All around the globe, women use different intimate hygiene products every day. These practices differ due to cultural norms, personal choice, religious norms, geographical regions, and also guidance from a health care professional. Even though, there is abundant information about women’s genital health and what intimate hygiene practices to do. So little medical information is available or published on the internet about women's intimate hygiene and it plays a vital role in women’s health and wellness.
Today we are here to discuss what is intimate hygiene, what is vulvovaginal health, and what role female intimate hygiene plays in vulvovaginal health. So with further ado, let’s dig in.
What is intimate hygiene?
Intimate hygiene is all about keeping private body parts clean and hygienic. There are several ways to do so but half of the women population isn’t aware of the need for female intimate hygiene. Intimate hygiene is a big part of women's health and wellness.
What is vulvovaginal health?
Vulvovaginal health is an important segment of women’s overall health. It is very important to have a healthy vagina as vaginal problems can lead to many severe vaginal infections like Bacterial vaginosis, Yeast infections, severe itching, rashes, and many more. So prioritizing female genital health is very important.
Physiology of the vulvovaginal area-
The vulva protects the genital tract from getting infections. There are vulvar folds that hold all the containments and cause too much moisture, menses, hormonal fluctuations, and sweat causing bacterial growth and resulting in vulvovaginal infections.
Mons pubis, clitoris, labia & perineum- keratinized, stratified squamous structure with a sebaceous gland, hair follicles & sweat glands
- Vulvar vestibule mucosa- Non-keratinized
3.5 to 4.73
- Lipophilic and non-lipophilic diphtheroids
- coagulase-negative staphylococci, micrococci, and lactobacilli
- Gram-negative rods
- Gram-negative bacilli
- Gardnerella vaginalis
- Fibromuscular canal made up of mostly of smooth muscle with a lining of a glandular, non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium.
Reproductive age- 3.8 to 4.4
Menopause- 6.5 to 7.O
- Gardnerella vaginalis,
- Lactobacillus spp
- Leptotrichia spp
- Atopobium vaginae
- Megasphaera spp
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Candida albicans
Symptoms of Vulvovaginal Disorders
- Burning sensation
- Pungent smell
- Soreness in your genital area
- Severe itching and abnormal discharge
- Painful intercourse
- Ache around the vagina
Guidelines on Female Intimate Hygiene
Every woman should clean and wash their vaginal area once a day with water and vaginal hygiene wash. But don’t overwash the area as they can cause vulvar symptoms. Use hypoallergic liquid wash which has a pH level of 4.2 to 5.6. Never use regular scented or coloured bar soap to clean your vaginal area.
- Do not apply regular talcum powders on or near your vagina.
- Always change your tampons or sanitary pads frequently as they can cause irritation and bacterial growth.
- Apply intimate hygiene mists or perfumes for keeping your ‘V’ fresh and odourless.
- Do not wear too tight panties as it will restrict air and blood circulation. Always wear cotton or silk underwear as lace panties are fashionable but not that preferable as daily wear. Change your underwear frequently.
- Do not wear panties overnight as it increases the risk of getting bacterial and yeast infections.
- Clean your vagina after and before having physical intercourse, especially the clitoris and vulva folds.
- Always use a safe method for removing your pubic hair. Try to avoid any scarring or cuts while shaving.
- Do not use any antiseptic cream in your genital area.
- Mostly wear light-coloured underpants as dark colours like blue or black may react to your vagina and cause rashes and allergies.
- Try not to wear nail varnish if you tend to scratch your vaginal area.
The Final Verdict
Already women have included intimate hygiene in their daily routine. Nowadays, different personal and intimate hygiene products are available in the market which will help you in maintaining your overall hygiene. Always prefer products that are made of natural ingredients to avoid any bad reactions.