I am a 24-year-old girl, and I prefer washing my genitals with a vaginal wash on a daily basis, especially when I have my periods. Is this healthy?
You are right to worry about your vaginal cleanliness and hygiene. If not cared for improper cleaning can lead to a variety of infections including fungal candidiasis and UTI and in some cases vaginal dryness. That being said here is something you should consider. Here are some natural ways to beat vaginal dryness.
Using vaginal washes to keep your genital area clean is highly debated, but many experts feel that using these products with caution is the best way to go about it. Dr Kaustubh D. Kulkarni, Clinical Director and Co-founder of Siddhi Life Assisted Reproduction Centre says, ‘If you choose an over the counter vaginal wash, make sure you buy one that has lactic acid as one of its major components, since lactic acid helps maintain the pH balance of the area.’ The pH of your vagina is what helps keep infection causing bacteria at bay. Apart from that, it is best you choose one that is unscented as the chemicals used to give the wash its odour can be harsh on the sensitive skin of you genitals.
While doctors do suggest using vaginal washes to wash your genital area, make sure you do not try to wash the inner walls of your vagina with it as the skin in that area is very sensitive. Moreover, the organ is self-cleaning and has a very delicate balance of good and bacteria — which if disturbed can lead to infections. Even when you have your periods.
Also, when you wash the area make sure your hands are clean and your nails are trimmed so they do not hurt you. Do not be too harsh and wash from front to back (towards your anus). This is will prevent faeces and other disease-causing bacteria from entering your vagina or urethra (where you pee from).
If you would like to try something natural using warm water with some baking soda mixed in is a great, gentle cleaning agent. Also, this remedy to use lemon leaves and water to wash the area helps keep common fungal infections like candidiasis at bay.