Stop The Shame: Let’s Talk About Feminine Hygiene

Who says discussing or making reference to feminine hygiene is "taboo"? Well, it’s time to deconstruct this narrative and embrace intimate care with confidence. If you’ve ever had any questions or worries about your vaginal hygiene, you will find all the answers here.

Words:NicoleImages:PexelsMarch 19, 2021

Feminine Hygiene – There is Nothing to Be Ashamed of!

Shame and Feminine hygiene should not and cannot exist in the same sentence! If we can openly and unashamedly discuss body hygiene every other day, we should accord the same attention and education to our feminine “intimates”.

Unfortunately, cultural and societal constructs treat this all-important topic covertly. Regardless, we can escape this shroud of secrecy and shame by equipping ourselves with firsthand knowledge about this core part of our bodies.

Listen, feminine care is a wholesome and refreshing concept that births nothing but good health and good vibes. The female genitalia does so much for us, and the least we can do to show appreciation is to take good care of these hardworking organs. 

So if you’ve been feeling guilty, curious, or worried about the state of things down there, you should pay rapt attention to this article because you are about to learn a lot. And before we proceed, do us a favour and ditch any shred of shyness you may possess, for it is about to get honest, bold, confident and clean!

Let’s Talk Smell – Vaginal Hygiene

Every woman’s worst nightmare is a smelly vagina which is understandable ─ the odor of any kind is detestable and off-putting. But here is the thing, the vast majority of women don’t know what a clean vagina should smell like, while others believe it should smell like fragrant flowers, perfume and whatnot. 

Hence, the mad rush for all the vagina products that promise to make your vagina smell like a sea of vanilla. But how misleading and entirely off the mark!

The unvarnished truth is that vagina scent or smell varies from woman to woman, dependent on underwear material, diet, and hydration. This means that a clean vagina has its peculiar scent, which may not necessarily smell like lavender or freshly brewed coffee. 

And you absolutely cannot use another woman’s self-proclaimed vagina smell as a yardstick to measure yours. As long as your vagina doesn’t smell foul or like what it shouldn’t “naturally” smell like, you are in the clear. 

Let’s Talk Feminine Care

Ensuring that your vagina is at its cleanest and healthiest isn’t rocket science or quantum physics. It is the most straightforward task there is. You only need to implement a few tips and tricks, and voila… your buddy down there will be happy and clean. That said, let’s learn some wholesome vagina hygiene practices.

Keep Clean – Intimate Hygiene

In the bid to keep your vagina clean, you might have searched or hunted the best soap for feminine hygiene, but cleaning the vagina comes at zero to no cost. You don’t need to buy soaps and all the other feminine hygiene products that promise heaven and earth. This is because the vagina cleanses itself. 

It doesn’t require you to interfere or assault your vagina with a barrage of products.

Feeding your vagina with fragrance and chemical-laden soaps kills its naturally protective bacteria, making it susceptible to infections. The only part of the vagina that needs cleaning is the vulva because it comprises the skin and needs to be washed. Even at that, a mild soap fragrance-free soap and water is sufficient.

When you poop or pee, wipe the anus and vagina separately to avoid cross-contamination. If you wipe together with the same wipe, you might contaminate the urethra with pathogens from the rectum, thus giving room for urinary tract infections.  When you pee, always wipe front to back and not the other way round.

Another important tip for maintaining intimate hygiene is to pee immediately after sex. Urine has the unique ability to flush out any bacteria that may have invaded the urethra during the deed. Don’t try to be overly clean by washing the internals after sex though.

Eat Right – we can’t say it enough

Our food is our fuel. Everything about the human body has something to do with food, and the vagina is no exception. Just like the vital organs need food to function properly, so does the vagina. The diet you consume can affect the smell and working condition of the vulva and vagina. 

Vagina-friendly nutrients include probiotics, protein, Vitamins (E and C), Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and antioxidant-rich foods. By the way, do you already know our free Wolva Period Recipe Book for your period?

Wax and shave properly, if you do

While you may prioritize your Brazillian wax and shaving routine because you can’t wait to get rid of the “unsightly” pubic hair, you’d be surprised to know that the hair you can’t stand to see has its benefits. For one, pubic hair serves as a protective shield for the vulva during sex and other friction-prone activities.

In essence, you shouldn’t wax or shave the hair off completely. Leave a strand or two for protective purposes. But if you really can’t stomach even one teeny weenie strand of pubic hair, you can shave it off completely ( no worries). However, ensure to use a fresh blade with each new shave.

With shaving, ingrown hairs are common, and you can remedy those with a warm compress. In the case of a painful bump accompanied by other worrisome symptoms like smelly discharge, consult your doctor as soon as you can.

The Don’ts of Vaginal Hygiene

Douching; 

Whatever you do, don’t douch! The seemingly hygienic act of washing the insides of the vagina with water and soap or with water and vinegar is counterintuitive. It can weaken the vagina’s defensive shield against infections.

Steaming: 

Vaginal steaming may appear hygienic and self-caring, but as with douching, it can ruin the vagina’s protective mechanism and spur on infections. There is also an unpleasant and painful risk of burning your vulva and vaginal tissues. Better safe than sorry!

Feminine hygiene products: 

Avoid chemical and fragrance filled feminine care products like the plague. They are more harmful than they are beneficial and shouldn’t be anywhere near your vagina. Common Sanitary Pads and Pantyliners are also made from synthetic materials that have been dyed with chlorine bleach. All this stuff should really be avoided. Try to choose natural products instead.

Take-home Feminine Hygiene Tips

  •  Pay close attention to how your genitals look, smell and feel, so you can quickly pinpoint unusual problems or conditions when they occur.
  •  Go for regular STI screenings if you are sexually active.
  •  Schedule routine gynaecologist appointments to rule out potential urinogenital infections and diseases.
  •  Consult a doctor immediately if you notice your vagina doesn’t smell, feel or look right.

In a nutshell, you shouldn’t be ashamed to discuss or practice feminine hygiene tips because it is an essential and natural part of life. It doesn’t matter your societal or cultural stance. You should always look out for your vagina by learning and talking about its hygiene and care.

 

feminine hygiene, vaginal hygiene, intimate hygiene, feminine care

Nicole

About Nicole

Until the age of 29, Nicole was on hormonal birth control. While she was backpacking, she got inspired by different women to think about her cycle. She started an intense journey into herself that made her become a yoga teacher in India. Today Nicole lives in Berlin as natural as possible. She writes for sustainable brands and about topics she loves, whilst teaching yoga to help other humans and herself to find inner balance.

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