Most women - including pregnant women and moms - don’t know the difference between intimate hygiene and regular hygiene. Intimate hygiene is about keeping your private parts clean and healthy. By not washing and cleaning your intimate parts properly, you are at risk of contracting an infection.
The risk of getting an infection during pregnancy is high. Discharge is healthy as long as it appears clear and whitish. During pregnancy, increased discharge may be observed which is also normal if it is white or light yellow in colour. If the discharge is coloured, it could indicate an infection. It is normal for the vagina to have a scent. The scent is unique to every woman but it does not smell bad. If it smells foul and is accompanied by an itch, it is likely that it is due to an infection.
To avoid contracting an infection, you should keep your vaginal area clean and hygienic during pregnancy and after delivery. Following are some important tips that nobody tells you about intimate care:
1. Regular Soaps Are Not Suitable
The normal pH range of the vagina is 3.5-4.5. Most soaps are made to suit the natural pH value of skin which is 5.5. Soaps themselves can be of a pH value of 7. Thus, using these soaps can enable the development and multiplication of bacteria in the private regions. So, it is important to use products that have pH range specific to the vagina.
2. Wash Only The Outer Parts
Washing the inside of the vagina is unnecessary and harmful. In fact, the vagina has the ability to clean itself with a clear discharge. You have to only wash the outer parts – the vulva, the area around the clitoris and the vaginal lips.
3. Use A Soft Drying Towel
When you wipe your vagina, you must always use a soft clean towel. You should wipe yourself after taking a shower and after bowel movements. Make sure to always wipe from front to back to avoid any vaginal infections.
4. Wipe From Front To Back
So, why is it recommended to always wipe from front to back? When you wipe from back to front, you are at risk of smearing E. Coli (bacteria) to the opening of the urethral canal. This bacteria will cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). We recommend using Himalaya Intimate wipes which consists of Lavender and Pongamia Oil that helps soothe the area. When you wipe yourself with the wipes, it gives you a very gentle feeling as it has the right pH balance, unlike soaps.
5. Wear Cotton Underwear
Wearing tight undergarments of different materials can often lead to irritation in and around the vagina. Thus, in order to minimize rashes and irritation, it is better to use cotton cloth which is gentle on the skin and does not irritate it. Also, cotton acts as a good absorber and any minor leakage can be absorbed by it which will prevent the moisture affecting your skin significantly.
6. Wash Your Intimate Area Twice A Day
Washing your intimate area twice a day helps prevent the multiplication and spreading of harmful bacteria. You can use warm water to wash and then a clean, soft towel to pat yourself dry. If you feel that plain water does not clean your intimate parts satisfactorily, you should use a vaginal wash, not soap. Scrubbing vigorously with soap and water doesn’t reduce the chances of an infection. In fact, it does the opposite. It disrupts the pH value thereby causing discomfort. This is why it is better to use a pH balanced vaginal wash. We recommend using Himalaya’s Intimate Wash that consists of Tea tree, Pongamia oil and lactic acid since it is gentle with a mild fragrance and helps maintain freshness for the entire day. Apart from giving a soothing fragrance, it also keeps up the proper pH levels thereby preventing any kind of infections.