Vaginal hygiene is of foremost importance to women because it not just prevents irritation and odors, it also keeps any kind of vaginal infection at bay. A healthy vagina is slightly acidic which helps in promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the vagina. These bacteria prevent infections from occurring. Any change in the vaginal ecosystem and the bacteria stop functioning optimally, leading to irritation and infections. To help the beneficial bacteria thrive, what you need is to keep the vagina clean and also at a suitable pH. We tell you here how to maintain vaginal hygiene so that you can keep your vagina clean and healthy.
How to Maintain Vaginal Hygiene
1. Choice of Clothes
Wear loose fitting bottom wear like skirts, loose or baggy trousers and shorts which are made from breathable fabrics like cotton. This will enable air circulation to your intimate areas.
Do not wear underwears made of synthetic fabrics. Also avoid tight fitting underwear. This will reduce chances of sweating around your vagina and thereby prevent any kind of infection.
Change your underwear when you are halfway through the day. After a day at work or an evening workout, shower and change your underwear since you do not want wear clothes that would have probably accumulated bad bacteria through the day.
Wash your vaginal area everyday to remove any infection causing bacteria. Do not use harsh soaps to do so. Use a mild soap or liquids specially formulated for feminine hygiene which are sold as intimate washes or vaginal washes. They do not disrupt the acidic pH of the vagina, are mild, non scented, hence irritation free.
Wash your vaginal area each time after using the toilet. Use a soft and unscented toilet paper to dry yourself. Always wipe from the front to back to prevent any infection from being caused by rectal bacteria.
Avoid douching the vaginal area as it may lead to an infection.
Make sure to clean your vagina with an vaginal wash after intercourse to prevent any kind of infection from bodily fluids or contraceptives.
Trim your pubic hair regularly for maximum hygiene and to prevent the vaginal area from accumulating humidity.
3. During Periods
Wash doubly well when you are menstruating, with a mild soap or a vaginal wash.
Always change your sanitary pad or tampon after every 5-6 hours. This will prevent any risk of infection or bad odor.
Remember to avoid scented sanitary products since the perfume in them can cause vaginal irritation. It doesn’t have to be perfumed since all we want is to avoid bad odor and not for the pad to smell good.
Read more about the best sanitary napkin brands here
4. Careful when using public toilets
When using public toilets, always use a disposable toilet seat cover to avoid contracting any infection from there.
Wash yourself well after using a public toilet.
5. Healthy diet
Eat a balanced diet since it is essential for vaginal and reproductive health.
Drinking cranberry juice helps you keep vaginal infections at bay. Read more about the health benefits of cranberry juice here.
Yogurt has probiotics which prevent vaginal yeast infections. Eat a cup of yogurt everyday to avoid getting any vaginal infection.
Read more about home remedies for vaginal yeast infection here
6. Safety during intercourse
Practice safety during intercourse by using condoms which will prevent any sexually transmitted infections or diseases.
7. Visit your gynecologist regularly
You need to have regular gynecological exams to maintain excellent vaginal health. So do not wait until you contract an infection but schedule regular exams to keep any infection or vaginal disorder at bay.
Follow these tips and you are sure to have a clean and healthy vagina.