Women’s Healthcare Recommendations
The vagina is a self-cleaning system that does not require excessive hygienic efforts, but it is necessary to eliminate surface contaminants and products from external genitals regularly. It is recommended to wash at least once a day, and better after each use of the toilet or with each change of tampon during menstruation. Do not forget that you need to get a separate towel and change it constantly for intimate hygiene.
It is enough to use only water
Water perfectly washes liquid secretions, particles of mucus and dust away. In most cases, you can do without soap or gel to cleanse the external genitalia. The surfactants in their composition are intended primarily for the splitting of fat molecules. If they are used excessively, they may destroy the protective lipid skin film. Soap is recommended to clean the perianal area, especially immediately after visiting the toilet, but the genitals can be rinsed with running water.
This rule, probably, will seem obvious to many. The movement of the hand when washing away should always be directed from front to back. The vaginal flora is safe for the intestines, but the intestinal for the vagina is not safe. So you should try not to “bring” the bacteria from the anus to the genitals. This applies to the use of toilet paper, and to hygiene in relation to sex toys: nothing should fall into the area of the vulva or vagina after anal contact.
Proper hygiene means
There is no need to use antiseptics or antibacterial soap in regular mode. An alcohol-free antiseptic can calm the skin after epilation or other injuries. It should be done with indications for its use only. In a normal, everyday routine, intimate hygiene should not be excessive; The human body produces many secretions, including with a certain smell, and this does not mean that it is not clean enough. Forget about such a procedure as syringing: it does not bring any benefit, but it can easily destroy a finely balanced vaginal microenvironment. There is evidence of the association of douching with complications of pregnancy and even the risk of cervical cancer, not to mention infections and inflammatory processes. The mucous membranes inside the body do not need to be cleaned at all, so we repeat once again: you only need to wash what is outside.
It is better to use baby soap or gel for intimate hygiene if you think that simple water is not enough. The more aggressive the soap is, the higher the risk of drying out the skin and mucous membrane and disrupting microbial equilibrium. All these factors can lead, for example, to activation and excessive proliferation of bacteria. As a result, the secretions may become greater. An unpleasant odor will appear – and in trying to “better” clean everything up, you can further aggravate the situation. Microflora may change, for example, when changing the brand of condoms or excessive sweating. If you have been diagnosed with candidosis or gardnerella, do not panic and think that you have become infected. These are opportunistic infections, that is, their pathogens are always present in the body. It is worth thinking about what factors could trigger such a disorder; one of the possible – aggressive hygiene.
There are also special means for intimate hygiene. First, they are mild, often with moisturizing ingredients and without excessive flavoring, which can cause irritation or an allergic reaction from the delicate mucosa. Secondly, the acidity (pH value) of such products is at the level that is best suited to the intimate area.
The choice of such a remedy is conducted under gynecologist supervision. Most often it is required to use acidic or neutral remedies. Neutrals are designed to simply replace the soap, that is, to serve as hygiene supplementing water. Gels with higher acidity help in the treatment and prevention of certain types of vaginosis or vaginitis.
Pads for every day – not a means of hygiene
Pads protect underwear from secretions but do not improve the level of hygiene of the genitals. They can also do harm. The pads are too intensively absorbing the secretions. The glands begin to work faster, but the vulva may still remain without the protective layer it needs. It again leads to an aggravation of bacterial and fungal infections. In addition, pads, especially flavored ones, can themselves cause irritation and itching.
Choose underwear correctly
The recommendation to choose cotton underwear instead of synthetic may seem boring, but tight polyester underwear can actually be harmful: the heat beneath them is not removed properly, the skin sweats, bacteria and fungi multiply rapidly. If you also live in a hot climate, you often risk treating exacerbations of candidosis. Although for its prevention, it may be enough to choose other underwear in addition to paying extra attention to hygiene.
All this does not mean that synthetic underwear does not fit anyone at all. If you wear polyester all your life without any discomfort, you are lucky. But if there is irritation, itching from time to time, candidiasis worsens, it makes sense to try changing underwear.