In addition to providing a feeling of comfort and cleanliness, intimate hygiene helps to prevent the proliferation of bacteria, thus preventing certain pathologies and infections. Intimate hygiene has a major role to play in women's intimate health, with everyday gestures that help prevent infections of the vulva and vagina.
So it's important, from an early age, to take the right steps to preserve intimate hygiene and vaginal flora.
Be careful, however, not to wash your intimate area too aggressively, too often or with unsuitable products.
What is intimate hygiene?
As its name suggests, intimate hygiene is the care of the intimate parts of the body. For women, the vulva is made up of a fragile mucous membrane that needs to be gently cleaned daily with suitable products or plain water. This area requires special attention, as it serves to protect the vagina anduterus.
As far as s's concerned, the vagina is composed of a vaginal flora with several types of bacteria that s'develop and live there in harmony. It should be noted that the vagina " s'self-cleans" thanks to vaginal fluids produced during the cycle, so that any "bad" bacteria are evacuated to avoid developing infections.
The balance of vaginal flora is very fragile and requires special attention!
An unbalanced vaginal flora exposes the mucosa to infections. This is because the vaginal flora is made up of lactobacilli, bacteria naturally present in the vagina, which prevent microbes from developing by creating a "protective layer" on the vaginal mucosa. If the flora is unbalanced, whether as a result of poor hygiene habits or during certain periods: pregnancy, antibiotics, periods, etc., the number of lactobacilli can be reduced, which can lead to germ proliferation, irritation or infection.
That's why it's so important to pay attention to intimate hygiene, adopting some simple gestures and avoiding others.
What habits should you adopt for good intimate hygiene?
For good intimate hygiene, there are a few tips to follow:
- Use products suitable for intimate hygiene, such as fragrance-free, hypoallergenic intimate gels or dermatological lotions!
- One toilet a day is enough. If you wish to use more than one toilet, rinse only the intimate area with clean water and limit yourself to two a day.
- Wash by hand, as washcloths encourage the proliferation of bacteria and microbes. If you still prefer a washcloth, wash it after every wash.
- Whether you're using the toilet, showering or getting out of the shower: always soap and dry yourself from front to back to prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
- When you get out of the shower, pat yourself dry with a cotton towel.
- Change your underwear every day
- Choose cotton underwear (organic if possible) rather than synthetic materials
- During the periods period, change your sanitary pads regularly and avoid tampons, which tend to dry out the vaginal mucosa, which is already drier during this period. Choose sanitary pads or menstrual panties made from organic cotton, which allow your vagina to breathe and preserve your vaginal microbiota.
- See a gynaecologist or midwife regularly
What gestures should you avoid when washing your intimate parts?
On the other hand, lthere are a few things to avoid:
- Do not use conventional shower gel, shampoo or other products not suitable for mucous membranes (scrubs, etc.). Do not use Marseille soap either, as it is too aggressive and dehydrating for this fragile area.
- Avoid intimate wipes
- Avoid intimate deodorants
- Avoid too frequent use of the toilet
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing, which encourages the growth of bacteria through friction and lack of ventilation.
- Avoid keeping wet clothes or swimwear on for long periods, as heat + humidity encourage the development of bacteria.
- Don't wash the inside of the vagina! As we saw earlier, the vagina cleans itself. Doing so would only unbalance its flora, which would encourage infections.
Don't hesitate to ask your doctor or gynecologist for advice to avoid the inconveniences associated with unbalanced vaginal flora.
If you suffer from recurrent mycoses or vaginal dryness:
Some women are prone to recurrent mycoses. In addition to the advice already given, we recommend that you opt for slightly alkaline intimate hygiene products, which create an atmosphere less conducive to the establishment of infection and limit the risk of recurrence. It's also important to urinate before and after intercourse to avoid the proliferation of bacteria, which also helps prevent cystitis. What's more, whether you're at the pool or the beach, avoid wearing a wet bathing suit because, as we saw earlier, this encourages the proliferation of bacteria. So it's a good idea to put on a dry swimsuit or sunbathing pants as soon as you get out of the water.
In the case of vaginal dryness, we recommend the use of products enriched with natural, moisturizing active ingredients that calm sensations of discomfort and limit pain during intercourse.
You can also opt to take probiotics, available in pharmacies. They'll help your vaginal flora build up good bacteria!
Don't hesitate to consult a healthcare professional if you have any questions!