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The thing about summer rains is that the resulting humidity can turn your private parts into full-fledged attention seekers that might resort to tactics such as rashes, fungal infections, redness, irritation, abscess, and the much-dreaded and recurring—urinary tract infection.
“The advent of the Indian monsoon significantly increases humidity which may take a toll on your intimate hygiene. This is also the season where UTI (urinary tract infection) is rampant among women. Many organisms, including yeast and bacteria, flourish lavishly during this wet and humid season causing the most common infection which is of the urinary tract in women,” says Dr Ranjana Sharma, senior consultant gynaecologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi.
This is exactly why you’ve got to pay extra attention to your lady bits during this time. Here are 8 tweaks to make to your regular intimate hygiene routine during the monsoon season, as suggested by Sharma:
1. Choose your clothing wisely
Try to avoid wearing skinny jeans, tight shorts, and difficult-to-breathe-in bottoms since these limit movement and cause more sweat, restricting the airflow and causing friction. This creates a more hospitable environment for bad bacteria to grow in. It is, thus, better to wear breathable and comfortable dresses as well as lowers. While sleeping, opt for boy shorts as they will allow for maximum airflow and minimise the possible irritation.
2. Clean up more frequently
Frequent cleaning of your intimate area can keep it free from bacterial infection and odour. It is advised to clean the intimate area twice a day. In the case of excessive sweating, it is better to clean and pat dry more often.
For cleaning your intimate area, always use a specially designed intimate wash that is safe, made with natural ingredients and free from harmful surfactants.
3. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water and liquids to keep the urinary tract safe as doing so will flush out the infection when you urinate. Additionally, water helps with clearing out toxins from the body and maintains its pH balance as well. Due to excessive sweating and inadequate fluid intake, one tends to lose body fluids and salts that could potentially lead to a burning sensation during peeing and irritate the intimate area. If not attended to, this could be another reason for a urinary tract infection developing.
4. Avoid eating excessively spicy foods
Spicy foods tend to be more acidic and can cause pH imbalance in the body. This can further lead to a bad pungent odour in the intimate area. Increase the intake of foods that are rich in probiotics like plain yoghurt, onion, garlic, strawberry and green leafy vegetables. These help support the growth of healthy bacteria in the vagina.
5. Choose your tampons wisely
Use cotton sanitary napkins or tampons during menstruation. They are good for the skin and lessen the itchy feeling as well as rashes.
6. Steer clear of using razors
Using a razor to shave your intimate area can cause micro-cuts which may pose problems and lead to a serious infection.
7. Wipe your vagina
Not wiping the vagina after urinating can cause the underwear to get wet which can not only lead to bad odour but also put you at risk of vaginal infections.
8. Reach out for help
Most women are reluctant to consult a gynaecologist when it comes to infections or diseases of the genital areas. Women use over-the-counter antifungal or antibacterial ointments. Creams available in the market become the go-to remedy if home remedies fail to provide any relief. But this approach is completely wrong. It is best to consult a doctor for problems of the intimate region.
There, ladies, keep these few things in mind to steer clear of vaginal infections during the monsoons!