Every woman wants to be confident when it comes to our personal hygiene. We use expensive perfumes, scented shampoos and rich body butters to make sure we smell feminine and attractive. It is as much about how we smell to ourselves as it is how we smell to others.
But, when it comes to our intimate hygiene, we are often left clueless and worried about whether what we are experiencing is normal.
Boys are raised to be proud of their genitals, they are told that it looks like dad’s, which is a good thing and that they have to touch themselves and aim properly when they urinate. Girls on the other hand are raised with two contradicting messages: you have to be sure that you are absolutely clean “down there” but, you have to keep your “hands-off” at all times. We are also told that if we wipe in the wrong direction, we can contaminate the area and give ourselves infections, which makes it sound dangerous, dirty and easy to be out of control.
What is normal?
It is normal for a woman to have up to tablespoon full of vaginal discharge every day. The consistency of the discharge may vary during the month, depending on where she is in her cycle. For a woman who is not on the pill and who ovulates for instance, the discharge might become much more during the middle of her cycle and be very sticky. For post-menopausal women who start taking oestrogen supplementation, a discharge my reappear after not having one for many years.
What is not normal?
It is not normal if it itches. An itchy discharge is usually due to a candida infection or so-called thrush. Candida is one of the many millions of organisms that live in our bowels. It can easily over-grow when the pH of the vaginal area changes. This happens due to bubble baths, using the wrong kinds of soaps and flavoured lubrication as well as dietary factors such as high sugar and carbohydrate intake.
A musky odour is part of our femininity and women should not try to remove their natural odour by using harmful substances and especially not by douching. Many women have been misinformed and believe that it is necessary to clean the inside of their vaginas. This is not true and in fact harmful. When you douche, you also kill off all the good bacteria that are very important to maintain the pH balance and health of your vagina. The pH balance is necessary to prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungi. When the pH balance is not maintained it can lead to irritation and discomfort.
If there is an unpleasant odour, it is not normal. This can be due to an infection, but it is also influence by what we eat and can be caused by over-cleaning the vaginal area, especially when the wrong soaps are used.
Femagene has the ideal range of intimate hygiene products. If you want to make sure that you are using the right products to enhance and maintain your intimate confidence, look no further.
Dr Elna Rudolph, Sexual Health Physician