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Caring for your intimate area: A guide to women’s hygiene

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When it comes to discussing sexual health, many individuals tend to feel uneasy and uncomfortable. The topic often carries a certain level of social stigma and personal vulnerability, making it challenging for people to openly address their concerns, seek necessary information, or engage in meaningful conversations about sexual well-being.

Amid conversations surrounding women’s intimate health and well-being, the practice of feminine hygiene emerges as a captivating topic, capturing attention and curiosity from all genders. Contrary to its name, feminine hygiene encompasses more than just women, as its principles extend to men, reminding us that caring for our bodies knows no bounds of gender.

In Rwanda, when a child begins to acquire knowledge, they are taught how to perform various tasks, including personal hygiene practices like washing their hands, brushing their teeth, and maintaining cleanliness in intimate areas. This education emphasizes the importance of hygiene practices to prevent illnesses, such as infections, particularly in women’s intimate areas.

Different healthcare experts and reputable institutions, such as Healthline and Inspire, provide various guidelines and advice regarding feminine hygiene practices for women, especially in the intimate area.

Using clean water

The intimate area is sensitive and requires proper care because any negligence can lead to discomfort. This is why when a person practices intimate hygiene, they receive advice to start by understanding how to use water properly.

One reason is that improper water usage can cause the growth of harmful bacteria and infections. Another important point is that using cold water can also be harmful. If you have been using hot water, it is essential to adjust the temperature to avoid scalding.

Moreover, it is also known that using soap directly on the genitals can disrupt the natural pH balance and cause imbalances. If you have recently shaved, it is advisable to avoid using any soap.

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Water alone is said to be the safest to use while you are washing your private area

Using feminine wash

Due to advancements in science and technology, there are now various products available for maintaining intimate hygiene. One such product is a feminine wash designed specifically for intimate areas. It is used in a way that cleanses the area without affecting the natural moisture.

Another beneficial aspect of feminine wash products is that they contain “Lactobacillus,” which helps maintain a healthy vaginal environment. It is essential to choose products from trusted brands and consider your individual needs.

Experts in intimate hygiene recommend using feminine wash products without harsh chemicals to avoid any potential side effects, as not everything is suitable for the vaginal area.

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In case you might need one, use a feminine wash sold at pharmacies or one recommended by a doctor

Do not wash inside your vulva (Vagina)

Some women think that proper hygiene is washing inside their private area which is not the case. Using your fingers and other products inside your vagina is highly risky since it can cause infections, irritations, and even PH imbalance.

unrecognizable black man washing hands holding antibacterial soap in bathroom
You can only wash the outside of your vulva and not inside

Being particularly cautious during menstruation

During menstruation, it is essential to pay extra attention to personal hygiene. Dr. Nupur Gupta, an expert in women’s intimate health, suggests changing sanitary pads (Cotex) every four to six hours. Changing pads frequently is crucial to avoid discomfort and the risk of infections.

Using sanitary pads for an extended period can cause discomfort, bad odor, or even infection. It is important to use appropriate sanitary products, which are changed regularly during menstruation.

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Use pads or reusable sanitary pads

Cleaning the vagina after sexual intercourse

Every time you engage in sexual intercourse, it is necessary to clean your vagina afterward. Using water is recommended because there may be remnants of bodily fluids left in the area after the act.

One of the things doctors advise is to urinate after intercourse to prevent urinary tract infections, especially for women. By doing so, you can flush out any bacteria that might have entered the urethra.

It is also good practice to clean from front to back to avoid introducing bacteria from the anal area to the vagina.

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To prevent UTI’s wash your private area immediately after sexual intercause

Take care of your undergarments (Underwear)

The cleanliness of the private parts is closely related to the cleanliness of the your underwear. Underwear, should be washed well and dried in a sunny place.

In addition to cleanliness, you should also see if the underwear you wear is made of clothing that does not cause any problem. Underwear made of cotton are said to be of the preferable ones to wear.

facade of a house with colorful underwear hanging on the laundry line
You must always wear clean underwear

Seeking medical attention for any Issues

It is not uncommon for women to experience various vaginal issues, such as infections or other discomforts. In such cases, it is essential to seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional who can provide appropriate advice.

If you have any concerns or notice any abnormalities in your vaginal area, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. They can help diagnose and address different issues, including infections and conditions specific to the vaginal area.

Regular check-ups with a gynecologist or healthcare provider specializing in women’s health are also recommended. They can conduct routine examinations, answer questions, and provide guidance on maintaining optimal vaginal health.

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