We take care of ourselves so much yet end up neglecting one important aspect of us- Our personal genital hygiene- Some due to carelessness and some due to ignorance. What we don’t realize is that by following some small measures we can prevent a lot of troubles later on. Most of the infections down there are due to poor hygiene. So here I am listing you out all the latest guidelines recommended by Middle east and Central Asia relating to genital hygiene which covers up all aspects mostly:

EXTERNAL WASH

  • Use of bar soaps with alkaline pH should be avoided.
  • Use of liquid soaps with lactic acid is known to maintain the skin pH and aid in effective development and maintenance of the skin cells- Use restricted to external use, not for vaginal douching.
  • Tissue and wipes can also be considered for cleansing.
  • Women may use odor controlling products like feminine deodorant sprays, body splashes, fragrances and feminine suppositories.
  • Talcum powder for odor control can be used.

VAGINAL DOUCHING

  • Inserting a device inside vagina for flushing liquids inside is known as vaginal douching.
  • Not recommended!

CLOTHING

  • Cotton undergarments only- breathable and renders circulation of air around external genitalia.
  • Change undergarments regularly.
  • Scented and colored toilet paper not recommended.

CARE DURING MENSTRUATION

Vaginal pH turns alkaline due to menstruation which causes heavy growth of non lactobacillus during day 1-5 of menstrual cycle.
Your vaginal flora gets instable due to this bacterial growth.

  • Tampons (tubes inserted in vagina), sanitary napkins and menstrual cups can be used.
  • Tampons and napkins shouldn’t be used for more than 6 hours.
  • Menstrual cups can be kept in place for 24 hours.

PRE- COITAL CARE

Sexual intercourse can lead to transmission of bacteria, discharge, sweat, menses, urine and fecal waste into female genitals

  • Prior to intercourse, clean external genitalia- vulva, folds of labia, clitoris.
  • Dry the area properly.
  • Avoid unnecessary cleaning and use of perfumes directly on skin.

POST COITAL CARE

  • Pass urine.
  • Clean the secretions.
  • Dry the external genitalia.
  • Wear comfortable undergarments.

MONS PUBIS HAIR CARE

  • Shaving, trimming, clipping, depilation, waxing, electrolysis and laser technology.
  • Trimming and clipping causes some adverse effects.
  • Shaving may cause bumps on skin.
  • Use of depilatories on regions outside bikini line can cause irritation.
  • Waxing can uproot hair- results persist for a longer duration.
  • Electrolysis- destroys hair root with electric current- pain, swelling, scarring and alterations in skin color may be seen.
  • Laser technology- light passes through skin and is absorbed by melanin in hair follicles. Heat generated by laser breaks the follicle and hair falls out. Adverse effect included- increased sensitivity, occasional peeling, blistering and burning of skin.

PREGNANCY CARE

Pregnant  women are reported to be more prone to genital infections that may place both mother and fetus at risk

  • Rinse external genital organs 2-3 times a day using warm water and cleansers containing lactic acid.

POSTPARTUM PERINEAL CARE

  • Use of ice, ultrasonic therapy and leg elevation recommended after pregnancy.
  • Regular cleansing, drying and using pads whenever required.
  • Maintain dryness over the suture.
  • DO NOT use creams over the suture.

HYGIENE FOR OLDER WOMEN

  • Good hygiene practice.
  • Regular doctor visits
  • Whole body wash with water at room temperature.
  • Heat baths (35-37 C).
  • Staying in open air.
  • Daily intimate washing with warm water.

Follow these simple things and stay clean and protected!

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