Some women have a lot of questions about feminine hygiene tips and genital protection even though the genitals are just another part of the body so, in principle, they just have to be kept clean and problem-free as part of a normal daily intimate hygiene regime.
However, it is certainly a delicate area with a scent unique to each individual (which is normal and natural), which comes into contact with discharge, urine, period blood and sweat and is not normally well-ventilated. This means that specific daily feminine hygiene tips should be followed for this area, every day or on specific days of the cycle, taking care not to become obsessed or “over-clean”, because too much cleaning in this area can be as harmful as not enough.
Feminine hygiene tips: the genitals
The best way to clean the outer part of the genitals (the vulva) is with warm water and a gentle unscented soap (preferably pH-neutral) while bathing or showering. To clean the vulva, you should stand with your legs apart and place the soap directly onto your hand (do not use gloves or a sponge). Make sure to wash the labia and all the folds of the vulva. Then rinse with plenty of water (to get rid of any soap residue) and dry well (to prevent dampness). It is not necessary or advisable to clean inside the genitals (the vagina). The vagina normally cleans itself. The walls of the vagina produce a cleansing discharge (vaginal discharge) which carries the dead cells and other microorganisms out of the body. Vaginal douching is not recommended unless advised by a doctor. The anal area should be cleaned in the same way as the vulva, but always front to back to avoid contaminating the vulva or vagina with bacteria from the intestines.
Although pharmacies sell a vast array of feminine intimate hygiene products, most of these are unnecessary, except specific pH-neutral soaps. Some products are even harmful as they can cause allergies and irritation. While certain products can be used occasionally, odour-neutralising sanitary towels should never be used and aerosol deodorants should not be used around the vulva. It is also good to remember that deodorants and other products should be used in addition to and not instead of feminine intimate hygiene.
The vulva should be washed at least once a day. If you do not wish to take a shower you could use a bidet. During your period you should wash as often or even more often than at other times.
Daily feminine hygiene tips: in addition to washing, protection is also important. Pantyliners can help you feel clean. They can be used on days when you have just light bleeding, as additional protection with tampons or on days when you are experiencing lots of discharge. As their name suggests, pantyliners protect your panties. To be effective they should be changed as often as necessary. You do not have to use them if they cause itchiness or irritation. Some women feel very comfortable with them, others do not. It is a personal choice.
It is advisable to wear panties made of natural fibres. These should be changed at least once a day or more often if it makes you feel more comfortable. You can wear synthetic panties but if you experience irritation you should change to cotton. Thongs can be worn as long as they are not uncomfortable or excessively tight around the genital area.