an initiative of ACCORD


Feminine hygiene – WHY?

Sweat, urine, and natural excretions from the vagina create a moist, warm environment that can be a haven for the growth of microorganisms. The healthy body always has certain microorganisms present in moist areas. However, regular personal hygiene helps keep the balance between what is normal and what is undesirable or unhealthy, including unpleasant odours and infections such as vaginal and urinary tract infections.

Menstruation can also leave women feeling less clean and fresh than usual. Absorbing the monthly flow of blood, tissue, fluid and mucus is an important part of staying clean and comfortable.

Feminine hygiene – HOW?

Regular cleaning of your external genitals and the anus with a gentle soap and water, followed by rinsing and towel drying, will help avoid unpleasant odours and infection. The internal parts of the vagina are self-cleaning so douches and vaginal sprays should not be used unless recommended by your doctor.

Wiping with toilet paper from front to back after urinating or after a bowel movement is another important way to help avoid infection.

During menstruation, washing every day with a quality cleaning product and frequently changing your pad or tampon should be perfectly adequate to minimise bad odours and the chance of infection.

There is a huge range of feminine hygiene products to choose from. Tampons come in different sizes, shapes and absorbencies, and pads come with and without wings, in different shapes and absorbencies. Pantiliners can be used to protect the underwear from vaginal discharge or slight bladder leakage.

If you are using tampons, it is recommended that you choose the lowest absorbency tampon for your blood flow and change tampons every 4 to 8 hours to minimize the chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome, caused by the build-up of bacteria in the vagina. Pads should be changed before they are soaked through or start to smell bad.

Wearing cotton underwear and breathable outer fabrics will also help you to stay feeling fresh, as opposed to tight pants and pantyhose which cause greater perspiration. You should also change out of soiled underwear and wet swimwear as soon as practical.

useful stuff...

The human body may be home to 10 times as many bacteria as human cells. Researchers believe the human body has over 500 bacterial species living in and on it.7 Trouble getting a date? 75% of women in a New York survey said they would only date a guy who showered daily.8   20-30% of handbags have faecal bacteria on the underside.22 In 2006, women spent an average of 54 minutes and men 43 minutes per day on personal hygiene.9
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