20 October 2021

the-dos-and-donts-of-vaginal-care-and-hygiene

When taking care of your sexual organ, a good place to start is to ask the relevant questions. For example, should you be washing your vagina daily? What type of soap should you use when cleaning your genitals? Are there certain types of underwear you can’t wear? These are some of the basic questions women have with regards to their vaginal health.

The following information explains the dos and don’ts when it comes to vaginal care and hygiene.

Washing

Your vagina is a sensitive organ that needs to maintain its natural pH level. If the levels are thrown off, you might experience early symptoms of vaginal infection that can range anywhere from irritation and itchiness to pain and discomfort. 

Oftentimes, foreign substances such as soaps can alter the pH level. So, it’s important to take this into consideration when washing your genital area. So, here’s what you need to do:

  • Gently wash the vulva with water and mild soap. Make sure that the product you use is dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and scent-free.  
  • If you skin a shower, be sure to wash your privates with warm water daily.
  • Do not douche even if you’re experiencing problems. Rather than fixing it, this will only make it worse. 
  • Wipe your vagina from front to back after every use of the toilet. For a more thorough clean, you can even rinse using warm water and pat it dry afterwards. This should effectively remove all unwanted bacteria.
  • Keep the washing process as simple as possible. Using less products can reduce your chances of disrupting the natural pH level.

When you wash your genital area, be sure to stay on the vulva–which is the outer layer–and avoid washing inside. Washing the inside of the vagina may disrupt the protective environment and kill the good bacteria, leading to further complications. 

Sex

Participating in sexual intercourse is a normal and healthy activity for every woman of reproductive age. However, when you engage in sex, you need to be mindful of proper hygiene to avoid developing infections. 

  • Don’t use the same condom for the vagina and anus to prevent bacteria from spreading.
  • Don’t share sex toys to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Make sure to urinate after sex to flush out the unwanted bacteria from your system. Doing so will also decrease your risk of contracting urinary tract infections. 
  • To further clean your genital area, you should shower after sex, or at the very least wash your vulva with warm water. Afterwards, be sure to dry thoroughly.

Clothing

The clothing you wear also affects the health of your vagina. As much as possible, try to wear breathable fabrics from your underwear to your pants to prevent moisture from accumulating in the area. This is because moisture promotes bacterial growth. When this happens, your vagina becomes more prone to infections. For this reason, this is what you need to do:

  • Instead of wearing synthetic underwear, go for underwear that’s made of cotton. The cotton fabric absorbs moisture more effectively, thereby keeping your nether region dry. 
  • Change underwear after working out. Of course, it goes without saying that leaving your sweaty underwear on until it dries is unhygienic. It also invites bacterial growth, so always bring spare underwear when you head to the gym. 
  • Don’t wear tight-fitting pants that may restrict blood and air circulation to your vaginal area.
  • If you have discharge, be sure to change your underwear. Otherwise, try changing your underwear at least twice a day to keep your area clean and fresh. 

Menstruation

When you’re on your monthly period, you still need to wash your vulva daily. But if you’re worried about the potential odour, you can opt to wash the outer layer of your vagina more than once a day. 

In terms of tampons or napkins, here’s what you need to know:

  • Be sure to change them three to five times daily, especially during heavy blood flow, to keep your area clean and fresh. 
  • Avoid buying scented pads, tampons, or liners as they may irritate your vagina.

In Cases of Infection

When you start to feel uncomfortable in your nether region, it’s best to go to women clinics 

to have it checked. Early detection is key to prevent severe damages. If you have a yeast infection, try to consume yoghurt or any food high in probiotics. Never apply topical solutions like home remedies directly to your vagina. Doing so may lead to further damage.

Remember to go for regular health screenings at the Recommended Gynae in Singapore to keep your sexual organ in tiptop condition.