Maintaining Genital Hygiene
Maintaining genital hygiene is very important in order to keep infections away. A good genital hygiene is vital for preventing transmission of diseases, promoting good relationship with your partner, and for preventing an offensive smell. Both men as well as women must practice good genital hygiene to keep their bodies clean and free from disease causing germs and bacteria.
There are certain bacteria which thrive on our skin and are responsible for eating away the dead skin. However, an excess accumulation of bacteria due to poor genital hygiene can pose a serious health risk. Therefore it is very important to maintain good genital hygiene.
Male Genital Care
Male genital organs can be kept clean by observing the following steps:
- The genitals need to be washed on a daily basis. Men must use water and mild soap for washing their penis, scrotum, pubic hair, and anus. Men, who are not circumcised, need to clean their foreskin daily so as to prevent the accumulation of smegma under the foreskin. The soap should ideally be chemical-free.
- Men must shake their penis lightly after urinating so that the remaining drops of urine are also expelled. A tissue should be used for wiping the area dry.
- Men also need to clean the base of the penis and the testicles to avoid a sweaty smell from the pubic hair.
- After bowel movements, the anus must either be wiped with a tissue or washed with water. The movement of the hand while using the toilet paper should always be from front to the back.
- It is very important to wash your hands after using the restroom. This helps in keeping the hands free from germs.
- It is advisable to wear loose fitting cotton underwear or boxers. Changing under garments on a daily basis is strongly recommended.
Female Genital Care
Women should follow the steps given below to maintain healthy genitals:
- The genital organs including the vulva, pubic hair, and the anus need to be washed daily with a mild, chemical free soap and water.
- Women must keep their genitals dry at all times. They must remember to use a toilet paper for drying their genitals after urinating.
- After bowel movements, the anus should be either washed or cleaned with a paper tissue. While using the paper tissue, the hand movement should always be from the front to the back.
- Women, like men, must remember to wash their hands after urinating or bowel movements to prevent germs from spreading through hands.
- Women should avoid the use of douches unless prescribed by a physician. Indiscriminate use of douches can make the vagina more prone to bacterial infections.
- Women should wear 100% cotton, preferably white, underwear and the use of nylon, acetate and other synthetic fibers should be avoided. Care should be taken to wear clothing that allows air to pass through so that the natural secretions from the vagina can evaporate.
- During periods, it is important to wash the genitals at least twice. Women also need to change the sanitary napkins or tampons regularly specially during days of heavy flow.
- Women who prefer to remove their pubic hair need to be very careful as at times hair removal can lead to ingrowing hair and scars.
Both men and women must change their clothes after strenuous exercising sessions in order to maintain a good genital hygiene.
- “An Updated Review of Evidence to Discourage Douching,” by Barbara Hansen, et al. Published in April 2010, Volume 35, Issue 2 of American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, accessed on Sunday, 12 April 2015 Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NMC.0b013e3181cae9da