Women often talk and share experiences and tips on skin care, hair care and using makeup. But sadly, the very important intimate hygiene is rarely a topic of conversation. Maintaining the hygiene in the intimate zone is extremely important for women, not just to feel cleaner and fresh, but to avoid unpleasant and sometimes dangerous health problems that may arise. Here are the basic rules to maintain impeccable hygiene down there:
1. Ordinary soaps and shower gels are not suitable for washing the vagina
Most soaps and shower gels are designed to maintain the natural pH value of the skin, which is 5.5. However, the normal pH value of a healthy vagina ranges from 3.8 to 4.5. Using ordinary soap can disrupt the natural vaginal flora, thereby enabling the fast development and multiplication of harmful bacteria. As a result, some unpleasant problems may appear like irritation, itching, pain, odor, abnormal discharge or infection. So, be careful when buying cosmetic intimate hygiene products. Many gynecologists advise using only hot water, but if you decide that it is not enough, use only intimate washes that are designed for intimate care.
2. Wash only the exterior of your intimate zone
The vagina has the ability to ‘clean’ itself, so it isn’t necessary to wash it inside. Actually, washing the vagina on the inside can be harmful. You should wash your intimate zone only on the outside – that means that you should wash only your vulva, the vaginal lips and the area around the clitoris.
3. Wash your intimate parts at least once a day
You should wash your intimate parts at least once a day with hot water. It is recommended to wash your vagina after every emptying of the bowel (defecation) to prevent transmission of bacteria to the vagina. When you have your period, make sure you wash it twice a day with just hot water.
4. Don’t use sponges or gloves
Sponges and gloves can cause minor injuries to the soft and delicate skin of the vagina. When you wash your intimate parts, it is enough just to use your hand.
5. Don’t point the running water directly to the vagina
When you’re washing the intimate zone, don’t let the water to run directly toward the vagina. Let the water run down from the top of the intimate zone to prevent entry of bacteria inside.
6. Always use a soft drying towel
The towel that you’ll use after washing should be soft and completely dry. You should change your drying towels every 2 to 3 days and should be intended only for you – don’t let anyone else to use it.
7. Wipe from front to back
After visiting the toilet, wipe with the toilet paper from front to back, i.e. from the vagina towards the anus. This way you won’t be spreading harmful bacteria from the anus to the vagina, which can lead to bladder infections and even some really serious problems.
8. Wear cotton underwear
Cotton clothing and underwear enables the skin to breathe. Unlike cotton, synthetic materials prevent the circulation of air, increase the humidity in the intimate zone and thus create an ideal environment for the growth of harmful bacteria. Wear comfortable cotton underwear everyday, and save the lace panties only for special occasions. Also, avoid wearing tight jeans and pants.
9. Wash your intimate parts before and after sexual intercourse
Make sure that you wash your intimate area before and after making love. This is important, because it stops the multiplication and spreading of harmful bacteria. Moreover, it is very important that your partner maintains a good intimate hygiene too.
10. Sex during menstruation carries an increased risk for infections
Avoid being intimate with your partner when you have your period. This is especially important if you are prone to infections. The best thing to do is to wait until your menstrual bleeding passes.
11. During your period change the hygienic pads every 2 to 4 hours
You shouldn’t let yourself to stay with the same feminine pad for more than 4 hours. In such a case, not only you wouldn’t feel fresh and clean, but you will also allow the harmful bacteria to multiply. So make sure that you change your feminine pads every two to four hours.
12. Use tampons less often and change them on every 2-3 hours
You should never sleep with a tampon. The tampons should be changed regularly because they may cause infections or toxic shock syndrome, which is considered a potentially fatal disease. Do not use tampons if you have an infection because it can make things worse.