advice and care!