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Overview

The vagina is a muscular canal lined with nerves and mucus membranes. It connects the uterus and cervix to the outside of the body, allowing for menstruation, intercourse, and childbirth. The external sex organs, which are called the vulva, surround the vaginal opening.

The vagina is designed to keep itself clean with the help of natural discharge. Proper vaginal hygiene is extremely important for a woman’s health. Whether or not you’re of reproductive age, keeping the vulva clean the correct way can make a huge difference when it comes to vaginal infections. 

Gynaecologists in Ranchi says proper hygiene of the vagina is really very simple because the vagina cleanses itself naturally.

The most important part about vaginal hygiene is maintaining its pH. A normal vaginal pH tends to be slightly acidic and when this is thrown off, women start to experience symptoms of infections.  These symptoms might include irritation, itchiness, and pain. Some women are more sensitive to vaginal changes, particularly during pregnancy.

Tips for proper vaginal hygiene

Here are several tips suggested by Gynaecologists in Bariatu to maintain proper vaginal hygiene

Washing
Maintaining a clean vagina means regular, gentle bathing on the outside (remember, not inside!) of the vagina. Water is the best cleanser 

- Wash the area with warm water daily, even if you skip a shower. During your period, washing more than once a day may be helpful

- Avoid using scented soaps and gels. The scents can irritate the area and will only serve as a mask to cover up an actual issue that might be causing odor. These can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina and cause irritation.

- After using the toilet, wipe front to back. Even better, rinse with warm water to remove unwanted bacteria and pat dry.

Sex and vaginal hygiene
Sexual intercourse is a healthy activity and should not be considered unhygienic. In fact, especially after menopause, sex helps prevent vaginal atrophy.
There are still some easy ways to avoid developing infections after sex.

- Change condoms when switching among vaginal, anal and oral intercourse to avoid spreading bacteria.

- Don’t share sex toys with your partner.

- During sex, bacteria can sometimes get into the urethra. After sex, make sure you urinate to flush out bacteria and avoid contracting a urinary tract infection.

- You should also shower or at least clean the vulva after sex with warm water and thoroughly dry.

Clothing
The key to good vaginal hygiene is to make sure your external pubic area (not the vagina itself) remains as dry as possible. Moisture can promote the growth of bacteria. 

You should

- Avoid tight-fitting pants that restrict air circulation in the vaginal area.

- Wear cotton underwear over the synthetic fabric. 

- Change your clothes and underwear after the gym.

- Don’t wear a thong while exercising. The constant movement will introduce anal bacteria into the vagina and cause infections.

- Avoid wearing a wet swimsuit all day.

- Change your underwear twice a day if you have extra discharge to avoid sitting in damp underwear.

Protect Vaginal PH Balance Without Douching
Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. Normally, vaginal pH is about 3.8 to 4.5, but douching can interfere with the vagina's pH levels, reducing acidity and disrupting a healthy vaginal biome. Hence, avoid douching.
Instead, wash the outside of the vagina with mild soap and water. You may also use any pH-balanced cleanser that is specially formulated for your privates. But make sure it doesn’t have irritating preservatives.

Diet for a healthy vagina
Following a balanced and nutritious diet along with drinking lots of fluids are important for vaginal health. In fact, there are certain foods which might help in dealing with vaginal problems. Yogurt, for instance, can help in preventing yeast infections. 

Don’t shave
Don’t shave the entire pubic area, which can cause irritation. Cuts and nicks can also introduce unwanted bacteria. The hair exists to protect the region, so trim back if necessary with scissors, not a razor. Do not use hair removal cream, which burns off the hair and can be especially harsh on the skin.