Is taking care of your intimate hygiene one of your priorities? According to NIH (National Institute of Health), 75% of women have at least one vaginal infection in their lifetime ranging from infections like vaginitis, cervicitis, and UTIs among others. If you wish to save yourself from the trouble of suffering through one of these infections, taking care of your vagina should definitely be one of your top priorities.
But given that there’s a flood of misinformation on the internet with regard to intimate hygiene, one tends to make mistakes quite easily. So here’s a list of common mistakes women make while taking care of their lady parts. If you’re doing any of these, then it’s about time to set your feminine hygiene routine straight.
1. Wearing the same sanitary pad for too long
As a rule of thumb, change your pad during your period days every 4-6 hours even if you have a light period flow. This helps make sure that your vagina feels fresh and moreover leaving the pad down there for far too long may lead to TSS or toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening infection caused by certain bacteria down there.
2. Wiping too hard or the wrong way
It makes sense to wipe yourself clean after a trip to the cloakroom, but don’t rub too harshly, a gentle wipe does the job. After peeing, wipe from front to back firmly. Never wipe back to front as that might lead to close contact with the bacteria from your anus. This is another wrong practice that exposes you to possible vaginal infections.
3. Using rough tissue paper
If you’re using tissue paper that feels rough on the skin, you should perhaps switch to a different brand altogether. Using rough tissue paper can be abrasive down there and can cause rashes easily. Soft tissues can make a huge difference and keep your skin healthy.
4. Not visiting a gynecologist
At least once a year, you should pay a visit to your gynecologist for a regular check-up to make sure that things are healthy down there. It is recommended that you get regular checkups when women are either over 25 years old or are sexually active. A gynecologist can also diagnose and treat conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis in a situation where they might be troubling women but more often than not they’re not aware of the disease’s existence.
For the uninitiated, douching refers to washing or cleaning the inside of the vagina with water or other fluids. It’s a myth that women should douche their vaginas daily. In fact, douching, in particular, can upset the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, which in turn, can trigger a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
6. Using products not meant for your vagina to clean down there
In the shower, it might seem convenient to use the same soap you used on the rest of the body to wash down there but don’t. A regular soap has chemicals and fragrances that can very easily upset your vagina’s fragile pH balance. Once the pH balance is ticked off, your vagina is prone to all kinds of infections like a UTI or a yeast infection. One should only stick to products carefully designed for your vagina that ensure the balance of pH ecosystem down there.