Just like mensuration, vaginal hygiene is a taboo in India. In India, approximately 70% of women facing many reproductive issues because of limited knowledge of vaginal hygiene.
They are afraid of talking about this in public also. It is important to know about vaginal hygiene to keep your genital clean and reproductive tract health.
No matter what age you are, there are a few basic rules that every woman should know about it.
Keep your undergarments dry
Not wiping the vagina after urinating can cause the panties to get wet, which caused bad odour but puts you at risk of vaginal infections. Hence, it is always advised to wipe the area using toilet paper or soft cloth so your underwear is always dry.
The vaginal fluid or discharge is a part of a healthy vaginal environment. Use of talcum powder or excessive wiping of the vagina can make it very dry which can cause itchiness and vaginal dryness. According to research use of talcum powder can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Change sanitary pads after 4-6 hours
According to gynecologists, women who have normal blood flow should change a sanitary napkin every three-four hours.
The same applies to the days when you have light blood flow.
If you are using a tampon, then change it every six hours without fail or try to change it according to your flow because sometimes it causes pain when you remove it late. Also, always clean the area every time you visit a washroom during menstruation.
Also, some women use reusable cloth pads, which need to be washed in hot water and dried in sunlight properly before using it. It helps to kill bacteria, and lower the risk of any vaginal infections.
Mensuration cup is another option to use in mensuration. It is reusable and doesn’t cause any infection. We can use one mensuration cup for 5years without any risk.
Avoid using soap and type of intimate wash while washing your vagina
Soaps contain glycerol, perfumes, and antiseptics which can affect the healthy balance of the bacteria in the vagina. It also changes the pH in the vaginal region, which can cause irritation and lead to the growth of unhealthy bacteria. Instead of using soap or an intimate wash, preferably use lukewarm water to wash the area around the vagina.
Avoid wearing tight clothes
We always recommend that you should wear undergarments made of cotton. Because when we wear tight clothes it reduces the air circulation which causes excess moisture and sweating that can lead to the growth of bacteria and yeast, causing vaginal infection. Also, do change your clothes after working out or exercising or any activity which can be sweaty.
Do not shave pubic hair
Some women prefer shaving pubic hair by using a razor or any other cream as they think the pubic hair looks gross and unclean. But according to research pubic hair acts as a safety net that protects the vulva (outer part of the female genitalia that surrounds the opening of the vagina) from bacterial infections.
Do not ignore signs of vaginal infections
Lastly, but most importantly, do not ignore any signs and symptoms of vaginal infections. If you see any changes like a stinky smell or excessive vaginal discharge or colored vaginal discharge, do consult your doctor immediately.
Also, do not ignore an itchy vagina or pain in the vaginal region as it could be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Don’t try self-medication
In today’s era of YouTube and Google, women use many home remedies like using baking soda solution to wash the vagina or applying some homemade paste to get rid of the odour. Sometimes they use antibacterial ointment or creams is the go-to remedy if home remedies fail to provide any relief. This type of approach is totally wrong. It is best to consult a doctor for all these problems.
Every woman should follow these basic rules to maintain hygiene tips to ensure a healthy vagina.
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