Excellent vaginal hygiene has a positive effect on a woman’s overall health. It doesn’t matter if you’re a younger or older woman because maintaining a clean vulva can significantly reduce the risk of vaginal infections. Due to the sensitivity of the vaginal area, practicing good vaginal hygiene is necessary for achieving a healthy vagina.
The biggest challenge of vaginal cleaning is ensuring the vaginal pH levels don’t change too much. A normal level of vaginal pH is mildly acidic, but that can change if you clean your vagina too frequently or aggressively. Then you can expect uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain, irritation, and itchiness.
Any foreign substance can change vaginal pH levels, such as soaps, body washes, shaving creams, etc. That is why you must be careful how you wash your vagina and treat your vagina overall. Everything from your sexual practices to your clothing can affect vaginal pH levels too.
Here are the most critical things you need to do to achieve good vaginal hygiene and maintain vaginal pH levels:
How to Wash the Vagina Properly
Vaginal cleaning does not mean cleaning the inside of the vagina or douching. Instead, you only wash the outside with warm water and a mild soap free of harsh ingredients and chemicals. By avoiding internal vaginal cleaning, you will not disturb your vaginal pH levels or inadvertently remove the good bacteria which prevent infections.
Just wash the outside of your vaginal with warm water once per day. Don’t use scented soaps, gels, washes, or creams. And also, don’t shave too much of your pubic area because it could lead to vaginal irritation. It is even worse if you nick or cut yourself there because it could easily lead to a vaginal bacterial infection.
How to Engage in Healthy Sexual Practices
Sexual intercourse has a significant effect on vaginal hygiene. On the upside, sexual intercourse reduces the risk of vaginal atrophy, a condition of vaginal dryness that leads to tearing and pain. On the downside, you have an increased risk of viral and bacterial infections.
It is imperative to consistently engage in safe sex practices to avoid bacterial transmission and viral infections. The best safe sex practice is wearing a condom whenever engaging in anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse.
Another helpful practice is to take a warm shower immediately after having sex. It will help wash off any harmful bacteria that may still lurk on your genitals or other parts of your body.
Best Clothing to Wear
Your external genitals play a pivotal role in your vaginal hygiene. For instance, too much moisture accumulation in your genital region will increase the risk of bacterial growth and infection. So, wearing clothes made of breathable fabrics like cotton is a good idea because it can help absorb moisture.
If you must wear clothing made of unbreathable synthetic material, at least wear cotton underpants underneath the synthetic clothing so your genitals can still breathe better and absorb moisture.
Other helpful clothing tips include changing your underwear twice daily and changing your underwear after any intense physical activity that causes you to sweat.
Contact Your Doctor
Contact your primary care physician for more practical and effective tips for maintaining good vaginal hygiene and health.