Women's Health

Vaginal Mistakes Many Women and Girls Make – Be aware!

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The vagina is a self-cleaning organ that does not require special cleaning products. It does not even need any cleaning products at all. You may want to clean the vulva, which is the outer portion of the genitals that surrounds the entrance to the vagina. Doing this can help many people feel cleaner and it adds to confidence levels .

 

You may clean the vulva lips gently and the right way. Excessive cleaning can have negative effects. Trying to clean the vagina with douches or similar products may lead to inflammation, infections and also change the pH of the vagina. If there is a lot of discharge and bad odour from the vagina, its usually a bacterial infection or thrush / candida and bad bacteria growth that causes it. Cleaning the vagina with chemicals and chemical products will further disrupt the bacteria leading to more issues in the long run .

 

The vagina is the internal portion of the female genitals. The vulva consists of the external portion, which includes the clitoris, the clitoris hood, the labia majora and labia minora, and the vaginal opening. The vagina is an internal organ, and like other internal organs, it does not require cleaning.

 

An intelligent and complex colony of good bacteria and other microbes helps keep the vagina clean and healthy. Washing, especially with harsh soaps or douches, can throw the vaginal pH out of balance, increasing the chances of infections and unpleasant odours. The vagina and vulva produce a variety of fluids that are important for overall health. People should not try to eliminate all vaginal odour by washing the vagina. A healthy vagina naturally has a slight odour. Washing the vagina will also not remove vaginal infections. In some cases, it may even make them worse. Using harsh soaps may dry out the delicate vaginal tissue, causing tiny tears that make it easier for dangerous bacteria to infect the vagina.

 

Research consistently finds that washing the vagina increases the risk of a wide range of health problems. A study of Egyptian women who frequently douched found that the practice increases the risk of preterm labour and pelvic inflammatory disease.

 

Douching correlates with a higher risk of numerous adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes, including:

  • ectopic pregnancy
  • low birth weight
  • chorioamnionitis, a type of infection in the membranes surrounding the baby
  • preterm birth

 

Other risks of vaginal cleaning methods such as douching include:

  • cervical cancer
  • endometritis, which is an infection of the lining of the uterus
  • Increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV
  • bacterial vaginosis (BV)
  • yeast infections
  • vaginal pain

 

Although a person can clean their vulva, its proximity to the vagina means that any cleaning products may enter the vagina. Harsh cleaning products especially those laden with chemicals can also irritate the vulva.

 

How to clean the vulva ?

The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, and people do not need to clean it. Regular douching is unnecessary. People can help keep the area clean and healthy by:

 

  • using barrier methods, such as a condom, to reduce the risk of pregnancy and STIs with a sexual partner
  • keeping the vaginal area as dry as possible, which may involve changing underwear if it becomes wet with sweat, menstrual blood, or other fluids
  • urinating after having sex, to avoid developing a UTI
  • wiping from front to back after urinating
  • refraining from having vaginal sex straight after having anal sex, as this can spread bacteria from the anus to the vagina
  • Pure cotton underwear is the healthiest

 

To clean the vulva, people can wash the external area with warm water. If they wish to, they can use a mild, unscented organic, chemical free soap.  Afterward, they should rinse the vulva thoroughly and then pat the area dry. It is important not to put soap into the vagina, and it is not necessary to use soaps that manufacturers have specifically labelled as being for the genitals.

 

Cleaning strategies to avoid to prevent and avoid infections, pain, and irritation, it is critical not to use the following products:

 

  • douches, even those that the manufacturers claim are safe or natural
  • feminine deodorant sprays
  • perfumes
  • detergent soaps
  • soaps containing perfume

 

Whatever you use to clean your vulva should be chemical free, aloe vera applications to lemon leaves boiled in water to unscented organic chemical free light soaps.

 

Luke Coutinho

 

Also read : DIY Washes for Vaginal Health and Hygiene

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