In today’s hectic life, women tend to overlook their health especially the personal hygiene. Our race from home to collage/ work lands us into so many heath issues, which may initially seem minor, but if not taken in consideration can develop into major ones in no time. While I read this quote in one of the famous publication, I thought of sharing it with you, “Good personal hygiene is the first step to good health. It not only protects you from poor health, but also shields those around you from suffering illnesses that arise from poor personal habits”.
All I would advise you is take care of yourself. You are more important than anything or anyone else. Until you wouldn’t give precedence to yourself no one else will. I’m not asking you to keep beautifying yourself before the mirror all day long but take care of your health which may not affect your physical appearance but can be much more dangerous than that. The intimate area is alleged to be more sensitive to infections because of different reasons. These include the skin around this area being more delicate. Hence this area needs specific care and attention. The basic trick is to keep the intimate area as dry as possible. It is recommended that after motions, you must wash up or wipe from front to back. This will help avoid germs entering the vagina. Dr Suman Bijlani a gynaecologist and obstetrician has few suggestions for hygiene in such an intimate area. Tip 1 # Dry yourself completely using toilet paper or a soft cloth after use of toilet. Tip 2 # Change sanitary pads frequently (every 4 to 6 hours during the day). Tip 3 # Report abnormal (thick/stains clothes/itchy/smelly/yellow or green or blood stained) vaginal discharge immediately. Tip 4 # Avoid scrubbing. Clean the private parts gently. Tip 5 # Use lubrication during sex if needed. (Dry sex can cause friction and abrasions which can lead to infection). Tip 6 # Urinate and clean your private parts immediately after intercourse. Then dry yourself. Tip 7 # Remove pubic hair at regular intervals or keep it well trimmed so cleansing is easy. Tip 8 # Obese women have more infections. So, maintaining a healthy weight helps. Tip 9 # Avoid sex if your partner has active genital or urinary infection. Grandma’s tip: Back in the day, women were suggested to sleep without their underwear, so that the vagina area remains dry. There are certainly few myths which keep doing the rounds but I would like you to eradicate them from your mind. These myths include: # Talc should be used daily. # Scrub hard so that you are cleaner. # Douching keeps you clean. # Soap and water is the best way to clean this area.
The vagina is acidic and naturally has healthy bacteria which protect us from infections. Soaps are alkaline and this may disturb this delicate pH balance and the healthy vaginal bacteria. Also, some soap is harsh and may cause irritation. The delicate area needs a gentle pH balanced cleanser which protects better against harmful bacteria and fungus. According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) douching can change the delicate balance of vaginal flora (organisms that live in the vagina) and acidity in a healthy vagina. One way to look at it is, in a healthy vagina there are both good and bad bacteria. A balance of the level of bacteria types helps maintain an acidic environment. Any changes can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria which can lead to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. Plus, if you have a vaginal infection, douching can push the bacteria causing the infection further up into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Women must take out time of their personal hygiene and follow the tips mentioned here! ———— About the Author: This article has been contributed by Ariba Saeed, our intern. Ariba is a graduate from St.Stephen’s College, Delhi, an institute which gave her wings to fly high in sky. At present she is pursuing PG Diploma in Public Relations from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan with an anticipation of churning her career dilemma. She is an optimistic soul who not only preaches optimism but lives with it every day. Her mother is her idol of patience, strength and hope. Her writing is plagiarism free as it comes straight from her heart.