Developing a personal feminine hygiene routine is important for women because of their monthly periods and reproductive anatomy. Practicing good menstrual hygiene prevents irritation and bad odor, as well as lowers the risk for reproductive and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Women are more prone to UTIs because the urethra (the opening to the urinary tract) is shorter in women than in men. This means bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women.
Hygiene Tips Every Woman Should Do
Wipe from front to back after peeing and after a bowel movement. After peeing, keep wiping until the toilet paper shows no residue. Doing so will help prevent bacteria from getting into the vagina. Wiping from front to back is particularly important after a bowel movement. This is because the urethra is located near the rectum in women. Thus, bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections.
Choose cotton underwear, which lets your body breathe. This can help keep the vagina clean and dry thereby lowering the risk of bacterial growth and infections.
Don’t use harsh cleaners or soaps to clean the vagina. Good bacteria help maintain the healthy pH balance of the vagina, which is slightly acidic. Using strong cleansers or soaps can disturb your body’s natural pH balance, irritate the vagina and wash away good bacteria. Wash the outside of your intimate areas (the vulva) with warm water and a gentle, natural, pH balanced feminine wash. Choose a feminine wash that is formulated to be mildly acidic, which mirrors the vagina’s natural environment. Using an ideal feminine wash regularly keeps you odor-free every day.
Change sanitary pads and tampons regularly during your period. A tampon is made of absorbent materials and is inserted inside the vagina to absorb menstrual blood before it leaves the body. Tampons have several advantages over sanitary pads: they are smaller, have no wet sensation, provide freedom of movement, and are completely sensationless. Tampons provide invisible protection against leaks, helping keep your periods private.
https://familydoctor.org/condition/urinary-tract-infections/. Accessed 28 January 2020
https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/fast-facts-nine-things-you-didnt-know-about-menstruation. Accessed 28 January 2020
https://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/feminine-hygiene-tips. Accessed 28 January 2020
https://www.healthpost.co.nz/blog/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-feminine-washes/. Accessed 28 January 2020
https://phcare.com.ph/everyday-care&your-ultimate-fem-care-crash-course-. Accessed 28 January 2020
https://tampax.com/en-us/tips-and-advice/my-first-period/tampons-vs-pads. Accessed 28 January 2020
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