It’s quite a basic thing, however not something we are taught at school. And that is personal and menstrual hygiene. Some of us go through most part of their lives doing what they have seen mothers and aunts and cousins do but are really in a fix when their little sister or daughter asks to questions things.
Well, I thought it best to put together some tips to ensure you feel good about yourself whether you are on your period or not!
Routine care of your vulva and vagina :
The vagina is the tube leading from the outside to your cervix and Uterus and the vulva is the area down below which is the entrance to the vagina.
Both of these need special care to keep them clean and healthy. If not given proper attention it can lead to repeated episodes of itching, bad smell and even long term skin problems.
What to wear?
- Try and avoid synthetic and tight underwear as it causes you to sweat more and locks the moisture in. Loose cotton panties are best for allowing air to reach your private parts. white coloured underwear is least irritant to the vulval skin. If u want to use dark coloured underwear wash it a few times before you start using it.
- Avoid very tight clothing for very long periods of time, unless necessary.
- If you do have to wear a tight dress or uniform at work try and spend the time at home without any underwear or loose cotton stuff.
- It is best to sleep without your underwear unless you are on your period.
- Change your underwear daily and its a good idea to buy new stuff every 6 months.
- Avoid panty liners on a regular basis.
How to wash?
The vulva is covered with skin so it needs routine hygiene measures. The vagina on the other hand has plenty of normal helpful bacteria. So its a good idea to not wash it very vigorously with jet of water or soap as that may cause the good bacteria also to be washed away.
- The vulva needs to be washed once a day. At the maximum you should wash the vulva and vagina twice a day but not more.
- There is no need to scrub very hard. It is best to avoid soap. Instead you can use a lactic acid based wash.
- Showering is better than soaking for long in a bath.
- After the bath or washing the vagina, let the vulva dry completely or dab it gently with a soft towel. A hair dryer on a cool setting can also be used to dry the vulva.
- Shampoos can irritate the vulval region. so be careful when you wash you hair and make sure the shampoo is completely washed off with water.
- It is best to avoid fabric softeners and Biological washing powders while washing your underwear.
And some more advice –
- Sometimes creams, even herbal ones can have something that may irritate your vulval skin. Try and avoid using them on the vulva or in the bath.
- There are emollients available that can be used on the vulva. They also act as a moisturizer. You can check with your doctor or pharmacy for one.
- If your partner uses condoms and you are regularly have itching after intercourse you may have allergy to the spermicide or lubricant being used.
- Avoid shaving pubic hair.Use a hair clipper instead.
Having lots of water everyday and including probiotics in your diet( yoghurt etc) also helps to keep you feeling better – overall and down below also!
Hope all this helps you in feeling good about yourself – Inside out !