Intimate hygiene during periods: good habits!

Prendre soin de son hygiène intime pendant les règles

Without good menstrual hygiene , having your period can quickly be accompanied by more or less serious inconveniences and problems: odor , irritation , itching , vaginal yeast infection , toxic shock syndrome , etc. It is therefore important to follow certain recommendations and adopt safe and healthy practices to take care of your privacy during this time of the month. But how to have good intimate hygiene during your period ? Below are all our tips to help you preserve your intimate health during this first phase of the menstrual cycle that is menstruation .

Menstrual hygiene: what are we talking about?

Hygiene refers to all the principles and practices whose aim is to promote health, that is to say the general good functioning of the body. More specifically, intimate hygiene focuses on all the care given to the intimate parts of our anatomy. As for so-called menstrual hygiene, this refers to the attention paid to female intimate hygiene during menstruation.

But why should you particularly worry about your intimate hygiene during your period? Because during this period, the female genital tract is the scene of changes which expose it to more infectious risks. Indeed, several factors favor the penetration and development of pathogens in the body at this point in the cycle:

  • the presence of blood inside the vagina and around the vulva;
  • the increase in vaginal pH, then less acidic, and the variation in the bacterial composition of the vaginal microbiota;
  • stagnation of menstrual blood in the vaginal cavity or in contact with the vulva in the event of improper use of hygienic protection.

This can produce different negative effects, ranging from simple discomfort caused by an unpleasant but temporary odor to the occurrence of menstrual toxic shock syndrome (TSS) , with potentially very serious and irreversible consequences.

In order to avoid these problems and maintain excellent health, it seems essential to know and apply the right actions regarding menstrual hygiene.

Tips for good menstrual hygiene

Respect the basic rules of feminine intimate hygiene

Having impeccable menstrual hygiene begins with respecting the basics of feminine personal hygiene which follow, applicable at all times.

  • Wash your intimate area with clean water once or twice a day, without a washcloth (potential breeding ground for microbes) but using your clean hands and a mild cleanser, soap or gel with a neutral or slightly pH acid.
  • Limit your intimate hygiene to the external part of your anatomy, that is to say the vulva, knowing that the vagina naturally cleans itself and that internal soaping or vaginal douche is not useful (unless prescribed by a doctor). ), or even counterproductive since it can destroy the vaginal flora and thus promote the appearance of infections.
  • After washing, do not apply perfume or deodorant, which is also useless and aggressive for the skin and mucous membranes (if you notice an unusual odor, consult a doctor).
  • Dry yourself with clean, soft bath linens, changed regularly to prevent the proliferation of bacteria in this hot and humid environment that is the bathroom.
  • Overall, use neutral, fragrance-free products, whether toilet paper, body cleanser, intimate wipes or periodic protection, in order to limit the risk of allergies.
  • If the vulva is sensitive, avoid underwear and clothing that is too tight, which compresses it and, through friction, often ends up irritating it.

Choosing the right hygienic protection

Good periodic protection is above all healthy protection, without danger to your health. Avoid devices containing residues of potentially toxic substances – dioxins, chlorine derivatives, pesticides, etc. – and favor natural ranges and products, such as tampons or organic cotton menstrual panties .

But the right hygienic protection is also the one that suits you and suits you perfectly! Every woman has a different experience with the menstrual cycle and periods. Variability is great in many areas: quantity, duration, color and texture of bloody discharge and vaginal discharge; spotting ; symptoms of premenstrual syndrome ; gynecological disease such as endometriosis ; etc. In addition, no one has the same body shape or seeks the same level of comfort. It is therefore important to choose a type of protection that meets all of your personal criteria. To do this, do not hesitate to test the different options available on the market: disposable pads and tampons, reusable pads, cups , washable menstrual underwear.

Finally, consider varying the models depending on the context: menstrual thong for light flow days, menstrual shorty for heavy periods day and night, menstrual swimsuit to manage your periods on vacation or menstrual set in precious lace for (to) please oneself in all circumstances.

Change hygienic protection regularly

This simple instruction may seem obvious, but it is not always possible or easy to apply for people affected by menstrual poverty .

As a reminder, it is recommended to:

  • do not wear periodic protection for more than 8 hours in a row, all types combined, especially for internal protection such as tampons and cups which expose you to the risk of menstrual TSS;
  • change sanitary protection every 3 to 6 hours on average, depending on the device used and your menstrual flow.

Protect yourself during sex

There are no medical contraindications to having sex during your period. On the other hand, the presence of menstrual blood in the vagina increases the risk of transmission of certain STIs during unprotected sex. It is therefore all the more important to use a condom during your menstrual period if you are having sex with a partner whose intimate health status you do not know.

Do not hesitate to consult a doctor

If unusual symptoms appear, seek the advice of a healthcare professional who can establish a diagnosis and prescribe appropriate care if necessary.

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Written by CD