Many might not want to talk about this subject and some might giggle too, but the fact of the matter remains that intimate hygiene cannot be ignored. How we tend to it will make a difference in our overall health. For this very reason, we bring to you a tried and tested guide to intimate hygiene.
Let’s begin with the daily routine of washing. While bathing ensures that you use warm water when you clean yourself. Hot water should be avoided as it can be harsh on your delicate part.
If you wish to use soap, opt for something that is meant for intimate washing. This is because these specific cleansers are mild and match the pH balance of your vagina which is somewhere between 3.8 to 4.5. Regular cleansers are alkaline and have a higher pH level and hence best avoided.
But don’t sweat if you don’t have such a soap. Vagina cleanses itself as its lining contains healthy bacteria which keeps it disease and infection-free. Simply wash from the outside. Lastly, remember to clean and pat yourself thoroughly dry after a bath.
Do you know the right way to wipe your intimate area? Perhaps not. You go from front to back and not the other way around. Reason being, the latter contains unhealthy germs and bacteria. Chances are that you can transfer unhealthy germs into where they are not needed. This could further cause infection and put your health at stake.
Studies show that douching increase the risk of developing a bacterial infection. For those who are not aware, this is a process where you clean the insides of your vagina with fluids. It is normally a blend of vinegar and water that is sprayed inside. There are readymade solutions available too. Neither of which you should opt for. Our intimate area has a natural mechanism where it can cleanse itself, the extra douching is unnecessary and avoidable.
Better still, wear cotton panties (or panties made of any material that breathes or any natural fabric) and change your tampons regularly when you have your periods.
Likewise, avoid the use of any lotions bubble bath that has any detergent like component in them. Products that have a strong fragrance, dyes, or such components need to be kept away.
If you think that loofah is a great way to clean, then hold on. Apart from being rough on that part of the skin, the germs and bacteria built up on these can be transferred inside you.
Your hands are more than enough. You know the pressure and you will be gentle; which also mean that you will not point and spray water through a pipe directly at your feminine part. Just make sure that your hands are kept clean. Nails too must be clean and short, if they are long, sharp or dirty, you could harm yourself.
We insist that you dry yourself completely, but again, the operative word is gentle. A soft, clean towel will be a tender way to treat yourself and your feminine part. Keep aside an unsullied, soft towel, just for you and to wipe yourself.
Crisp, dry underwear
Always remember to wear washed underwear which is crisply dry. If your panty is even a little wet, it can be a cause for infection. Also, when washed underwear begins to leave a mild stink, it’s time to change it.
If you choose to wear panty liners, ensure that you change it every 3-4 hours. These are not meant to be worn for a long period of time as they prevent the vagina and skin around it from breathing. This can further increase the risk of contamination.
Remember to do the same for sanitary pads and tampons. Reason being, the menstrual blood is in close contact with your intimate area and the skin on the side. So, point to be noted is that your pads, tampons or pantyliners need to be changed frequently first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Tight pants might give you a flattering figure, but it is best to avoid them on a regular basis. These trap moisture giving rise to fungal infection and other hassles.
Secondly, keep synthetic panties aside as they don’t allow the skin to breathe. In warmer climates, this can lead to an increase in humidity, sweating making it an uncomfortable environment for your intimate part. Any friction can cause minute abrasions leading to infection and all that discomfort. If you are out for a long duration, then choose cotton or any natural fabric to be close to your skin.
When days promise to be hectic, cotton is the way to go. Choose this as it is safe as compared to other materials. It is permeable, allowing air to pass thus helping excess moisture to dissipate. Synthetic bottoms can trap heat and moisture and cause yeast, thrush or other infection.
When using a public bathroom (malls and other places):
If you are used to sitting pretty on the commode when ‘doing your thing’ makes sure that the seat is sterile and commode is flushed. Request the housekeeping department to give a fresh wipe in your presence before you use the commode. Sit on a clean, hygienic seat to answer nature’s call.
As a social responsibility, leave the toilet seats and commode/bathroom the way you used it. Thank you.
Shaving the bikini area:
Some think that shaving off the pubic hair is a part of intimate hygiene. If you are one of those then it is wise to keep in mind that shaving off your pubic hair is the job of an expert.
If you have any abrasions or cut on this delicate part, it will not be good. In case you are doing the bikini shave remember never to share your razor. If you still insist on doing it then keep in mind that this job has to be done with extreme and expert care and precaution.
Tips to remember:
Be kind to yourself. Let your panties be comfortable. Avoid nylon and other such materials, go cotton instead.
If you have an active sex life, it’s great. But we would still suggest you to be clean. Wash up after the act, even if you are using a barrier. Practice more of this hygiene if you are into oral sex. Safe hygienic, sexual practices are non-negotiable.
Follow these simple tips and save those unnecessary trips to your gynaecologist!