A healthy mind and body does not stop at being sane and disease- free. Being healthy also means feeling great and comfortable all day long. One of the basic ways to ensure a fresh feeling every day is to maintain a good personal hygiene.
What is personal hygiene?
For most people, personal hygiene includes monotonous activities such as brushing, flossing, bathing, and deodorizing. And that is all. However, personal hygiene is more than just keeping bad breath and body odor away.
As a woman, special care should be placed on feminine hygiene care. A word of caution, though, most feminine personal hygiene products are found to be on the verge of being unnecessary as the chemicals they contain do more harm than good. What the vagina needs is a set of pretty basic care.
Here are top basic personal hygiene tips that every woman should learn and must religiously follow:
The vagina has a natural discharge and oils. In reality, these are not bodily waste products and are, in fact, important in keeping the vagina protected against infections. Having these natural discharges is actually a natural process wherein the vagina self- cleanses its surfaces. Excessive washing and using feminine wash and soap strips the protective barrier created by the discharges. Although it may feel comfortable having scented genitalia, it actually leaves you more prone to infections that will later on produce odor and discomfort.
To properly cleanse the external genitals, what you need is warm water and a mild soap and remember to rinse the soap suds thoroughly. You also need to avoid cleaning the internal genitalia. Cleanse the vagina only when necessary such as after a comfort room trip.
During menstruation, it is natural that a woman feels uncomfortable especially with the wet and potentially bad smell feeling. A lot of women do douching to clean even inside the vagina to really have that clean feel. However, douching pushes bacteria and other menstrual debris back into the reproductive tract. This will ultimately lead to developing pelvic inflammatory disease that is very painful.
What a woman must during the red flag days is to cleanse the genitalia with warm water and mild soap just like on normal days. In choosing pads and tampons, it is best to choose unscented products to avoid exposing the genitalia to a lot of chemicals.
Every woman has a unique natural scent. This odor is healthy and naturally occurring in every woman’s body. The use of feminine sprays and deodorants are promoted to cover up that smell but you must know that using it will not make the smell go away. It is only masking the natural smell but it is still there. If you must know, this smell does not go beyond your clothing and is rarely detectable to the people you are with. If you think you have an abnormally strong scent or that it smells fishy down south, then it is most likely that you are suffering from a genital infection like bacterial vaginosis. You must be checked by a doctor at once because only antibiotics can clear it up.
The vagina is naturally moist because of its normal secretions. To make these secretions evaporate, wearing clothes that allow good air flow is a must. It is important that air can flow to dissipate the collection of bacteria and fungi in the area which can cause vaginal infections. Cotton underpants are highly recommended and so are those with cotton crotch linings. Do not wear wet bathing suits for a long period as well as leather pants, spandex, and other tight clothing. When you are sweating a lot, such as after a workout, change clothes immediately including underpants.
You may not know it but what you eat or drink also affects your feminine hygiene. Junk food and fried foods may make you feel happy but your internal body suffers and is damaged. It is evident on your discharges like sweat and genital discharges that smell off. Fresh and healthy foods, and a lot of water, however, will keep your discharges maintain its natural pH thus keeping everything balanced and smelling natural.
When to visit the gyno?
Contrary to most practice that a visit to a gyno is due only when there is something wrong, it is recommended to pay a visit regularly even when you are not experiencing anything abnormal. Gynecologists are the best people to learn about feminine health and concerns. They can answer any of your questions and will even demonstrate how to properly care for your genitalia. Regular visits will also ensure that you get screened for early detection of certain female conditions like cervical cancer, breast cancer, vaginal infections, and others.
Take personal hygiene seriously to avoid unnecessary illnesses and to help make you feel good inside and out.