Although it is hardly ever discussed, intimate hygiene is absolutely essential! Ignoring proper hygiene habits can lead to embarrassing situations such as unpleasant odour, irritation, itchiness, and, in severe cases, vaginal infections. A good feminine or intimate hygiene routine can help you keep your vaginal health.
Try these ten intimate hygiene care tips to keep your private areas clean, odour-free, and healthy.
- Wash your intimate area every day
One of the most crucial intimate hygiene tips is to keep yourself clean.
During and after puberty, your body goes through physical changes such as monthly periods, daily vaginal discharge, and increased sweat production from sweat glands. These changes make daily cleaning of your private area even more important.
However, stick to washing just the outside of your vagina, known as the vulva. This is because the inside of your vagina has its very own self-cleaning mechanism and doesn’t require washing, scrubbing, or cleaning– which also means no douching.
- Try pH-balanced feminine washes
Avoid using ordinary soaps and shower gels on your vaginal area since their pH levels are made for your skin’s surface.
Your skin has a pH of 5.5, while a healthy vaginal pH ranges from 3.8 to 4.5. Regular soap can change your vagina’s pH and disturb the sensitive bacterial balance that keeps it healthy and free of infection. Replace it with a special wash made for your intimate area.
You can easily find these intimate washes in supermarkets or pharmacies near you. However, before using any of them, consult your gynaecologist.
- Avoid using sponges or loofahs to wash your intimate area
Your intimate area’s skin is extremely delicate and doesn’t require abrasive items like sponges and loofahs, which can potentially irritate it.
Furthermore, you don’t want to bring bacteria into your vagina since they can accumulate and thrive on sponges and loofahs.
To practise good personal hygiene, only use your hands!
- Say no to scented hygiene products
Avoid using scented hygiene products, such as fragrant wipes, vaginal deodorants, or creams, to maintain vaginal health. In fact, these products may make your situation worse and increase your infection risk.
- Use a soft towel to dry the area
After a shower, bath, or even just cleaning, use a soft, fully dry towel to dry off to keep moisture from promoting microbial growth.
It’s also essential to switch towels every two to three days and to avoid sharing them with anyone else, especially girls.
- Wipe front to back
Yes, there is a proper method for cleaning your area. After using the restroom, always wipe from front to back, never back to front!
If you are do it wrongly, harmful bacteria from your anus may enter your vagina and cause an unpleasant infection, such as a urinary tract infection, which will require antibiotic treatment.
- Wear cotton underwear
Cotton underwear is essential for maintaining healthy personal hygiene. Since cotton is a breathable fabric, any excess moisture from sweat or vaginal discharge can evaporate without becoming a bacterial and foul odour shelter.
This doesn’t mean you can’t wear lacey, expensive underwear; simply make sure they have cotton crotch inserts.
- Keep the undergarments dry
If you do not wipe the vagina after urinating, the panties may become wet, increasing the risk of vaginal infections and may produce a foul odour. So, use toilet paper or a soft cloth to keep your underwear dry.
However, excessive wiping can make your vagina very dry, causing itchiness and vaginal dryness. It can also result in pain during sex and make it more prone to injury.
- Use proper period care
Use pads, tampons, and period panties instead of cloth during periods. However, you must change your sanitary care within a few hours to avoid foul odour, skin rashes, and vaginal infections.
Change your pads every 3-4 hours if you use them regularly. If you’re using a tampon, change it every six hours.
You can even try Kotex period panties, which can absorb the blood of up to three regular pads and can be worn until it is hygienic.
- Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water to help your body flush out toxins and keep your vagina healthy and clean. Furthermore, avoid sugary drinks because they can potentially disturb the bacterial balance in your vagina.
Every girl should follow these intimate hygiene tips to ensure a healthy vagina. Consult your gynaecologist if you have any concerns.