Take intimate care

Take intimate care

Take intimate care

Every year around 333 million cases of vaginal infections are detected. Yet most women live in blissful ignorance. Dr Ginni Sharma sheds light on the problem.

It may come as a surprise to many women, but the most common reasons for vaginal infections are wearing tight clothes and using soap and water for cleaning the area.

Improper intimate hygiene, use of synthetic undergarments, unprotected sexual activity and use of feminine sprays or products having excessive fragrance like perfumed soaps, washes or scented toilet paper, are other factors which cause vaginal infections. 

According to the World Health Organisation, every year around 333 million new cases of vaginal infections are detected. These infections are caused by harmful bacterial colonisation, fungal growth and viruses.

Monsoon time further aggravates these infections due to excessive sweating, providing a suitable environment for harmful microbes to grow and spread. 

It is important to understand that the skin on the female genital area is very different from the skin on the rest of the body. The region is lined by healthy bacteria that form a natural protective layer on the vagina, inhibiting the growth of harmful micro-organisms.

While the vagina can clean itself by producing secretions, which lubricate, cleanse and maintain the acidic environment, it is imperative to safeguard this acid mantle from falling prey to microbial invasion. 

In case you do fall prey to vaginal infections, there are simple solutions to get relief from symptoms such as intense itching, burning sensation and rashes.

Several intimate washes, with a lactic acid formulation, are available with the chemist; it is prudent to buy one. Their natural antiseptic and moisturising action restores the normal pH of the vagina, rendering the area symptom-free.

They also assist in maintaining the acidic environment of the intimate areas making them less susceptible to infections, skin damage and disease. 

Do not use strong and harsh soaps for cleaning the genital area, as they have an alkaline pH that react with the vaginal bacteria and result in dryness, foul odour, irritation and discomfort, further aggravating the condition. Using plain water is no good either.

And during periods, take a shower twice daily, use cotton undergarments, wear loose flowing fabrics, and change your sanitary napkins frequently. 

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