Even though it is rarely spoken about, many women know that feminine hygiene plays a vital role in keeping our vaginas healthy and infection-free. Apart from the basics of showering daily, here are some additional tips to keep your vagina clean and fresh when using only water just doesn't cut it.
Just like our digestive system, which contains friendly gut bacteria, the skin and lining surrounding the vagina contains friendly bacteria that maintains a healthy internal environment and prevents the growth of unfriendly and unwanted bacteria that can cause infections and embarassing itches.
That is why it is crucial to understand the basics of our vagina and practice proper intimate hygiene to protect and encourage the growth of these good bacteria. Try these feminine hygiene tips for a fresh, clean and, most importantly, healthy vagina.
01 Washing Your Vagina Everyday
Keeping yourself clean and washing your vagina everyday is perhaps one of the most important feminine hygiene tips there is. While the vaginal is a self-cleaning organ, the vulva is not. Using plain, unperfumed soap to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) gently every day can help to maintain the overall vaginal health. “During your period, washing more than once a day may be helpful,” says Dr Elneil, consultant in urogynaecology at University College Hospital in London.
02 Keep Your Undergarment Clean & Dry
Your undergarments play a vital role in your intimate hygiene. Clean and dry undergarments will help minimise irritation to your intimate area. Where possible, avoid tight satin or synthetic undergarments as they can cause issues, especially in Singapore’s hot and humid tropical weather. Cotton, being a breathable material, is the ideal material for underwear as it keeps your skin cool and dry. Fabrics like satin can retain moisture and cause irritation. Tight fitting undergarments can also increase friction which can cause irritation and promote bacterial growth leading to a nasty infections.
03 Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes
And while we’re at it, avoid wearing tight fitting pants too often. Just because Ross pulled off the leather pants, doesn’t mean you should try them as well. Yoga pants might be in now but wearing tight clothes and inners can cause excessive sweating and this can result in bacterial and yeast infections. Avoid tight fitting pants and materials that are not breathable like leather and spandex as it reduces air circulation increasing perspiration and friction.
04 Never Use Soap To Wash Your Intimate Parts
Regular soaps and shower gels aren’t designed to be used on your vaginal area. Your skin has a pH of 5.5, whereas a healthy vaginal pH ranges from 3.8 to 4.5. Using regular soap can alter the pH level of your vagina and upset the delicate bacterial balance that keeps it healthy and infection-free. Instead, try using a special pH balanced wash, such as Intime Organique Intimate Feminine Wash, intended for use on your intimate area.
05 Avoid Scented Feminine Products
“If nature had intended the vagina to smell like roses or lavender, it would have made the vagina smell like roses or lavender,” says Professor Lamont, a professor at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Fragrances and preservatives in feminine products can only do more harm than good. Using heavily perfumed soaps to such sensitive areas may cause skin irritation such as contact dermatitis which cause skin to become itchy, red or inflamed. Once irritated, even simple things like friction of your clothing can exacerbate the issue. So, best to steer clear!
06 Change Pad/Tampons Regularly
Things get just a little messier when you are menstruating, so you would have to step up your hygiene a little more at this time of the month. Changing your pad or tampons every 4 to 6 hours to keep pace with your flow, prevents unwanted bacteria from growing.
07 Use Soft Dry Towels
To dry off after a shower, using a soft and fully dried towel can save you from the potential risk of infections as bacteria can easily latch onto wet towels and washcloths. It is also recommended by gynecologists to change your towel every two to three days and to wash your towels in lukewarm water with a mild soap so it doesn’t disrupt the pH balance of your nether regions. And, of course, don’t share your towel with anyone else!
08 Wipe Front To Back
You may have heard this personal hygiene tip before, or may subconsciously be doing it, but it’s worth a reminder. When you go to the loo, be sure to wipe front to back, and never back to front. This is to ensure that no harmful bacteria from your anus gets into your vagina. If they do, these bacteria can lead to nasty, and smelly, infections that would usually require antibiotics in order to clear up.
09 Drink Up & Eat Healthy
Lastly, more of a general health tip, but eating unhealthy can also cause disruptions in your intimates. We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat”. Eating right and drinking enough water, eating citrus foods like oranges and lemons can help in reducing perspiration which can be the main cause of infections. Drinking water can also help to give your body a boost when it comes to flushing out toxins helping keep your vagina clean and healthy.
In the article
Swipe for more→
About the writer
Julia Mia, a woman who needs her full 8 hours of beauty sleep, is an avid fan of coffee with a fiery passion for writing and a flair for creativity. When she's not at her desk typing away, you'll find her in the kitchen, cooking Korean cuisines with her kids in the kitchen.