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