Monday, 21 August 2017

Let's Talk a Little About Feminine Hygiene

Among all the beauty and fashion related posts, somehow the important things get pushed behind. I wanted to do a hygiene related post for a long time...better late than never! Considering our country, where a lot of things are hushed up, a lot of mothers might have never had the talk with their daughters about maintaining things where they ought to be maintained. I keep wondering why women do not talk more about these things! There are many things we can learn from each other...right?
Discussed below are a some pointers and a few products that I personally like using. Read on!

1. Using an intimate/feminine wash every day or 2-3 times a day is absolutely unnessary. Please stay away from excessive washing/douching and never use harsh cleansers/soaps. On most days, rinsing the vaginal area with plain water and patting dry is more than enough. (and you need to do this after every trip to the restroom).
That being said, using a feminie wash can help you feel better and refreshed sometimes. I personally like to use them after a particularly hot/active day and during the cycle just to freshen things up a bit. 

2. I have only used sanitary napkins so far and hence cannot comment on other methods though I hope to try them someday.
When it comes to sanitary napkins, Whisper was the brand most of us use (so did I almost all throughout school), but I think their quality has reduced a lot over the years. The cotton between the linings tends to break and clump, the plastic lining tends to tear easily. A few years back I switched to Stayfree and it is one of the best decisions I ever made!
I have made a few of my friends try Stayfree too and they all agree - it performs better than Whisper! I espeically like their All Night variant - it is long and wider in the back (less chances of staining!)

Whatever be your preferred method, please make sure it is sanitary. Change your napkin/tampon at brief intervals in order to prevent infection (even if the flow isn't heavy and the napkin will probably survive 3 more hours...change it). 


3. Use Panty Liners
I cannot even begin to explain how handy these are. A lot of women use it a few days before or towards the end of their cycle, and yes these are quite handy then (since the flow is light-almost nil). 
But, I use them regularly on the days when I am out and about. Panty liners keep you fresh and dry and let you do all your chores without feeling icky and sweaty down there. On a full day, I tend to carry a couple with me and change as and when required. 
There are several panty liners available today - Bella, Carefree, Sofy, Helen Harper. I have tried a few and always have come back to Carefree (unscented varaint). 
Panty liners are small and super thin, you wouldn't even know it was there. If you have not tried these yet, it is time you do...thank me later :)

** Also, try and stay away from scented products (to prevent irritation). 


4. Pee Buddy
I found this a few months back at Health and Glow. It sounded super interesting and I just had to try it out! These come in extremely handy especially in India, where (a) there is a lack of public toliets (b) even if you find one, chances are it will be quite dirty.
Pee Buddy gives you the power to stand up and pee! It is super handy while travelling (think about the awful restrooms in trains..yeah?). No more UTIs!

5. Proper disposal
How many times have you walked in a women's restroom and found used sanitary napkins etc etc just thrown openly. Yes, it is an issue and I do not get how women can just dispose things out in the open. Makes using the cubicle a nightmare for others, doesn't it?  I Love Clean is easy to carry, biodegradable and tamper proof for hygienic disposal of intimate care products (Sanitary Pads, tampons, panty liners, diapers, peebuddy etc). I find it extremely useful to keep a pack handy when I am going out (esp during the menstrual cycle).

6. Keep the area trimmed and neat
Now how much fuzz you are comfortable with is entirely upto personal preference ... whatever works for you. You have several options - waxing, shaving, trimming. Even if you do not want to go fuzz free, it is always a good idea to keep the hair neat and trimmed...for hygiene. If you choose to remove the hair:
(a) do not use a hair removal cream - these are full of chemicals and absolutely not safe for use near the intimate areas.
(b) shaving - works for a lot of people. But, be prepared to encounter some itchiness when the hair grows back (whoever says it doesn't is lying!). You can also be prone to getting ingrown hair and razor bumps. Also, you need to be super careful when you are using a razor down there...any accidentdal cuts...ouch!
(c) waxing - haven't tried (too scared of the pain!), cannot comment. But, many women have started to opt for it. If you have tired it, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
(d) bikini trimmer - quite a safe option. It is a battery operated hair trimmer with a smaller head. There are several ones available today - Philips, Remington, Braun... take your pick. Gives you a neat trim (some have different attchments so that you can control the length of hair), no chances of cutting yourself, not painful. 


I also want to try out cleansing wipes (will update when I do).
** Not that much related - but it is a good idea to carry a Toliet Sanitizer Spray with you. These are small cans that can fit easily in your bag, again very handy when using public restrooms. 

So, these where some of my pointers and I hope it helped some of you. If you have any questions/suggestions please leave them in the comments below.

xoxo,
Swati
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