5 Rules To Live By For Better Reproductive and Sexual Health

Take charge of your well-being with these simple tips. We spoke to a gynaecologist to find out 5 things that we must do to maintain good sexual and reproductive health. It’s so easy!

By Dr. Priyanka Sinha
07 Apr 2022

Have you ever thought about how often you should clean your vulva? Most importantly, what is the right way to maintain intimate hygiene? Should you use soap? What if you forgot to change your pad or tampon? In the world, there are various beliefs and myths based on cultural and lifestyle differences when it comes to intimate hygiene. The practices may include, for example, bathing, douching, applying lotions, sipping herbal tea to ease period cramps, or using clothes during the menstrual cycle. But, are these safe practices? Let’s find out some useful female intimate hygiene tips.


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Do not use soaps and washing lotions to clean the vagina

According to a 2020 study published in Expert Review, cleansing products such as scented deodorants, soaps and douches are unnecessary for vaginal health as they contain harmful chemicals that can disturb the pH balance of the vagina. Your vagina is self-cleaning, avoid intimate washes, douching, harsh soaps, Savlon, or Dettol to maintain your hygiene. Further, you can rinse with light strokes downwards, wipe from front to back, and dry using a clean cloth. Do not ignore the butt line and rectal area as it gathers lots of bad bacteria.


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Pee after sex to cut the risk of infections

During intercourse, bacteria can transfer from the genital to the urethra. The urethra connects the bladder to the opening from where urine comes out. According to a study conducted in 2009, published in, the Indian journal of nephrology says, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the third most common infection after respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Always clean the vagina after intercourse as fluids from a condom or your partner’s body can irritate. Peeing after sex reduces the chances of passing any sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, warts, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in women.


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Change menstrual products frequently throughout the day

During menstruation, continuing to wear the same pad or tampon for a prolonged time can cause the growth of bacteria, rashes, and irritation in private parts. Hence, changing menstrual material regularly or every 5-6 hours can protect you from dampness and skin irritation. Also, wear freshly washed cotton (preferable) underwear. Unlike satin or other synthetic material, cotton fabric is excellent at absorbing moisture.


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Always visit a doctor to treat foul smelling vaginal discharge

Fluids secreted from the vagina or cervix are completely normal and have a natural distinct odour. The frequency of discharge fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes. This results in different coloured and textured vaginal discharge. A clear or whitish fluid means your vagina is healthy and well lubricated. See a gynaecologist if vaginal discharge is smelly with a cottage cheese-like texture as it may be a sign of yeast infection. Another concerning sign is if vaginal mucus turns out to be grey or green with a fishy smell. Then this indicates bacterial vaginosis which occurs due to the growth of bacteria.


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Start preconception planning with a blood test for anaemia

When planning to conceive, it is imperative to start preconception planning at least 2 to 3 months before. Don’t forget to test for anaemia. In this way, you are assured of delivering a healthy newborn without medical conditions. Along with this, stay up to date on cervical exams and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to protect yourself from the danger of cervical cancer.



This article is verified by Dr. Priyanka Sinha an MBBS, DGO, MS, Diploma in Advanced laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgeries. She is a Senior Consultant Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at Apollo Multi-speciality hospital, in Kolkata, India.



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