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What can be more uncomfortable than an itchy vagina, right?
Many believe that your vagina is a self-cleaning organ and while that is true, it still needs care. However, we end up making a lot of hygiene mistakes that can end up with us facing a lot of troubles down there.
According to D. Pratima Thamke, obstetrician and gynecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Pune, douching is the most common mistake women make when it comes to maintaining vaginal hygiene.
“You think you might be keeping it clean, but you are disturbing the entire biome of your vagina by killing the good bacteria”, she explained.
But apart from douching, Dr. Thamke addressed seven more mistakes that affect our vagina:
1. Touching it with dirty hands
Wash your hands before touching your lady part. Dirty hands mean an open invitation to bacteria and viruses which can wreck the flora of your vagina. In fact, if you use a loofah while bathing, ensure that it is clean before you use it down there.
2. Not peeing after sex
Peeing after sex will not just reduce your chances of acquiring a UTI or urinary tract infection, but it also cleans the bacteria that might be left in your vagina. “Semen is alkaline in nature and it might change the protective mechanism of your vagina. That’s why, it is advised to pee after sex and clean gently”, she explained.
3. Eating too much sugar
“Unprocessed sugar is an enemy to your vaginal health as it can lead to yeast infection. If you are diabetic, then you have to be all the more cautious”, she suggests.
4. Wearing synthetic panties
Of course, synthetic panties are sassy to wear but the fact is that they are not capable of soaking enough sweat. Sweat is one of the major reasons why you get a fungal infection down there. In fact, wearing tight panties is also not a great idea as it doesn’t allow the sweat to dry out. “You must go for cotton panties, especially in summers. In case you are sweating too much, don’t use non-medicated talcum powders on your vagina because it can increase the chance of infection”, she suggests.
5. Using scented soaps and sprays
“Using scented soaps or sprays can disturb the pH balance of your vagina and can lead to vaginal infection like chlamydia”, she warned.
6. Wrong cleaning technique
When it comes to washing your vagina, always go from front to back, i.e., from your vagina to the anus. Going the other way round can push the anal bacteria towards the vagina, making it prone to infections.
7. Change your sanitary pad, menstrual cup, and tampons
“Don’t wait for your pad or tampon to get soaked in period blood as it can lead to itchiness and infection. If you have a heavy period flow, then you must change your sanitary napkin every 4 hours. In the case of a light period, change it every 6 hours. For tampons, make sure you’re going for a change every 4 hours and when using a menstrual cup, ensure that it is clean before insertion to avoid infections”, explained Dr. Thamke.
“These mistakes are fairly common but the point to be noted here is that self-medication is a complete no-no in case you experience discomfort down there. If you find any infection cropping up, you must visit a doctor and get yourself checked. Otherwise, it can become a painful mess”, she concluded.
What an eye-opener, right? Ladies, now you know what all mistakes you have been making. But, a little change goes a long way in protecting you from infections.