For reasons that aren’t utterly clear, some women seem to be more susceptible to vaginal infections than others. Unfortunately, I’ve had a vaginal infection before. Not the sexual transmitted disease kind of thing. It was the kind of infection caused by poor hygiene, hormone level changes and others. It wasn’t serious but it was definitely uncomfortable. I had to endure the itchiness while I was out. And the foul odor was embarrassing although it was only me that could smell it. Can you imagine yourself asking your mother to insert a capsule into your vagina once a day for let’s say about a week? Fortunately, my mother and I are super tight like that. However, it still caused discomfort to the both of us.
Since the day I fully recovered, I’ve made a vow to myself to take better care of my genitalia. I thought using a feminine wash was good enough but it actually triggered the infection. It’s been almost 7 years since I started doing these things and I’m proud to say that I haven’t had any infections down there.
- No feminine wash or perfume/ body soap
Normally, a vagina has a healthy pH balance. Using products like feminine wash or even your regular body soap can interfere with the vagina’s pH levels. Even if the brand promises to eliminate the foul odor, it doesn’t really do that. It only covers up the smell and at the same time disrupts the vaginal biome. I can attest to that due to my experience. Washing with just water works well for me. I do it at least 2 times a day (morning and evening).
- Proper use of pads
I’ve read that when you’re on your period, you need to change pads every 4 hours. It can cause discomfort economically speaking, but it’s better than spending more money on your medications and doctor’s appointment. I used to change pads only when it seemed full (over 4 hours). I used to think that buying more pads was expensive for me at that time. I was wrong when I had the infection. Health is wealth, indeed.
- When to use panty liners
It’s okay to use panty liners on a daily basis to absorb normal vaginal discharge but it can cause vulvar irritation to some women. It’s definitely true. So I only use panty liners after my period for 3 days or until there’s no more bloodish discharge. I change them every 3 hours. So far, I’ve never had any itch.
- Frequently change panties
Yes, you also need to wear clean undies every 4 hours or at least 3 times a day depending on your discharge. It’s to prevent the perfect setting for bad bacteria. You need to keep your genital area clean and dry.
- Always wash your vagina after sexual intercourse
The movies always show us the actors falling asleep after having some rough moves, but in real life you must wash your vagina first and then fall asleep. The sweat, lubricant, and everything wet are in your delicate area after sex. Perfect ingredients for the bad bacteria to grow. Don’t be gross and wash, wash, wash!
- Wipe it clean
After peeing, always tap it with tissue to dry. Just a gentle tap to avoid the tissue to stick. And when defecating, it’s best to use water to wipe your anus and always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anus from being moved to your vagina.
- Limit or avoid oral sex
This might be hard to do especially when you’re sexually active. A human mouth is full of germs. Surely, it can please you sexually but it can displease your healthy vagina in the long run.
I’m not a healthcare professional. I’ve done some research and have taken tips from a doctor as well. And my experience pushed me to write this so I can somehow help other women to avoid getting infections triggered by lack of hygiene. Prevention is better than cure, right?