Vaginal Hygiene
The Basic Steps To Good Vaginal Health

vaginal hygiene, vaginal health, vaginal infection, vaginal itching

Just like overall hygiene for other parts of the body, proper vaginal hygiene requires our special attention. While women today spend a lot on their facial care, make-up and other grooming products, the very important intimate area is often neglected.

Like our digestive system, which contains "friendly" gut bacteria, our vagina also has this"friendly" bacteria which produces an acid known as lactic acid. This acid maintains a healthy environment in the intimate area and prevents the growth of "unfriendly" bacteria or yeast which can cause an infection.

Not surprisingly, these "friendly" or good bacteria are considered guardians of the vagina and maintaining their optimum balance is the basics of good vaginal hygiene.

When this acidic environment is disturbed, there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the genital region. Such a condition easily leads to a vaginal infection that can cause discomforts such as foul odor, itching, irritation and burning.

What are the common factors that can affect our vaginal health?

Menopause

Vaginal infections are more common among woman of menopausal age. This is due to the changing hormonal levels (vaginal estrogen) that occurs at pre-menopause or post menopause. Drop in estrogen levels causes the vaginal lining to be thinner and drier. The vaginal walls become more delicate and are prone to tears and cracks making them more susceptible to an infection. Delicate vaginal tissues are also one of the main causes of vaginal burning during sex.

Clothing

Women who wear tight undergarments or jeans for prolonged periods have a higher risk of getting an infection. This is due to the increase in moisture levels which promote the growth of "unfriendly" bacteria.

Choose cotton panties over synthetics. The natural fibers absorb moisture in the crotch area and promote air circulation, thereby reducing vaginal sweating. If you have to wear pantyhose as part of your office attire, choose one that has a cotton crotch. Better still wear thigh-high panty hose instead.

And go au naturel when you sleep. Your vagina is being wrapped up in at least 2 layers of clothing most of the day. Give it a chance to breathe when you are resting.

Change out of wet or sweaty clothing as soon as possible. Moisture trapped in the vaginal and groin area encourages bacteria to thrive, leading to vaginal yeast infection, smelly vaginal odor, vaginal pimples and vaginal boils.

Menstrual Cycle

It is especially important to maintain good daily vaginal hygiene during menstruation to prevent irritation and foul vaginal odor. Change soiled sanitary napkins and tampons frequently. Wash the vaginal area with a ph balanced feminine wash or wipe with unscented feminine wipes before putting on a fresh pad.

Panty liners are fantastic, but be aware that they keep moisture and odor in. So change them often. If you experience allergic reactions to them like vaginal itching, it is best to change brands or avoid using them.

Condom

Allergies to the rubber in condoms can disturb the natural acidic environment and increases the risk of vagina infections. Switching to polyurethane condoms can help to alleviate the problem. And always wash the vaginal area with a mild feminine wash after sexual intercourse

Douching

Douching the vagina is not necessary as it  is self-cleansing. In fact frequent douching with scented feminine hygiene products upsets the harmoniously balanced vaginal flora. According to Women.webmd douching can actually increase the risk of infections such as bacterial vaginosis, causes pregnancy complications and other health problems.

Diet

Eating a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and yogurt every day is the easiest way to maintain optimum vaginal health and hygiene.

Try to limit your intake of white bread, white rice and sweetened beverages. Instead, eat more wholesome foods such as brown rice and whole meal bread and drink at least eight glasses of plain water daily. Change in diet will not only help to maintain a healthy vagina but your overall health as well.

Basic vaginal hygiene techniques

  • Bathe daily taking care to wash the intimate area with a pH balanced feminine wash.
  • Trim pubic hair regularly as they trapped moisture and odor.
  • Make it a habit to wipe the genital area with unscented tissue or feminine wipes after urinating. Doing so keep the vagina clean and dry and prevents vaginal itching and odor
  • Wipe from front to back after bowel movement (from back of vagina to anus) to reduce the risk of bacteria from the anus from entering the vagina.

Adopting these vaginal hygiene and health tips can help to prevent a lot of vaginal health problems. Even the pain associated with an infected vaginal cyst can be better managed with proper vagina care.

Just because your vagina is out of sight it does not mean it should be out of mind too. Remember that paying attention to your intimate area is something you owe yourself!

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