Neglecting feminine hygiene is one of the worst mistakes you can make. This area has so many biological functions that you can’t afford to ignore it.
Women all over the world are not only responsible for work inside and outside their home, but also for bearing children. When women come of age, they experience various physical changes that continue for a long time, such as puberty, menstruation, childbirth, and menopause. Feminine hygiene is very, very important.
Sometimes, they are not aware of how to maintain feminine hygiene. At other times, they simply don’t have the time and relegate it to the farthest corner of their mind.
It’s only when things go out of hand that women realize how important feminine hygiene is.
In this post, we will learn about feminine hygiene and how to keep ourselves clean down there to avoid infections and other illnesses.
What is Feminine Hygiene?
Feminine hygiene, a.k.a. feminine care, vaginal wellness, feminine wellness, and vaginal care, is the process of taking routine care of the genitals and surrounding areas.
There are two types of feminine hygiene – internal and external. You don’t need to worry about the internal bit, or vagina, as women are naturally gifted with a self-cleaning system.
It’s the external part, the vulva, and the surrounding areas, that you need to pay attention to.
Feminine hygiene products include sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, panty-liners, wipes, washes, douches, and toners. Not all of these are recommended for use as some contain chemicals that can cause infections and irritation.
Why is Feminine Hygiene Important?
Feminine wellness is important because:
- It keeps the vaginal area clean.
- The intimate area is free of odor.
- Feminine hygiene prevents the formation of harmful bacteria.
- Keeping your private area clean prevents fatal diseases like cervical cancer.
- It keeps the area properly hydrated and prevents dryness.
- It prevents a negative effect on your sex drive and fertility.
How to Maintain Feminine Hygiene
Are you feeling lost or wondering what is there to take care of? Worry not! With a list of tips and tricks, maintaining feminine hygiene will soon become something that you do without even thinking.
- Proper Cleaning
The first step to keeping feminine hygiene in tiptop shape is by cleaning the area properly.
Although your vagina cleans itself, you can ensure 100% cleanliness with warm water and a mild cleanser or soap. Choose feminine washes that do not contain harsh chemicals.
Chemical-laden washes and soaps may tip the natural pH balance, causing dryness and itchy skin.
Moreover, products with a strong fragrance are a big no-no. These contain chemicals like antiseptics and perfume that do more harm than good.
- Menstrual Hygiene
We all know how uncomfortable periods can be. Besides the flow, there is an odor to deal with.
Change your sanitary pads every three to four hours on heavy-flow days and every five to six hours on normal-flow days.
If you use tampons, make sure to change them every six hours. Not changing your tampons or pads timely will make you uncomfortable with itchy skin and make the odor worse.
Moreover, not changing pads can lead to more serious conditions like rashes and infections.
During periods, every time you visit the bathroom, wash that area with water. Make sure not to miss your daily bath during this time.
- The Right Undergarments
Always choose cotton undergarments as the fabric allows your vagina to breathe.
Wearing nylon or synthetic panties will lead to a soggy area that’s a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.
When you’re home and not on your period, it’s best to go without panties. Let air flow freely around your private parts to keep things dry and healthy.
Also, make sure to change your undergarments daily. If you complete physical activities or live in a humid area, you can change more than once daily.
- Say No to Tight Clothes
Tight clothes like jeggings, spandex, and gym wear are not feminine hygiene-friendly. Step out of these tight clothes as soon as possible as prolonged wearing can make your vagina area wet, causing infections and discomfort.
Synthetic pants make great office wear, but they don’t allow your intimate parts to breathe. Therefore, change out of these clothes and get into comfy ones as soon as you get home. Otherwise, the sweat can create severe discomfort.
Ditto on wet bathing suits. Having these on for a long time will lead to a yeast formation that will affect your feminine parts negatively.
- Wipe it Right
Wiping the wrong way can brew trouble down there. Always wipe from top to bottom with a clean, dry tissue every time you use the bathroom.
Those who start wiping from the bottom put the vagina in danger of being infected with germs, causing urinary infections.
Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly to prevent germs from spreading.
- Use Public Restrooms Cautiously
Public restrooms are just what they sound like: public. You don’t know who’s been in there or what kind of hygiene they maintain.
Fortunately, there are disinfectant sprays that you can carry around in your bag easily. Use these before using a public restroom to avoid the chances of getting infected.
- Say No to Douching
Douching is a very old method of cleansing the vaginal area from the inside.
The method involves pushing a water and vinegar/iodine/baking soda solution up your vagina using a nozzle. The water then comes out through the vagina and cleans it in the process.
Doctors strongly recommend against douching. It can upset the natural occurrence of good bacteria in your feminine area.
Plus, the natural acidity in the nether region prevents infections and irritation, and douching would get rid of these natural cleansers.
Douching can also cause harmful bacteria to grow and spread. This could lead to more health complications like a yeast infection.
In worst-case scenarios, douching can push harmful bacteria further up your reproductive system, causing pelvic diseases.
- Summertime Hygiene
In summers, you are more susceptible to sweating. And it’s not only your body and limbs that are affected.
Pay close attention to the feminine area. Change your undergarments more than once if you feel sweaty.
Taking a shower a couple of times daily will also ease the condition and make you feel fresh. However, don’t use talcum powder in the lower region as doctors don’t recommend it.
- Keep Your Underpants Dry
After using the toilet and cleaning with water, always wipe the intimate area with tissue paper. This will keep the area dry and prevent infections.
However, avoid excessive wiping as this will take away the healthy vaginal discharge and cause dryness and itchy skin.
- Safe Sex
Another way to maintain feminine wellness is by ensuring you have safe sex. Using condoms will not only prevent unwanted pregnancies, but will also protect your intimate parts from getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases.
Many couples use lubricants during sex to hydrate the genital areas. This should not be encouraged as lubricants have glycerin that can damage the cells in the vagina. This can lead to infections and higher risks of catching STDs.
- Cleaning Post Sex
Always clean your feminine area after sex. You should urinate to get rid of body fluids.
Then, you should follow up by washing with water to ensure no particles from condoms can make their way into your vagina and cause infections and dryness.
It’s also good to clean up after the act to prevent urinary tract and other infections.
- Say No to Scrubs and Deodorants
There is no need to scrub your vagina or spray deodorant there to get rid of the odor.
Remember that your vagina has its way of cleaning itself. Whatever slight odor you get from the vaginal fluids and discharge is natural.
If the smell is pungent and not normal, you should consult your gynecologist immediately. Otherwise, leave your feminine area as much as you can in its natural state.
While scrubs can be abrasive for your skin down there, deodorants contain fragrances and chemicals that go against feminine hygiene and health.
- Shaving the Feminine Area
Plenty of women shave the pubic region, forgetting that pubic hair provides protection from bacterial infections and contributes to good feminine hygiene.
Shaving the genitals poses risks from cuts, infections, and injuries. Using hair removing creams is not a good practice as the chemicals in these products cause irritation and itchy skin.
It’s recommended to either trim the hair in the intimate parts or go for a Brazilian or bikini wax.
Ignoring feminine hygiene is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. There are so many bodily functions that take place in this part daily that there’s no way you can afford to keep it unattended.
With the list of tips mentioned in this post, you can maintain feminine hygiene on those days of the month as well as on normal days. One last tip: if you have the option to choose sanitaryware for yourself, visit the bidet shop in your area. You’d be surprised how easy it is to use a bidet for feminine wellness.