Is Intimate Hygiene Important?
Intimate hygiene is an essential part of our everyday lives, demanding a more gentle approach than our other bodily cleaning processes. Feminine hygiene is particularly important as it helps to prevent infection and promote confidence during sexual encounters, while male hygiene is equally vital in order to prevent unpleasant smells and infections, enhancing your confidence for more enjoyable bedroom fun!
Thanks to advances in modern technology and research, nowadays many intimate hygiene products are designed for use on sensitive parts of the body such as the genitals, allowing effective cleansing on a variety of skin types and pH balances with minimal risk of side-effects. This is important for your most intimate areas, which require a specific kind of treatment - for example, the vagina has a low acidic level thanks to the bacteria lactobacilli, and therefore requires a gentle, non-irritating cleanser which will not affect the area’s natural pH level.
Implications Of Poor Sexual Hygiene
Lack of intimate 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.
Female Intimate Hygiene
Where feminine hygiene is concerned, it’s important to remember that your pH balance is at its lowest during the days before your period – making your intimate areas more prone to infection if not kept clean. To avoid potential irritation, it’s best to maintain a healthy washing routine using suitable products which may include:
1. Cotton underwear - allows your skin to breathe.
2. Regular changing of your sanitary pads and tampons - to help prevent the spread of bacteria (it’s recommended that you change these every 2-4 hours).
3. Avoid the use of strong or direct stream of water on the vagina - this can lead to harmful bacteria entering the vagina and spreading, leading to pain and discomfort.
Factors Affecting Female Sexual Hygiene
Feminine hygiene is affected by various factors including hormonal changes, menstruation, illness, pregnancy, physical activity and type of underwear you 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 the vagina itchy and wet, causing discomfort and poor feminine hygiene. Loosening of vaginal muscles during pregnancy and childbirth can also affect intimate hygiene in women. Constant vaginal douching can affect the pH balance in the intimate areas and make it prone to yeast infections.
Maintaining Feminine Hygiene
Cleaning the genital area, including the 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 feminine hygiene products must be used to clean the vagina daily. While washing, you should only clean the external genital area that includes vulva, clitoris and anus. Internal genital area is self-cleaning and hence mustn't 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 as 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 or odour of vaginal discharge.
Maintaining feminine hygiene becomes more important during menstruation. Wash the genital area at least once a day and change tampons and pads every 4 to 6 hours. It’s important to choose the right kind of sanitary products keeping in mind your comfort throughout the day. In the 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.
Male Intimate Hygiene
Male intimate hygiene is equally important, and it’s advisable to take particular care after training, gym sessions and sexual activity, while maintaining a healthy intimate hygiene routine during your daily life. It’s important to keep your genitals dry whenever possible to protect them from the effects of humidity, promoting freshness and preventing the occurrence of unpleasant smells and the spread of bacteria.
In recent years, male grooming has become increasingly popular, so it’s important to keep up appearances by using the best products available to maintain your private parts – ensuring a pleasant looking and smelling area for maximum enjoyment for both parties during sexual encounters!
Factors Affecting Male Sexual Hygiene
Sweat and bacteria build-up is one of the contributing factors to male intimate hygiene problems. Tight underwear or the fabric of underwear used can also lead to dampness in the genital areas leading to infections like the Jock itch. In the case of athletes, sharing towels or not maintaining dryness in the groin area can be a favourable breeding ground for bacteria. Poor sexual hygiene can be the cause of various sexually transmitted infections (STI) in males too.
Maintaining Male Intimate Hygiene
Washing up after a sexual intercourse is a good idea to maintain intimate hygiene. For those who aren't circumcised, washing the area below the foreskin is also important to get rid of any residue and minimise the risk of bacterial infections or STIs. Using the same underwear by changing the sides isn’t going to keep you clean, it’s vital that you wear clean and washed underwear every day to maintain intimate hygiene. Fabrics like cotton or others that have moisture wicking properties should be preferred to keep the genital area clean and dry and prevent infections like the jock itch.
Checking your penis regularly whilst in the shower is a good practice to stay aware of any possible blisters or bumps that can be caused due to bacteria formation. Using deodorisers to improve odour in the genital area must be avoided. These may often contain chemicals that can cause irritation. Cleaning with gentle intimate washes or mild soaps should suffice. Avoid tight fitting clothes to prevent sweat build up.
Natural Products For Maintaining Intimate Hygiene
For feminine hygiene, there are several sanitary products that you can choose from – sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups. These are usually chosen based on the level of flow and the kind of activities you’re engaged in. Sanitary pads need to be changed frequently while tampons last a bit longer.
However, disposing them when you’re outdoors can be cumbersome. Some women have experienced vaginal infections and irritation when using these products. Menstrual cups have become increasingly popular because they’re reusable, and easy to remove, clean and reinsert. For many women, menstrual cups are more convenient, comfortable and hygienic. Moreover, you can use them during swimming and can be worn up to 12 hours.
Most infections in intimate areas are caused due to an imbalance in the pH level. Intimate washes help regulate the pH balance to an optimum 3.5 and thus keep infections at bay. Intimate washes formulated with natural ingredients are gentle on the intimate areas and thus soothe any irritation and itching and prevent foul odour. Perfumed soaps or body washes may affect the pH balance and hence should be replaced with natural intimate washes to maintain intimate hygiene.
Just like your wet wipes, intimate wipes are designed for convenient intimate care. Intimate wipes come in handy when you want to clean up during a date night or while on the go. Natural oils used in these wipes help eliminate odour and keep you smelling fresh. They also help prevent dryness, irritation and itching in the intimate areas.
Intimate care gels and lotions
These help maintain the vaginal flora and prevent dryness and infections. These can be used frequently to maintain intimate hygiene, especially when using public toilets. Lotions and gels can be used along with wipes after every visit to the toilet. Using them twice a day ensures optimal intimate care.
Intimate hygiene sprays
These are designed to take care of male sexual hygiene. Besides keeping your manhood clean, the sprays keep you smelling fresh and enhance the pleasure during oral sex.
The Final Word
Intimate hygiene products are an essential part of the grooming routine, and not just because they keep you clean – maintaining cleanliness and freshness can help boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable in sexual encounters, allowing you to enjoy enhanced intimacy with your partner and giving your close moments an added bit of fizz!