HomeLifestyleLet's Demystify Feminine Hygiene - UnlistedNews

Let’s Demystify Feminine Hygiene – UnlistedNews

It’s complicated. It’s the feminine hygiene thing, because as a woman you get shut up or giggled when you want to talk about it. Or you are exposed to deaf ads that make absurd claims. A general reluctance to discuss the topic means that today, most people have a mixed idea about feminine hygiene and brands market many products under the cloak of feminine hygiene to make their products look modern and awake. This article is an attempt to demystify the subject and, with the help of experts, offers practical advice and do’s and don’ts to maintain good vaginal health. And are feminine hygiene products really necessary? Read on to find out:

What is feminine hygiene?
Feminine hygiene is essentially the health of the vagina, a closed muscular canal that lies between the vulva (opening to the genital region) and the cervix. Many factors affect vaginal hygiene, including sex, pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, birth control methods, feminine hygiene products like condoms and tampons, and most importantly, hormones. It is important to form a consistent and healthy routine to protect the vagina against these factors.

What goes into a typical feminine hygiene routine?
Just like you have a regular skin or hair care routine, you should follow a healthy vaginal routine. However, despite how important it is to keep the vagina clean, most women don’t know how to do it correctly. Unlike skin, the vagina doesn’t need to be scrubbed and scrubbed excessively, it’s a self-cleaning machine. It has an acidic pH between 3.8-4.5, with lots of good bacteria that keep it naturally lubricated and prevent infection. Excessive cleaning of the vagina can decrease these bacteria, doing more harm than good. You only need to use water and your fingers to gently clean the outer skin of the vagina. When cleaning, never direct the water directly at it, but let it run from top to bottom.
“Another important aspect of a healthy vaginal routine includes cleansing from front to back to avoid any bacterial infection of the vagina and bladder,” advises Dr. Jyothi Unni, director of Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Jehangir Hospital, Pune. Following this routine from the earliest years can help a woman maintain good vaginal health throughout her life. Certain factors, of course, would require special attention and an adjustment to the regular routine.

Also read: How to avoid falling for wellness myths

Should you change your routine over time?
Women go through different phases during their lives in terms of vaginal health, from puberty and menstruation to childbirth and menopause. All these factors affect the vagina and it is necessary to take the necessary care to keep it in perfect health. “Feminine hygiene should start from birth. The mother should be taught how to care for the baby’s vulva. The first form of feminine hygiene instituted is wiping the baby from front to back,” says Dr. Ghanorkar, Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ghanorkar Hospital, Nashik.

Girls ages 4 to 12 tend to have a lot of discharge, itching, and burning since they don’t have estrogen. They need to keep the vulva clean with just damp cotton and water. The pubertal phase, when girls begin to menstruate, is when great care must be taken to keep the vulva and vagina in optimal health. Regular changing of tampons, sanitary pads, and underwear is a must. Menstrual cups must be sterilized before and after use. In addition to this, pubic hair should be trimmed to keep the area clean. Avoid using depilatory creams as they can cause skin allergies.

A sexually active adult woman should definitely prioritize her genital health as she may be more prone to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Urinating every time after sex is essential as it flushes out bacteria and other germs. A more cautious step would be to wash the vagina with water; but only the outside of the vagina should be cleaned or else you will kill off the good bacteria as well. Over-the-counter lubricants, coconut oil, and castor oil are recommended if there is vaginal dryness.

Menopause is another phase in which women face many problems. It goes without saying that it’s important to take extra care during that delicate time. After menopause, the skin of the vulva dries out due to estrogen deficiency, which can cause itching and burning. Dr. Ghanorkar recommends supplementing this deficiency with vaginal and estrogen creams to prevent recurrent vaginal infections. However, these are not available without a prescription and can only be purchased with a prescription.

Also Read: Why Culturally Diverse Online Contraception Education Matters

Debunking Myths About Feminine Hygiene Trends
In this era of social networks and influencers, there are conversations about feminine hygiene products such as intimate soaps and lubricants. In fact, according to the Research and Market report titled Feminine Hygiene Products Market in India 2019, the feminine hygiene market stood at INR 25.02 billion in 2018 and was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR). ) of 14.92% between 2019 and 2024. to touch INR 58.62 billion. New brands are making inroads into the Indian market making a splash with luxury hygiene products. While products like sanitary napkins, menstrual cups, and tampons are essential for maintaining hygiene, others like V-washes, intimate washes, and sprays are definitely not!

“Avoid using intimate soaps or lubricants around the vagina, as they can change the vaginal pH and cause allergic reactions such as itching and dryness,” advises Dr. Unni. There is a lot of talk about trends like douching and steaming on social media. Dr. Ghanorkar says: “These trends can sound fancy and grab the attention of young women due to their influential marketing strategies. Although they are actually harmful to vaginal health. Douching consists of washing the vaginal canal with a mixture of soap and water or a combination of water and vinegar. This can change the vagina’s natural microbiome and its natural defense against infection. Steam can cause imbalances in the vagina’s natural way of protecting itself from infection. It can be painful and unpleasant if you scald the vaginal tissues and the skin of the vulva.” “Stay away from these instagrammable hygiene products and trends. They look good only on camera. When it comes to vaginal health, it’s best to let your vagina do its job with little help from you to keep it clean,” recommends Dr. Ghanorkar.

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Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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