Intimate care and hygiene involve keeping the vagina clean, free from itching and irritation, preventing the build-up of unwanted bacteria, viruses and fungi while also maintaining the natural pH.
The vagina has been very cleverly designed to maintain its own cleanliness through the production of discharge. This is usually white or clear and may change in appearance and texture throughout a woman’s monthly cycle. If you notice any new odour that is offensive or your discharge appears green or yellow or this is accompanied by genital itching you should speak to a doctor for advice.
The vagina also contains an abundance of naturally occurring bacteria that are there to offer protection against harmful bacteria. Bacteria also help to maintain the delicate pH balance. When this balance of bacteria is disturbed this can lead to common infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and thrush.
How do you keep your intimate areas healthy?
The best way to keep your vagina and other intimate areas healthy is to ensure you wash your vagina and surrounding areas of your skin every day. You do not need to wash the inside of your vagina as the discharge that is produced is designed to do this for you.
You should also always try to keep yourself healthy by eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. This includes regularly engaging in pelvic floor exercises.
Only engaging in ‘safe sex’ can also help to keep your intimate areas healthy by avoiding bacteria and viruses known as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s). This can be done through the use of condoms during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Examples of STIs include, but are not limited to the following:
It is recommended that anyone sexually active should get an STI test at least every 6 months. Even if you think you have been very careful it is possible to have some varieties of STI’s without exhibiting symptoms. STI’s can cause long-term complications if left untreated.
You can find information about your local STI clinics here. For some STI’s it is also possible to order a test kit online, which can be sent back via the post and your results will be posted to you. You can buy Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea tests online from The Independent Pharmacy today.