The social atmosphere in our homes and communities while growing up didn’t allow for constructive and healthy dialogue around maintaining the hygiene of our sexual parts. Thankfully today, people are more aware of the need to educate children early on about vaginal and genital hygiene to prevent problems in the future.
Whether you are an adult or a teenager, here is everything you need to know about how to maintain hygiene of your private parts:
Maintaining vaginal hygiene:
• Vaginas are self-cleaning. The vagina has natural secretions, which keep the vagina healthy.
• Avoid using perfumed soaps or bath gels around the vagina as it can irritate the healthy bacteria in your vagina and disrupt the pH balance. When you’re menstruating, you may wish to clean yourself. Here, it is recommended that you use unperfumed, neutral soaps to clean the vulva and surrounding area.
• Cleaning your perineal part, that is the area between the anus and the vagina, using your usual bath routine is needed.
• Avoid using any douches as they remove the healthy bacteria from the vagina, setting the stage for infections.
• All women have a peculiar vaginal smell. It is nothing to be ashamed of. However, if you start noticing a strong odour or if the scent has changed, then you need to visit a trusted doctor to find out if there is an underlying condition.
• Avoid using scented wipes after using the washroom as that can also interfere with vagina’s natural pH balance. Use unscented wipes when needed.
• During sex, it is advisable to use a condom to prevent the risk of sexually transmitted infection from your sexual partner.
• Wear cotton underpants as they help reduce the amount of moisture and help prevent yeast from forming. Change out of wet swimsuits/ workout clothes as soon as possible as moist clothing is a breeding ground for yeast infections.
• While on your cycle, change the sanitary napkin, tampon, menstrual cup as often as required to prevent unhealthy bacteria or infections.
• Frequently change the panty liner, if you use one.
• Get at least 20 minutes of walking every day and eat a healthy balanced diet as maintaining your overall health also influences the vaginal health.
Lastly, go for cervical screening regularly to catch any problem that may have arisen without your notice at its earliest stage.
Just as much important to maintain your personal hygiene it is equally important to speak to your partner about their hygiene to prevent infection.
Be proud of your body and remember that it is only wise to take care of every part of who you are to live a truly fulfilling life. When in doubt, consult a trusted doctor for expert advice.