How to take care of the vagina: Basics of vaginal health and hygiene practices

How to take care of the vagina: Basics of vaginal health and hygiene practices

A large percentage of women are clueless about ways to maintain vaginal hygiene. This is because we never ever speak about the vagina! Ladies, it is time to get past the shyness and talk about health and hygiene of our lady parts. We spend so much time and money on taking care of our overall health, face and skin. Yet, most of us are ignorant about vaginal health and hygiene. With this article, I intend to bring to your notice some easy ways to keep our lady parts clean and healthy.

Understanding the vagina

Laugh at this statement if you wish. If you think “What is there to understand?”, you will be shocked to know that a large percentage of females are unaware about the structure and function of the vagina.

The vagina has its own set of physiological processes that allow it to perform many functions. A healthy vagina will secrete fluids that are responsible for keeping it clean. These fluids have a characteristic smell and they maintain the vaginal pH between 3.5 and 4.5. This pH is required for allowing growth of helpful bacteria that keep the vagina healthy. A disruption of this pH will most certainly cause havoc in the vaginal microenvironment and lead to growth of fungi or harmful bacteria.

Many women are embarrassed about their vaginal discharge. It is a completely normal and natural thing. Unless the discharge is tinted and too smelly or itchy (in which case a gynaecologist should be consulted), there is nothing to worry.

Three-step vaginal health and hygiene ritual

You don’t have to do much in order to keep your vagina healthy and clean. Just follow this simple ritual regularly:

  • Clean the vagina

Thanks to vaginal fluids, there is no need to buy vaginal washes at all. A simple splash down there with lukewarm to cold water is enough to get rid of potential infections. Regardless of the tall claims of commercial vaginal washes, you shouldn’t use them because they contain artificial fragrances and preservatives that do more harm than good. If at all you feel like giving the vagina a better clean, use homemade Aloe vera gel or yogurt.

  • Keep the vagina dry

Always empty your bladder completely when urinating. This tremendously decreases the chances of an infection. Make it a practice to wipe the vaginal region with a sheet of soft toilet paper after every toilet visit. Wet underwear might lead to irritation or infections. When wiping the vagina, always do it from front to back.

  • Perform Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises are a great way to keep the vaginal muscles strong. This will also help you in  controlling urinary incontinence. They are great for pelvic floor strengthening too. An important thing to remember while doing Kegel exercises is to have an empty bladder. For a detailed guide on Kegel exercise, Click Here

Let us now make an effort to spread awareness about vaginal health and hygiene. Only when we talk about the vagina will we know how to take care of it.

Dr. Shruti Sharma

Other than my formal training in life-sciences (in which I did my PhD), I am actively involved in following my passion for writing and crafts. When I am not spending time with my toddler, I read a lot and write on different topics as blogs, newspaper articles, short stories and poems. My articles are regularly published on a lot of online platforms. I love to explore different cultures and my writing reflects my opinion.