How to maintain a proper intimate hygiene
The intimate area of every woman is a unique ecosystem inhabited by over 100 species of microorganisms. Among them are the bacteria from the Lactobacillus family, whose metabolic product, lactic acid, protects the vaginal environment from pathogens, giving it an acid pH (<4.5). A number of factors, however, including improper intimate hygiene, can disrupt the balance of the vaginal microbiota and compromise women's health. Therefore, the proper care for the most delicate part of the body should be taken very seriously.
Never use ordinary soaps and shower gels to clean the private parts of your body. They are not designed to maintain the acid-base balance of the vaginal environment, thereby reduce the population of lactobacteria that protect it from harmful germs. In contrast, the specialized washing products contain lactic acid and other active ingredients that support the vagina's natural defense system against inflammations and infections.
Use intimate gel / foam at least once a day, and during menstruation or pregnancy be even stricter in terms of personal hygiene and do it several times a day.
- Wash only the external genitalia. The vagina has the ability to clean itself, so using a women's shower is not only unnecessary, but also dangerous.
- After bathing, use a soft cotton towel to dry the private parts of your body. Keep the towel dry and change it every 3-4 days.
- Do not use bathroom sponges to clean the genital area. They retain harmful microorganisms and violate the integrity of the epidermis, which increases the risk of inflammation.
- After visiting the toilet, wipe backwards to prevent the transfer of bacteria from the rectum to the vagina and urethra.
- Wash your genitals and the external opening of the rectum after each bowel movement, and when this is not possible, it is recommended to use wet wipes for intimate hygiene.
- Disinfect regularly the toilet in your home and avoid using public toilets without placing hygienic cover or toilet paper on the seat.
- Be mindful when choosing sanitary napkins and tampons. Numerous studies have shown that a large number of the products on the market contain substances that are harmful to health. A good alternative to the conventional sanitary napkins are those of organic cotton or washable fabric, and to the tampons – the menstrual cups.
- Change your sanitary pads every 2-4 hours, the tampons - every 3 hours, and menstrual cups empty and disinfect at least every 8 hours.
- Avoid swimming and bath-tubs during menstruation.
- Take a good care not only of your own health, but of that of your partner, as well, maintaining excellent intimate hygiene. Make sure that he also takes care of you in this regard. Always take a shower before and after intercourse (unless you're trying to get pregnant).
- Ask your partner to change the used condom before switching from one type of sexual activity to another.
- Keep in mind that the use of sex toys is undesirable from a hygienic point of view.
- Wear comfortable underwear made of natural breathable fabrics that allows free air circulation and does not impede blood circulation. Synthetic fabrics increase humidity and temperature in the intimate area, contributing to its colonization by harmful bacteria.
- Avoid wearing string bikini when your outfit doesn’t require it, as they may cause pollution of the vagina with harmful bacteria.
- Dry or take off your swimming suit as soon as possible after swimming, as the moist environment is the perfect home for most pathogenic microorganisms.
- Note that most gynecologists do not recommend the use of intimate deodorant and talc.
- Be careful when removing pubic hair. A study of Texas researchers published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology shows that after epilation the delicate area becomes more vulnerable to infections.