Myths and Facts Related to Intimate Hygiene

Myth: The genital area should be washed with soap every day.

Fact: The genital area should be washed with water and/or a hygiene wash. Soaps are harsh and should be avoided as they irritate the intimate area.

Myth: It is okay to use a single sanitary napkin throughout the day.

Fact: Sanitary napkins should be changed as often as needed. Prolonged exposure to damp sanitary pads can irritate the skin and disturb the pH of intimate area.

Myth: Vaginal douching (forcing a spray of water/liquid inside the vagina to clean it) is very effective to keep the intimate area clean.

Fact: Vaginal douching should be avoided as it disturbs the pH level and increases the risk of infections. Washing the intimate area with warm water and/or a hygiene wash is enough to keep it clean.

Myth: Itching and irritation in the intimate area is temporary and I don’t have to worry about it.

Fact: Though symptoms like itching, burning, irritation, dryness, abnormal-coloured discharge or unpleasant odour are temporary for most females, consult the doctor if these symptoms recur or persist for a long time.

Myth: Women should shave the intimate area regularly.

Fact: Though it is a good practice to trim the pubic hair short, there is no need to shave the intimate area regularly, as it may increase the risk of infections.

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This patient education material clarifies myths related to hygiene of the intimate area in women.
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