There are vaginal hygiene tips every woman needs to know for vaginal health. The Vagina is dark, moist, and closed off most of the day. These factors are very conducive for the growth of harmful bacteria which can create odor and other vaginal abnormalities.
Therefore, when it comes to the health of the Vagina, it’s essential for women of all ages to be very meticulous and consistent with maintaining their cleanliness.
However, no matter how clean and healthy a woman’s Vagina is, it will always have a distinct smell that’s natural and innate. The vagina naturally has a particular scent, which vary from person to person, influenced by your clothing’s material, your diet and how much you’re hydrated.
Here are 11 different Vaginal hygiene tips you need to know
1. Regular check-ups by a gynecologist
Regular check-ups by your trusted gynecologist are essential for vaginal health. If you notice abnormal discharge with a foul smell, contact your gynecologist immediately. Gynecologists offer valuable information on how to keep up the cleanliness of the vaginal area and recommend feminine hygiene products according to a woman’s specific pH level.
Furthermore, during the check-ups, the gynecologist checks the vaginal area for anything abnormal. In case any vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases are diagnosed, they will be treated accordingly.
Sexually active women should visit a gynecologist at least twice a year for a routine pap smear.
2. Practice safe sex
Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of any sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and Syphilis that are transmitted by genital fluids.
However, a condom can only cover so much and offer less protection against STDs spread through skin-to-skin contacts like genital warts, genital herpes, and syphilis. For this reason, get tested for STD/STIs, and make sure your partner’s been tested, too.
3. Trim it down
Pubic hair traps sweat and drops of body secretion. It is therefore, a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause the vagina to have a ‘funky’ smell. Shave or trim your pubic hair often for excellent vaginal hygiene.
4. Cotton underwear / Keep the vagina dry
Cotton is breathable, making it an ideal fabric choice for underwear. It keeps down moisture, leaving your skin cool and dry. With breathable fabrics like cotton, you have a reduced risk of bacterial growth and infections. On the flip side, fabrics like satin retain moisture. That reduces airflow, creating irritation and friction. And that encourages yeast and bacteria growth, which can lead to infections. You should also change out of sweaty workout clothing and wet swimsuits to help prevent infections.
5. Go commando (underwear free Vagina)
Going underwear free is the best break you can give your Vagina. Wearing no underwear at night reduces sweat and odor-producing bacteria. Also, it’s more comfortable.
6. Keep the vagina Clean
Use wet wipes after each trip to the bathroom, to eliminate the scent of urine, sweat and natural discharge. Importantly, wipe from front to back until the wipes show no residue. That will help prevent bacteria from getting into the vagina.
Changing sanitary pads and tampons regularly during your period is a must. Avoid wearing panty liner all the time as they may cause some irritation. However, if you must wear them, change them frequently too.
7. Wash at least once a day
Make it a habit to shower at least once a day and before and after sex.
Regular scented soaps are drying and irritating to your vagina. Alternatively, utilize warm water and mild soap on the vulva and dry the area properly with a clean towel.
8. Douching is a big NO for optimal Vaginal hygiene
Your vagina knows how to clean itself by naturally producing some discharge that helps get rid of germs and bacteria from your body. Therefore, you don’t need to clean the inside of the Vagina.
Douching or using harsh cleaners or soaps only disrupt your natural pH balance and irritate your Vagina. This practice consequently washes away good bacteria that are beneficial to your Vagina.
9. Use fresh towels
Bacteria cling to the surface of used towels putting you at risk for an infection every time you reuse them. So clearly, it is wise to wash and replace towels and wash cloths with clean ones.
10. You are what you eat
What you eat can significantly influence how your Vagina smells. Some foods tend to cause unpleasant smell, especially spicy foods, alcohol, garlic, onions, cabbage, red meat and dairy.
For fresh smelling scent, consume lots of fresh citrus fruits like pineapple, watermelons and vegetables like cucumber and parsley. Foods like yogurt contain good bacteria that can help improve your vaginal health.
11. Hydration is key
Without a doubt, drinking lots of water, green and herbal teas will not only keep you hydrated but also flush out toxins that can cause odor. If you don’t like water, then try infusing it with lemon, berries or cucumbers.
What are you doing to ensure great vaginal hygiene?