Having a clear idea on how your vagina works will help you better master your feminine hygiene. The vaginal flora constitutes a fragile ecosystem which is often damaged by hormonal variations (puberty, pregnancy, menopause) and other various factors such as stress or the use of certain drugs: antidepressants and antihistamines, for instance.
Its balance is based on a specific acidity and the presence of protective bacteria that must be kept intact, at the risk of itching, burning or yeast infection. Caution and good habit are therefore essential when it comes to women personal hygiene.
To avoid vaginal infections and other intimate worries, here are some hacks and tips to help you adopt good daily feminine hygiene practices, and avoid certain mistakes some women make.
In this article, you will discover 18 feminine hygiene tips which you can use to help you stay healthy and fresh.
- USE A TOILET Mitt
While using exfoliating mitt in the shower or bath is common it is not recommended for feminine cleaning. It is a real nest of bacteria; regardless, you should especially not use a washcloth in your personal hygiene. The intimate cleansing gel should be applied and rinsed directly with your hand.
At the first signs of itching or discharge, some women self-medicate by purchasing antimycotic medications directly from a drugstore, without a prescription. However, itching does not necessarily mean yeast infection, so the medication may be unnecessary. If you get irritation or itching on a regular basis, associated with a persistent discharge, it could be vaginosis. Then you need to consult a gynecologist before purchasing self-prescribed medications.
- SLEEP WITH A PAD
Sleeping with tampon can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. As long as it is possible, do not sleep with a tampon as it may facilitate the entry of the TSST-1 toxin into your bloodstream, through the lining of the uterus. It is better to opt for a sanitary napkin.
- NOT URINATE AFTER SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
This is to avoid the risk of urinary tract infection, urination gets rid of the germs. Peeing after sex helps flush bacteria out of the urethra, thus helping you prevent urinary tract infection (UTI). It is especially important for women with weak immune system or those who are prone to UTIs.
- USE VAGINAL PEARS
By using vaginal detox pearls filled with water to clean the inside of the vagina, good bacteria naturally present in the vagina, are reduced, which increases your risk of infections. In addition, it will disturb the normal vaginal pH levels, between 3.8 and 4.5, the fact that the water has a pH of 7 while the acid in the vagina is 4. If the vagina is less acidic, there is a risk of Bacterial vaginosis (BV), an abnormal vaginal discharge which is caused by an imbalance of “good” and “harmful” bacteria.
- Wash Too Often
Frequent cleaning of your vagina will not make the typical odor go away; in fact, it may even lead to infection and worsen the problem. Every woman has a distinct odor down there which is the result of a combination of the normal bacteria living in your vagina, diet, your level of hygiene, your bathroom habits, and gland secretion.
To avoid damaging the hydrolipidic film that protects the vaginal wall, do not wash your private parts more than twice a day. Too repetitive washing is aggressive on the mucous membranes: it can create fragility and thus increase the risk of irritation and infection.
- DAILY USE OF INTIMATE WIPES
Like panty liners, intimate wipes can be irritating if used daily because of the chemicals they contain. After using a wipe, it is important to dry off well afterwards. In addition, it is best to use a thermal water mist sprayer to cool off.
- FULL DEPILATION AND RAZOR
Pubic hair plays a protective function by catching pathogens that could otherwise enter your body. While it is a common feminine hygiene practice, removing pubic hair may therefore put you at higher risk of infections, such as UTIs, vaginitis, and yeast infections. With full hair removal, the vulva is more exposed, increasing the risk of irritation. The razor, on the other hand, can generate micro-cuts which can lead to formation of germs.
- USE ANY FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCT
There are plenty of feminine hygiene products on the internet but it does not mean all of them are safe. To avoid any problem, it is better to use personal care gels and intimate wipes sold in pharmacies and drugstores, dermatologically tested, or from a brand you give some credit such as Looloone.com. Remember, big brand does not mean safer either.
Some women douching just to feel cleaner. It is absolutely necessary to banish this bad habit because it damages the vaginal flora by flushing lactobacilli, non-harmful germs present in the vagina to protect it. This habit disrupts the natural pH because water has a neutral pH of 7 while the vagina has an acidic pH of 4.5 max.
If the vagina is less acidic, it may develop vaginosis, which causes irritation and a smelly vaginal discharge, the opposite effect to what you want!
- USE A WASHCLOTH
This somewhat old-fashioned habit of feminine hygiene with a washcloth is not healthy, although some women still do it. Gynecologists say using the washcloth to clean private parts increases the risk of infections because they are breeding grounds for germs.
- USE THE SAME SOAP FOR THE BODY AND THE VULVA
Choose a soap for your feminine hygiene that suits your vaginal flora, without cleaning the inside of the vagina of course. In case of necessity, use a gynecological type soap with basic pH. Otherwise, choose a soap with an acidic pH between 3.8 and 4.5.
- WEAR PANTY LINERS TOO OFTEN
Classic, non-organic panty liners and sanitary napkins contain many chemicals, even toxic, that can cause irritation and allergies if worn too frequently. In fact, wearing sanitary napkins increases the risk of germs and bacteria macerating in genitals and can cause cystitis.
If you must wear this type of hygienic protection, prefer organic ones, change them several times a day by washing your hands before and after and wear it occasionally. It is also essential to change your underwear every day.
- WIPE BACKWARD
In fact, to prevent the intestinal bacteria present in the anal area from affecting the vulva and causing infections, you should wipe from the vaginal to the anal area. Doing it the opposite way can lead to serious yeast infection.
- USE SHOWER GEL IN THE VAGINA
It is important not to use the shower gel that you use for your body. Indeed, the pH of the latter is not adapted to that of the vagina. Instead, you must opt for a specific product with an appropriate acidic pH Intimate Cleansing Gel.
Wear tight clothes
Wearing clothes that are too tight can also have an impact on your private part. The friction of tight-fitting clothing can cause not only burning sensations, but also local maceration, which can lead to an overgrowth of germs. This is especially important after sex, because fluids persist in the private parts. It is therefore preferable to opt for loose clothes.
If the underwear is made of synthetic materials it is even more harmful. They are not absorbent and promote maceration.
Leaving menstrual products for too long
For good personal hygiene, it is necessary to regularly change your periodic protections. Sanitary napkins can be kept for up to eight hours, and tampons and menstrual cups must be changed every four hours. Leaving a tampon in for too long can cause serious infections and, although rare, life-threatening toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
Women with a weak menstrual flow must be particularly vigilant: in their case, hygienic protections absorb too much secretions and this can disrupt the vaginal flora.
Keep a wet swimsuit
Local humidity promotes the growth of bacteria. After a workout or a day at the beach, you should get rid of your wet clothes as quickly as possible. Ditto when you get out of the shower: you dry yourself well and change your towel regularly.
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