Many women don’t consider intimate hygiene as separate from their regular hygiene routine. However, proper intimate hygiene requires different habits and it’s important because your intimate area is delicate and can be prone to infection.
Your vagina has an acidic pH that helps to keep good bacteria (such as lactobacilli) healthy and bad bacteria in check. If you follow proper intimate hygiene habits, you can avoid upsetting this pH balance and therefore help to avoid vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Is It OK to Use Normal Soap in My Intimate Area?
Is Discharge Normal?
It’s completely normal for you to produce clear or white discharge. The glands in your cervix produce a natural lubricant that keeps your vagina moist. This natural lubricant travels down your vagina, helping to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Simply put, discharge is your vagina’s natural way of cleaning itself and it is a sign you have a healthy vagina.
However, your discharge should not be smelly or make you itchy or sore. Additionally, if it changes colour it could be a sign you have an infection and you may need to see your doctor. Everyone is different, so you may produce more or less discharge than other women. You may also produce different amounts of discharge depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. For example, before your period you may get more discharge than normal and it may be thicker in consistency.
What Should I Do After Sex?
Make sure that you empty your bladder after having sex. Taking this precaution will help to remove any bacteria that might have spread into your urethra (the tube that connects your bladder to just above your vaginal opening) in order to help prevent cystitis. And remember — when you go to the toilet, ensure you wipe from front to back in order to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Learn More about Women's Intimate Health
What Is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
Learn what a vaginal yeast infection is and what common symptoms can help identify it. You can also find out how you can treat a yeast infection and how you can help prevent it from recurring.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
Learn what BV is and what bacterial vaginosis symptoms are. You can find out who is more prone to getting this infection and what the differences between a vaginal yeast infection and BV are.
What Is Menopause?
Learn about menopause, including symptoms and how to treat them.
What Is the Menstrual Cycle?
Learn more about your menstrual cycle, including your periods.
What Is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
Learn what PMS is, how to treat and prevent PMS, and when you should see a doctor about your PMS symptoms.
What Is Cystitis?
Learn about the causes and symptoms of cystitis, plus how to prevent it.
What Is Vaginal Dryness?
Learn what vaginal dryness is, including symptoms and prevention.
How to Properly Clean Your Intimate Area
Learn about hygiene in your intimate area.