By Dr. Gauri Karandikar Last Updated:
Vaginal hygiene is one area that gets every woman slightly uncomfortable and anxious. These doubts are not just about the awkwardness of getting physically intimate with their partner, but much beyond that. Uncomfortable questions related to intimate hygiene are things that no friend, book or Google can help you with.
If you are a little wary or have questions about your vaginal hygiene, do not panic. Here are all the basics that you need to know about intimate hygiene and health.
You will be amazed to know that nature has its own way of allowing the vagina to cleanse itself. The vaginal lining contains glycogen and healthy bacteria, which can produce natural protective chemicals, mainly lactic acid. These bacteria help to maintain an acidic environment (pH 3.8-4.5) that does not allow other infection-causing bacteria or harmful microbes to settle in.
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You might wonder, if nature has taken care of a woman’s intimate hygiene, then what can cause infections? The commonest causes are many, including humid weather, unhygienic practices, and multiple sexual partners. Tight synthetic undergarments, poor water intake and self-medication with antibiotics can predispose a girl to repeated vaginal infections. These infections cause foul-smelling secretions, difficulty in urination, and itching in private areas. In more serious cases, they are likely to ascend into the uterine cavity, and the tubes to cause deep-seated infections, leading to chronic abdominal pain, and can even hinder fertility.
Given the causes, vaginal infections can be quite a common occurrence. Therefore, maintaining good hygiene practice becomes a must. The private area can be cleaned using vaginal washes. These can be used once daily during a bath, or more often in humid conditions when the intimate area is likely to get moist or sticky. These washes contain lactic acid, which can aid the body’s natural defence mechanisms by maintaining the pH level, and thus keeping infections away.
However, vaginal washes should not be used as douches because they can spread infections internally. Also, they cannot be a substitute for treatment of vaginal infections, although they can be used as an adjuvant in these conditions.
Vaginal washes help to maintain hygiene and give a comfortable fresh feeling, but they do not lighten the skin. Darkening of the skin in private areas is caused because of sweating and keratinisation (scaling and peeling) of the skin, due to the use of harsh soaps. Wearing tight, synthetic undergarments for prolonged periods does not allow the skin to breathe, and retains the moisture from the sweat, causing infections and darkening. Maintaining hygiene and using a mild moisturiser will soothe the skin.
Remember, darkened skin should not be alarming, unless it is accompanied by some other signs. If you experience itching and burning of the darkened skin areas, it might be an indication of fungal infection that should not be overlooked. Also, foul-smelling vaginal discharges, painful urination, and pain during intercourse are also the warning signs of an infection. Infections need to be taken to task at the earliest, not just for your own health, but also for your married life, as they can affect your physical intimacy and fertility.
Hair removal in the private parts is a huge issue for many women. What is safe? What is correct? These and many such questions can be quite bothering. One thing that you must remember is that hygiene is of utmost importance for any process of bikini hair removal that you choose. Here are some commonly used methods, and their pros and cons:
Just choose the method that suits your pocket, never once ignoring the aspect of hygiene. No matter what method you choose, make sure it is followed up with the application of an antibacterial lotion. Check with your doctor in case you experience redness, itching or discomfort.
Recommended Read: 5 Natural Remedies To Lighten The Dark Skin In Your Pubic Area At Home
Apart from understating the major aspects of private health and hygiene, here are some points that you must remember:
So girls, there is no need to worry! Knowing the basics and keeping in mind some simple steps of maintaining hygiene can solve all your awkward queries.