How to have a good intimate hygiene?
Intimate hygiene, in addition to providing a feeling of comfort and cleanliness, prevents the proliferation of bacteria and therefore prevents certain pathologies and infections. Intimate hygiene has a great role to play in the intimate health of the woman, with daily gestures that can prevent infections in the vulva and vagina.
It is therefore important, from a young age, to take the right steps to preserve intimate hygiene and vaginal flora.
However, be careful not to wash your intimate area too aggressively, too often or with products that are not suitable.
What is intimate hygiene?
Intimate hygiene corresponds, as its name indicates, to the care of the intimate parts of the body. In women, the vulva is composed of a fragile mucous membrane that must be washed daily in a gentle manner with adapted products or with clear water. This area requires special attention because it serves as protection for the vagina and uterus.
The vagina is composed of a vaginal flora with several types of bacteria that develop and live in harmony. It is important to know that the vagina "cleans itself" thanks to the vaginal fluids produced during the cycle so that any "bad" bacteria are evacuated to avoid developing infections.
The balance of the vaginal flora is very fragile and requires special attention!
An unbalanced vaginal flora exposes the mucosa to infections. Indeed, the vaginal flora is composed of lactobacilli which are bacteria naturally present in the vagina, and which prevent microbes from developing by creating a "protection" on the vaginal mucosa. If the flora is unbalanced, either because of bad hygiene habits or during certain periods: pregnancy, antibiotics, menstruation,..., the number of lactobacilli can be reduced, which can lead to an overgrowth of germs, irritations or infections.
It is therefore very important to pay attention to your personal hygiene by adopting simple gestures and banning others.
Which habits to adopt for a good intimate hygiene?
To have a good intimate hygiene, some councils are to apply:
- Use products adapted for the intimate toilet like intimate gels or dermatological breads without perfume and hypoallergenic!
- One wash a day is enough. If you wish to make several, rinse only the intimate zone with clear water and limit yourself to two toilets per day
- Wash by hand because washcloths encourage the growth of bacteria and germs. If you still prefer a washcloth, wash it after each wash
- Whether in the bathroom, in the shower or when you get out of the shower: always soap and wipe yourself from front to back to avoid the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina
- When you get out of the shower, wipe yourself with a cotton towel using gentle patting motions
- Change your underwear every day
- Choose cotton underwear (organic if possible), rather than synthetic materials
- During the menstrual period, change your sanitary protection very regularly and avoid tampons which tend to dry out the vaginal mucosa which is already drier during this period. Favour sanitary towels or menstrual panties made of organic cotton that let your vagina breathe and preserve your vaginal microbiota
- Consult a gynecologist or a midwife regularly
What are the gestures to be avoided for your intimate hygiene?
On the other hand, some gestures should be avoided:
- Do not use conventional shower gel, shampoo or other products not adapted to the mucous membranes (scrub, ...). Do not use Marseille soap because it is too aggressive and dehydrating for this fragile area
- Avoid intimate wipes
- Avoid intimate deodorants
- Avoid too frequent use of intimate toilets
- Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight, which encourages the development of bacteria due to friction and lack of ventilation
- Avoid keeping wet clothes or bathing suits on for a long time because heat and humidity encourage the development of bacteria
- Do not wash the inside of the vagina! As we have seen previously, the vagina cleans itself. This would only unbalance its flora, which will promote infections
Do not hesitate to ask your doctor or gynecologist for advice to avoid the inconveniences linked to an imbalance of the vaginal flora.
If you suffer from recurrent mycosis or vaginal dryness:
Some women are prone to recurrent yeast infections. In addition to the advice already given, we recommend that you choose slightly alkaline intimate hygiene products, which create an atmosphere that is less conducive to the establishment of the infection and limit the risk of recurrence. It is also important to urinate before and after sexual intercourse to avoid the proliferation of bacteria, which also helps prevent cystitis. In addition, whether at the pool or at the beach, avoid wearing a wet bathing suit because, as we have seen previously, this promotes the proliferation of bacteria. It is therefore advisable to put on a dry bathing suit or panties to sunbathe as soon as you get out of the water.
In the case of vaginal dryness, it is advisable to use products enriched with natural active ingredients and moisturizers that calm the sensations of discomfort and limit pain during sexual relations.
You can also opt to take probiotics provided in pharmacies. They will help your vaginal flora to build up good bacteria!
Do not hesitate to consult a health professional if you have any questions!
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