Reproductive Hygiene Guide
Reproductive hygiene is more than just staying clean. It’s about feeling safe, comfortable, healthy and empowered!
From cleansing washes and perfumes to vulva masks, the reproductive hygiene market is ever-expanding, playing on insecurities about how your body should be 'down there'.
But do you really need all of those products in order to stay healthy? (Hint: not so much!). Here are some quick tips on maintaining your reproductive health that don't involve spending any money:
Stay clean, dry and comfortable
Certain underwear fabrics can trap heat and make infection more life, so opt for cotton underwear to keep you dry and comfortable. Sleeping with no underwear at night is also a good idea as it promotes airflow, lowering the risk of infection.
Although advertised as a way to clean your vagina, it has been known to disrupt your natural PH balance and good bacteria in the vagina, leading to infection. The vagina is self-cleansing, so there's really no need for douching!
Avoid harsh soaps
Avoid using harsh soaps on your vulva, especially scented products which can cause irritation. The best way to stay clean and healthy is gently rinsing the vulva in the shower with warm water. Despite what you might see in the feminine care isle, it's not normal to smell like a flower garden down there.
Pee after sex
Peeing after sex can help to flush out bacteria, preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are common in women. Remember: peeing after sex to prevent pregnancy is a myth! If you're trying to prevent pregnancy, check out these forms of birth control instead.
Practice safe hair removal
Ingrown hairs happen! Try gently exfoliating the area before shaving, and wear loose pants to help hairs grow out more easily afterwards. If this doesn't get rid of them, your doctor can help with any stubborn bumps.
Change tampons and pads regularly
Always read the instructions of the menstrual product you decide to use. If you prefer tampons, be sure to avoid keeping them in at night while you’re sleeping and during the day for longer than 6-8 hours. Although rare, tampons left in for too long can increase your risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a very serious infection caused by bacteria build up in the vagina.
It's recommend to change pads every 4 to 8 hours, depending on your flow. If you're unsure when to change, then it's definitely time when the pad begins to feel full, leaks or starts developing an odor.
Enjoy a balanced diet
Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is important for your reproductive hygiene. Your diet affects your body in many different ways, and the vagina is no exception!
Be sure to drink lots of water (6-8 glasses a day) to help prevent UTIs and eat foods with probiotics like yoghurt, kefir, pickles and sauerkraut to promote healthy bacteria.
Keep learning about your reproductive health by following us @cycles.app for more tips!