Intimate Hygiene

Intimate Hygiene
Intimate Hygiene: How to Do It? What to Use?

Intimate Hygiene: How to Do It? What to Use?

The intimate area is fragile and prone to infections, yeast infections, and irritations. Adopting good hygiene is essential, but how to wash this area well? With what soaps? What to avoid? Washing after sex or during menstruation?

How to Wash: The Right Movements

Intimate hygiene consists only of cleaning your vulva, that is, the external part of the intimate area. "Do not wash inside the lips or irrigate the vagina. The vagina has good bacteria that allow for good protection," explains Dr. Jessica Dahan Saal, obstetrician-gynecologist. "Washing it can disturb this ecosystem called bacterial flora and lead to the development of yeast or other genital infections." Disturbing the vaginal bacterial flora can lead to bacterial vaginosis and, in particular, cause complications during pregnancy.

How Often for Intimate Hygiene?

The vulva can be washed once a day with a body wash gel. In the case of a second bath during the day, it is preferable not to use soap and rinse only with clean water.
For the same reasons as the shower, the regular use of pads is strongly discouraged. Very aggressive, they risk disturbing the vaginal flora.

Intimate Hygiene During Menstruation

Personal hygiene should not be different or more intense during menstruation. "Some women prone to yeast infections should preferably use pharmaceutical products during menstrual periods precisely to avoid possible yeast infections," explains the expert. On the other hand, it is essential to change regularly (maximum every four hours!) menstrual protection (tampons, pads) to prevent the development of bacteria.

Intimate Hygiene After Sexual Intercourse

As Dahan Saal notes, "after intercourse, it is not necessary to wash, but if the woman feels the need, it is advisable to do so with water. Because sperm is not dirty." On the other hand, it is quite advisable to urinate after sexual intercourse in women prone to urinary tract infections.

Intimate Hygiene After Childbirth

After childbirth, it is important that the perineal area is always clean and dry, especially if there are stitches. "It is important to wash with water after each bowel movement and dry well, wiping with a clean towel, paper towel, or even a few seconds with a cold hairdryer," insists the gynecologist. Also, remember to change hygiene products frequently to avoid bacterial growth.

Intimate Hygiene in Case of Irritation

Just because your intimate area is a bit irritated does not mean you need to wash it more often. Too frequent baths can paradoxically increase the risk of infections. Irritated or not, do not exceed more than two baths per day. In case of frequent irritations, it is advisable to be cautious with soothing and calming properties. In intimate dryness, moisturizers are preferred. Its pH should always be between 4.5 and 9, for daily use. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your gynecologist.
Note: Burdock is a medicinal plant known for its soothing and softening properties in intimate irritations. It is used in the composition of certain intimate hygiene products and is therefore suitable for the most delicate skin.
Intimate Hygiene and Neutral pH
Women prone to recurrent candidiasis or bacterial vaginosis should avoid using products with a neutral pH and preferably use products with a basic pH (around 5).

What Products to Use for Personal Hygiene?

Good products are usually basic pH products found in pharmacies or online stores. Unfortunately, intimate hygiene products purchased in supermarkets are often of low quality and are quite discouraged by gynecologists.

What Soaps to Use?

The ideal is to use a soap without soap, with a pH that respects the physiological pH of this area of the body, between 4.5 and 9. The pH is an indicator that measures the acidity of an environment. PH 7 is neutral, above is alkaline, and below is acidic. The pH varies according to the areas of the body, depending on hormonal influences in particular. It is understood, therefore, that intimate hygiene care should have a pH that corresponds to the area to be cleaned. Otherwise, the product is considered too aggressive for the skin.

• Soap with a very alkaline pH has a cleaning effect on mucous membranes.
• Soaps containing antiseptics that can destroy the good bacteria naturally present in the vagina (lactobacilli), disrupt the bacterial flora, and, therefore, have the opposite effect, increasing the risk of infection.
• Overly perfumed shower gels, aggressive to the vaginal flora.

Underwear to Avoid and Underwear to Recommend

For good intimate hygiene, it is essential to change underwear daily. Very tight or tight pants are also not recommended, as they promote sweating, which increases germ proliferation. Finally, cotton underwear, which is more absorbent and soft, is preferable to synthetics.

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