Certain products and behaviours relating to intimate hygiene can be harmful to the vaginal flora and the vulva. Here are the Top 10 errors to avoid at all costs and some recommendations for maintaining good hygiene while avoiding irritation, fungal infections and other related problems.
1) Wiping from back to front
It seems obvious. After going to the toilet, never wipe from back to front (from the anus to the vagina), but in the opposite direction, so as to avoid getting intestinal bacteria near the vulva, which can cause infection. Dab the area rather than wiping.
2) Keeping a tampon in overnight
Don’t keep your tampon in overnight during your period, because you run the risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome. Tampons promote the production of the toxin TSST-1 in the vagina, which can take hold and pass into the bloodstream via the walls of the uterus. You should change your tampon every four hours, and ideally use organically produced tampons and sanitary towels, or even a menstrual cup, the new ecological alternative to classic intimate protection!
3) Not going to the toilet after sex
Not urinating after having sex increases the risk of developing a urinary tract infection, which is made more likely by penetration. Urinating can help eliminate germs in the urethra.
Certain women carry out vaginal ‘douches’ to clean the inside of the vagina. You should stop this practice immediately, because it harms the vagina by eliminating the lactobacilli, the natural bacteria present in the vagina. This bad habit disturbs the natural pH of the vagina because water has a natural pH of 7, while the vagina has an acidic pH of 4.
If the vaginal area becomes less acidic, it can easily develop bacterial vaginosis (BV), which causes irritation and unpleasant smelling discharge -in short, the opposite of the desired effect!
5) Use a face cloth
This slightly dated hygiene habit of using a facecloth seems to have had its day. Gynaecologists confirm that the use of a facecloth for washing the intimate areas increases the risk of infection, because facecloths are veritable nests for germs.
Apply your body wash with your hands, and rinse with the shower head.