For many women sexual hygiene is nothing more than trimming pubic hair regularly. But, there is more to maintaining a healthy, clean and pleasant smelling vagina. While it is true that the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, it would be wrong to perceive that it doesn’t require maintenance.
Factors affecting female sexual hygiene
Female sexual hygiene is affected by various factors including hormonal changes, menstruation, illness, pregnancy, physical activity and type of underwear they wear. During menstruation, using tampons or pads for long hours can lead to infections or unpleasant smell. Vaginal discharge due to hormonal changes throughout the cycle can make vagina itchy and wet, causing discomfort and poor hygiene. Loosening of vaginal muscles during pregnancy and childbirth can also affect sexual hygiene in women.
Implications of poor sexual hygiene
Lack of female sexual hygiene can be a major sex life killer. It can result in bad odour, itching, rashes and bacterial infections that are enough to put your partner off. Poor sexual hygiene can also create discomfort for yourself, landing you into embarrassing situations in public. Clearly it’s worth considering a clean-up. Here are few tips that might help you maintain sexual hygiene
Maintaining female sexual hygiene
Cleaning the genital area, including anus, regularly is essential. However, douching is totally unnecessary as it can change the natural acidic balance of the vagina, making it vulnerable to bacterial infection. Mild soap or female hygiene product like Nirena must be used to clean vagina daily. While washing, you should only clean external genital area that includes vulva, clitoris and anus. Internal genital area is self-cleaning and hence must not be washed. Rinse using warm water and then towel dry.
Some women feel uncomfortable during vaginal discharge and hence, turn to douching for cleanliness. However, you should avoid that at all costs as discharge is a necessary part of the body's regular functioning and is part of the self-cleaning process. Discharge not only keeps infections at bay but it also acts a natural lubricant. Clear to white coloured discharge is totally normal, but if it changes to yellow, then it can be a sign of infection. Immediately make an appointment with your health care provider if you notice any change in colour of vaginal discharge.
Maintaining female sexual hygiene becomes more important during menstruation. Wash the genital area at least once a day and change tampons and pads every four to six hours. It is important to choose the right kind of sanitary products keeping in mind your comfort throughout the day. In rest of the days, you can use panty liners to soak the discharge. Wear clean cotton underwear and change it daily. Avoid wearing damp underwear as it contributes to bacterial growth.