How to practice good feminine hygiene

Vaginal hygiene is a taboo subject for most women, and as a result a lot of false information is shared. It’s important to know the facts about vaginal hygiene so you can keep your genitals clean and your reproductive tract healthy. Here’s more.

Keep underwear clean and dry

Not wiping the vagina after urinating can leave your underwear wet, which not only leads to bad odour, but also puts you at risk of vaginal infections. Change underwear at least once a day to ensure no bad bacteria builds up. You can also wear a pantyliner to absorb any discharge.

Regular changing of menstrual products

Women who have a normal blood flow should change their sanitary pads every 4-8 hours. If you’re using a tampon, change it every 4-8 hours. Cloth pads can be changed 4 – 5 hours and for menstruation cups, up to 12 hours. However, if you have heavy flow, then changing your menstrual products more frequently is highly recommended. If menstrual products aren’t changed for a long time, they can lead to skin rashes and bad odour. This can also put you at risk of infections, including toxic shock syndrome if you wear tampons.

Don’t ignore signs of vaginal infections

Don’t ignore any signs and symptoms of vaginal infections. Whether you have an unpleasant smell or excessive, coloured vaginal discharge, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing any itchiness or pain, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition- be sure to speak to your healthcare provider.

Wipe correctly

The right way to wipe the vagina is from front to back (the vagina to the anus) and not the other way round. This is to avoid spreading bacteria from the anus area to the vagina.

Avoid self-medicating

Many of us are unwilling to consult our healthcare provider when it comes to our vaginal health, resulting in quick home remedies and over-the-counter remedies as a solution. Most of the time, these methods aren’t effective. It’s best to consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication.

Practice safe sex

Unprotected sex carries the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, HPV, syphilis and HIV. Using protection such as condoms every time you have sex is the most effective way to prevent STIs, vaginal infections and unplanned pregnancies.

You can read other tips on vaginal health here.

Vaginal health is extremely important. Ignoring the problems related to poor vaginal hygiene can lead to serious health complications. Be aware of the signs and symptoms to ensure a healthy vagina.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).