Feminine Hygiene has been subject to a lot different methods over the years, from natural remedies to store bought cleansing to help avoid any forms of vaginal bacterial problems. I wanted to do this post because as women we have several different ways we keep ourselves clean. Whether it’s taught to us through culture or we learn from our peers. It’s a conversation that is rarely had in the open and mostly in between familiar people, so to break the ice I’ve written a public post.
Our vagina is such a delicate part of our body as it’s controlled by our PH balance. The pH level of your vagina — whether it’s acidic or basic — plays an important part in determining whether it’s healthy. the normal PH of our vagina is between 3.8 – 4.5. Having a PH higher than 4.5 can potentially lead to vaginal issues such as:
- Thrush = Yeast infection (Vulva itch, cottage-cheese like discharge &more)
- BV = Bacterial Vaginosis (unpleasant smell, discolored discharge & more)
Our PH can be disrupted by other practices such as:
- Taking Antibiotics
- Every day practices (see below)
While this may all sound grim, there are simple everyday steps you can take that can help you maintain good hygiene and prevent any vaginal problems.
(Please note that I have done my own research and personally do the steps below)
1. Avoid Douching
Douching is a device that flushes water up your vagina using a particular solutions such as vinegar and baking soda.
This is usually known to help improve the smell as it clears out the bad bacteria, however the strength of the vinegar and baking soda also clear out the good bacteria. This is what affects the PH balance and could potentially lead someone to an infection.
2. Avoid Tight clothing
Tight clothing can lead to excessive sweating. Moisture in the vaginal area can lead to the growth of bacteria, which can then lead to the growth of yeast.
You are advised (as per the NHS website) to wear loose fitting clothing and breathable underwear, so that you avoid producing excessive moisture in the area.
Growing yeast bacteria? We do NOT want that!
3. Avoid Scented Products
Now, I’m sure we’ve heard a lot about these companies that release vaginal products which are made to improve the vaginal health as well as the smell, what they don’t tell you is that it can worsen the condition.
Instead use unscented products & change your diet to a more healthy option.
4. Clean yourself before AND after sex
Many of you will read this and think ‘duh!’, however you would be surprised how in the heat of the moment, many people will not take the time out to clean themselves before or even after sex. This is to avoid present bacteria from mixing with other foreign bacteria from the sexual partner.
Bodily fluids that are exchanged during sex could lead to further bacterial infections if not cleaned right away.
5. Avoid Soap
It’s not advised to use soap to wash your vagina as it can cause disruption to the PH levels. The NHS also advise against using gels and antiseptics as they can be just as harmful.
Instead use plain water as the vagina is a self-cleaning.
In addition to the list above, there are more ways you can improve your vaginal health naturally. Let’s take on board these tips and prevent ourselves from suffering at the hands of bacterial infections which could be very unpleasant (lol). Feel free to add some more of your own practices below or how different you’d maintain good vaginal health.
Make sure you stay fresh for the summer and beyond !
Sources: http://www.NHS.co.uk / http://www.medicalnewstoday.com / http://www.kidshealth.org