Hygiene Tips for a Healthy Vagina

Obinwannem News Hygiene Tips for a Healthy Vagina

Hygiene Tips for a Healthy Vagina

Dr. Sandra Nnamani

To maintain a healthy vagina you must know what to do to avoid infection and it is equally important to educate your sexual partner on some of them to also help you keep the vagina clean and healthy.

Here are a few things you can do or avoid.

Obinwannem News
Hygiene Tips for a Healthy Vagina
  1. Fingering

During foreplay or romance, as part of it, some people insert their finger or fingers into the vagina. The question is, how many people wash their hands before sexual intercourse?

Some people do not even keep their nails clean so it gathers a lot of germs and during the fingering, these germs are deposited in the vagina leading to infection. Same thing applies to auto pleasure acts or masturbation.

  1. Anal sex

I am not here to tell anybody to have anal sex or not to but I simply want to draw the attention of those who engage in anal sex with the opposite sex that it is dangerous to have anal sex and continue having penovaginal sex.

If this is done, the penis will pick bacteria from the anus and deliver them to the vagina even if you are using a condom which will lead to infection.

  1. Keeping the vagina tight

Some women worry about the state of their vagina; some because their sexual partners complain that it’s too big and they no longer feel any sensation during intercourse.

Some ladies are therefore pushed to find a quick solution and in the process, some use herbs or other substances in the vagina with the hope of making the vagina tight. Some of these substances cause infection or sepsis.

Some of the herbs can cause the vagina to get tighter to the extent that penetration is no more possible. This will require treatment.

  1. Douching

Some parents, when bathing their baby girls put warm water in a milk tin or dip a towel in the warm water and pour the water through a hole made beneath the tin or squeeze the water out of the towel into the vagina of the baby. This is so wrong as it can damage the hymen.

Some parents also insert ginger or pepper or both into the vagina of adolescents as a form of punishment. This is equally wrong and can lead to infection.

Some people are used to bathing by adding dettol or other detergents to the water and they put this solution inside the vagina using a sponge or towel or just the hand with soap to clean the vagina. This is wrong as it will alter the normal flora in the vagina leading to infection.

  1. Use of water closet

Some people have the habit of not sitting on the seat of the WC when using it so they end up urinating on the seat. The possibility of picking infection when using it in that condition is high. Don’t let your panty be at the thigh level when using the WC especially the public ones as the inner of the panty may rub the surface of the WC.

Where the water is not running and people have used but have not flushed and you don’t have any choice but to also use it, use enough toilet roll to cover before using the WC to avoid any splashes on the vulva.

  1. Washing and Drying

Develop the habit of disinfecting your panties frequently depending on the number of panties you have. Keep exclusive panties to wear whenever you are menstruating and don’t mix those panties with your regular panties.

Pay particular attention to those panties when washing. Ensure that the panties are made of cotton and are dried in the sun or well ironed to kill germs.

Use plain soap and water instead, preferably lukewarm water to wash the area around the vagina. A douche is a device that flushes up water into the vagina to clean vaginal secretions.

Practice safe sex

Unprotected sex carries the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, warts, syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hence, using protection such as condoms every time you have sex is one of the simplest and effective ways to prevent STIs and vaginal infections and unwanted pregnancies. But before you use one, check if you are allergic to the material of the condom and pick the one that suits you.

Also, avoid using lubes during the act as it can damage the vagina and also put you at risk of infections. The use of lubricants, which contains glycerin, can damage or irritate the vaginal cells, which in turn, ups the risk of STDs such as herpes and HIV[2]. If your partner suffers from any sexually transmitted disease, then it is advised to abstain from sex till the time the symptoms subside or as recommended by your doctor. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Avoid using soap while washing your vagina.
Avoid using harsh soaps or scented soaps to clean the vagina. The use of soaps laden with harmful chemicals such as glycerol, perfumes and antiseptics can affect the healthy balance of the bacteria in the vagina. Moreover, it can also change the pH in the vaginal region, which can cause irritation and lead to the growth of unhealthy bacteria. Instead use plain soap and water, preferably lukewarm water to wash the area around the vagina.

Clean the vagina after intercourse without fail, make it a habit to clean the vagina every time after indulging in sex. This is because body fluids and particles from condoms can cause irritation. Also, not cleaning up after the act can make you prone to vaginal infections. So always clean the vagina after sex with water to prevent infections like urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Change sanitary pads after 4-6 hours. According to a Delhi-based gynecologist Dr. Nupur Gupta, women who have normal blood flow should change a sanitary napkin every four-six hours. The same applies to the days when you have light blood flow. However, if you have a heavy flow during menstruation then changing sanitary pads every 3-4 hours is a must. If you are using a tampon, then change it every six hours without fail. Also, clean the area every time you visit a washroom during menstruation.

If sanitary napkins or tampons are not changed for a long time, it can lead to skin rashes and bad odour. In certain cases, it can also put you at risk of infections. Also, some women tend to use reusable cloth pads, which need to be washed and dried properly before using it.

Some people try to economize the use of their sanitary pads so during the period they tend to still wear the pad because there is little or no blood. This is so wrong as it can lead to infection.

Keep the undergarments dry.
Not wiping the vagina after urinating can cause the panties to get wet, which can not only lead to bad odour but put you at risk of vaginal infections. Hence, it is always advised to wipe the area using toilet paper or soft cloth so your underwear is always dry.

The vaginal fluid or discharge is a part of a healthy vaginal environment. The use of products such as talcum powder or excessive wiping of the vagina can make it very dry which can cause itchiness and vaginal dryness. It can also lead to pain during sex and make it prone to injury. Moreover, according to a research study .it was reported that perineal use of talcum powder can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.

NB: If there is any bad scent from the vagina or there is a discharge coming from the vagina, then it might be an infection for which you have to get treatment.

Vladimir Chimaobi Ugwu reporting, Obinwannem News

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