Intimate hygiene has always been a matter of hush-hush discussion. We rarely discuss about our private parts or how to maintain it clean and dry. But the present generation is getting aware and realizing the importance that maintaining hygiene in our intimate areas requires care and attention.
Why is intimate hygiene important?
It is important to maintain intimate hygiene to prevent infections, irritation, dryness and odors. Here are some reasons why –
- Unattended genitals can lead to severe bacterial and yeast infections that leads to UTI and uncomfortable symptoms like aggressively itchy and irritable vagina, burning sensation and blood in urine.
- Women who spend most of the time outside their home use a lot of common toilets that can lead to disease like Vulvo-Vaginitis that is a toilet-borne infection. This can lead to serious infection in reproductive system like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. If your vaginal infection is not taken care of, you get vulnerable to severe infections like HIV.
- Repeated growth of vaginal infections can also lead to infertility.
- Proper intimate hygiene prevents HPV infections that might lead to development of genital warts and can cause cancer in the cervix. Some HPV infections have also been linked to cancers in the anus, penis, vagina or vulva.
How to maintain intimate hygiene?
For maintaining intimate hygiene it is important to maintain the pH balance of the vagina which is somewhere between 3.5 to 5.5 range. However, the vaginal cavity has self-cleaning characteristics and the intimate hygiene products are used to clean the outside of the vagina like the vulva, pubic area and perennial area.
Here are a Few Tips to Keep in Mind for Intimate Hygiene:
Douching should be avoided –
Our vagina contains a lot of healthy bacteria that keeps it free from infection-causing bacteria and fungus. Douching will wash off the healthy bacteria and make your intimate area vulnerable to infections. Also, don’t use soaps or body washes to clean your vagina as the harsh chemicals in these products will disturb the pH balance.
Wipe from front to back –
Whenever you are wiping your vagina with a tissue paper or intimate wipe keep in mind to dry it from the front to the back. If done the opposite way, there are chances that you might drag unhealthy bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
Keep it clean at all times –
It is best to clean your intimate area with special wipes or just plain warm water. Always change your inner wears after exercising and workout, swimming or after a day at work. Clean the sweat with non-fragrant, gentle intimate hygiene wash or a baby wipe.
Washing after sex –
This is a very important step after you have intercourse. Make sure that you pee well after having sex as it will wash off the unhealthy bacteria off the urethra and vagina. This will help prevent cystitis. If possible use a condom as it will maintain the pH balance in your intimate area. Not just that, using contraceptives will also prevent spread of STIs like HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, genital wards, syphilis and genital herpes.
Treat vaginal infections –
Your vaginal area is vulnerable to infections. It is important to treat those infections well under proper medical supervision. Clear vaginal discharge is common and a sign of healthy vagina, but when the fluid changes colour and is smelly, you might be having infection that needs treatment. Visit a doctor immediately if you feel you might be having UTI.
Intimate hygiene is important. Take good care of your private parts.