Rules of Genital Cleansing for Woman
The female genital system is constantly in “war” with the bacteria entering through sexual intercourse. In addition, the close proximity of the genital organs to the large intestine creates a direct entrance to the bacteria here from the vagina.
It provides a direct passage to the bladder through the urethra (urinary tube) in the region, which is close to the urethra of the genital tract.
Under normal conditions, thanks to the perfect defense mechanism of the vagina and the valve mechanism, which makes it difficult to pass from the urethra to the bladder, bacteria are prevented from infecting the genital area and urinary tract.
The menstrual bleeding that occurs every month creates a very suitable environment for the bacteria to multiply due to the proteins it contains, and therefore infections in women occur most frequently during the menstrual period.
It is extremely important to be informed about the rules of genital hygiene, both in terms of protection from the genital system and urinary tract infections.
Friend of the vagina: lactobacilli
One of the most important differences of the vagina compared to other organs is the fact that bacteria take part in the defense of the region against harmful bacteria. Bacteria called lactobacilli, which are reproductive in the acid environment, prevent the growth of other bacteria that can infect inside the vagina.
For this purpose, the glycogen stored in the cells in the vagina wall thanks to the hormone estrogen (glycogen is the storage form of sugar called glucose) first turns into an acid substance called lactic acid. This acid substance ensures the continuation of the acid environment of the vagina and the proliferation of lactobacilli.
When the lactobacilli are reduced for some reason (infectious bacteria invading the vagina and prevailing lactobacilli), the acid environment of the vagina is disturbed and infection in the vagina becomes easier.
For any reason, when the acid environment of the vagina decreases (the introduction of unsuitable chemicals into the vagina, the reduction of glycogen stores due to the decrease in estrogen production), lactobacilli are reduced and infection in the vagina is facilitated.
Many of the suggestions for protecting genital hygiene are for the protection of lactobacillic-acid media duo in the vagina. Instead of memorizing the rules of genital hygiene, it will be easier for you to solve the genital hygiene phenomenon if you think of these two.
10 Golden Rules of Protecting Genital Hygiene
Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, you should not use hygiene products produced for washing inside the vagina.
The vagina is an organ that constantly renews itself. For this reason, it is meaningless to try to “clean” by inserting these substances into the vagina and may damage the lactobacilli / acid environment of the vagina. There is no harm in cleaning your outer genital area with these products.
Trying to provide hygiene by washing the genital area more than necessary may contribute to damage to the lactobacilli / acid environment of the vagina.
Cleaning after toilet is very important from front to back (from vagina to anus).
When you do the cleaning from the anus to the vagina, the large intestine bacteria in the stool can infect the vagina and from there into the bladder through the urinary tube.
It is important for the genital area to remain dry.
It is important to keep the genital area dry, as fungi and other bacteria reproduce easily in humid and hot environments. You can achieve this by changing your underwear daily, choosing cotton underwear instead of nylon, and not using tight pants, socks and underwear.
It should not be postponed after intercourse and when the need to urinate occurs at all other times.
When the urine need is delayed, bacteria in the bladder find “time” to infect. Whereas urination ensures that bacteria are excreted from the body along with urine.
The relationship should not be initiated without being fully prepared (without enough slipperiness).
This precaution is very important to avoid mechanical irritation. If necessary, you can use lubricants according to the doctor’s recommendation.
Points to Consider During Menstrual Period:
The most important point to be considered in the use of the vaginal tampons produced in order to provide freedom of movement in the business activities and social activities of the woman who is in the period of menstrual bleeding, is not to be neglected to replace the tampon frequently with a new one. Bacteria begin to multiply quickly after contact with blood from the moment you insert the vaginal tampon.
Vaginal tampons do not disrupt the natural environment of the vagina when used properly. However, when they stay in the vagina for a long time, these tampons can cause life-threatening infections aside from the development of the vaginitis problem.
Although there is not enough medical reason to prohibit sexual intercourse during the period of menstrual bleeding, if you do not feel comfortable enough in this period, you should communicate this to your spouse and postpone the relationship in periods of bleeding.
Since the upper genital tract infections are thought to occur most frequently during menstrual bleeding, women who are at risk in this regard (such as previous infection, polygamous life, or spouse survival) should avoid intercourse during this period.
It is your most natural right to ask your partner to use condoms when you have sexual intercourse with someone who is at risk for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).
You can take advantage of the female condom when you think you cannot provide it.
Remember: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are more easily transmitted from male to female.
Points to be Considered in Genital Cleaning:
It is very effective in removing wax and razor genital hair. However, these two methods facilitate the infection of the hair follicles and cause easier irritation of the genital area. Using tools developed for the genital area or using scissors may be a better option, especially for women susceptible to infection and irritation of the genital area.
Precautions to be Taken in the Toilet:
Disposable papers laid on top of the toilet seat are becoming more and more common in our country, and even in large markets these papers are sold properly packed for everyone to carry in their pockets. You should definitely use these papers.
Another problem in the toilets is that the dirty water inside the toilet splashes and touches the genital area. To prevent this, you can cover the dirty water with toilet paper. When it is not possible to do this, you can take advantage of “blue water donor tablets” containing disinfectant.
Every woman should regularly undergo gynecological examination and be sensitive to symptoms and signs.
Women should apply for an annual gynecological examination, even if they have no problems. This is very important for the diagnosis and treatment of non-symptom or late symptoms.