The vulva and vagina are extremely sensitive organs – and we’re not just talking about the plethora of nerve endings present in the clitoris, which is responsible for much of the female pleasure.

In addition to this sensitivity, our genital region is also susceptible to the action of cosmetic products, to the presence of microorganisms from other parts of the body, and to many other seemingly innocent agents, such as water.

This happens because the vulva and vagina are covered by a very thin and delicate mucous membrane, and the protective barrier it offers can be easily broken by inadequate habits. Learn about 7 of these practices that you should leave behind to preserve the health of your genital region:

1. Use a sanitary pad every day

The so-called “daily pads” were developed to contain the flow at the beginning and end of the menstrual period and should not be used every day. This habit increases the temperature and humidity of the genital area, turning your vulva and vagina into a very inviting environment for the proliferation of disease-causing microorganisms.

If it is absolutely necessary to use pads every day, it is advisable to change them every four hours. However, the ideal is to allow your vagina to breathe more freely.

2. Perform vaginal douches

Many women imagine that douching inside the vagina is a good hygiene habit, but this is not true. By doing this excessive cleaning, the result can be a great imbalance in the vaginal flora: the beneficial bacteria are eliminated, making room for the multiplication of disease-causing organisms.

Some gynecologists even claim that vaginal douching increases the risk of inflammatory pelvic disease and bacterial vaginosis. Therefore, the best way to sanitize the genital area is to wash it only externally with water and mild soap.

3. Thinking that the natural odor is unpleasant

Every vagina has a distinctive odor and this is completely normal for an organ full of secretory glands. Trying to eliminate this natural odor with the use of deodorants, intimate soaps or scented pads can end up causing an irritation in the vaginal area.

You should only be concerned if your vagina suddenly smells stronger than usual, and if it is accompanied by itching, burning, or discharge that is different from the normal discharge you are used to.

4. Toilet paper backward

One of the biggest threats to the health of the vagina is located right next to it: bacteria from the anus. Although these micro-organisms do not cause major problems in the anal area, they can cause serious infections in the genitals.

Therefore, when cleaning yourself after urinating or defecating, it is important to always use the toilet paper starting from the vagina and moving toward the anus, and not the other way around, to avoid carrying fecal bacteria into the vulva.

5. Vaginal steaming

One practice that has become popular is steaming the vagina. This technique involves using special seats or basins containing very hot water and some plants, so that the steam is directed into the vaginal canal in order to “cleanse the uterus.

The problem is that, since the woman does not wear underwear during this practice, the vagina is exposed to vapors at temperatures that can cause burns or irritation. In addition, the uterus does not need to be “cleaned” – yet another reason why the technique is widely disputed by gynecologists.

6. Using Vaseline as a lubricant

Vaseline and other products that contain petrolatum in its composition should not be used as intimate lubricants, because they can cause irritations and infections and damage the latex of the condom, impairing protection.

Besides Vaseline, it is not indicated to use creams, soaps, butter, vegetable or mineral oils and other products that have not been developed exclusively for the genital region. The best thing is to use a water-based lubricant, which does not react with the condom and is hypoallergenic.

7. Using food directly on the vulva during intercourse

It is very common to find tips suggesting the use of condensed milk, whipped cream, syrups, and other food products as a way to innovate during intercourse. However, when they are applied to the vulva or carried into the vagina with penetration, their high sugar content can harm the vaginal flora, paving the way for irritation and infection.

To ensure the health of your genitals, you can opt for flavored products developed especially for this area, or use the food in other parts of the body.

Remember that the mucous membrane that covers the vulva is very thin and sensitive, so that even something apparently harmless can end up causing damage to the genitals. If you are feeling any kind of itching, burning or burning sensation, or notice a change in the vaginal odor or secretion, it is always recommended that you see your gynecologist as soon as possible.

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