Intimate care rountine for a healthy vagina that every woman should follow
In India, discussing vaginal hygiene is still taboo, as many women still avoid discussing or giving advice on how to practice good feminine hygiene. To maintain clean genitalia and keep your reproductive system in good shape, it is crucial to understand the importance of vaginal hygiene. There are a few basic vaginal hygiene guidelines that every woman, regardless of age, should be aware of.
Keeping yourself clean is the most important feminine hygiene tip that one must follow, especially during puberty when the body transitions a change like menstruation, daily vaginal discharge, and an increase in sweat from the sweat glands making personal hygiene increasingly important.
Our body has its own defence mechanism to maintain the PH of vagina, we don’t need any external factors. Our normal vaginal discharge had good bacteria called lactobacillus which provides immunity and maintains PH. If vaginal washes are used, they are meant for external use and not for internal douching.
After a good bath, it is advised to use a soft, dry clean towel that should be changed after two to three days to dry off the intimate area. Sharing towels should be strictly prohibited.
One may not realise the importance of this habit but implementing this in your routine can work wonders. When you go to the loo, be sure to wipe front to back not vice versa to avoid harmful bacteria from getting into the vagina along with urinary tract infections.
“The golden rule behind intimate care is to wear cotton underwear because cotton itself is a very breathable fabric that allows excess moisture from sweat or discharge to evaporate instead of creating an unpleasant odour due to breeding bacteria,” says Dr. Dawane.
It is important to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins that may affect the vagina and the body in the later stages. Incorporating these intimate hygiene habits is essential to keep your vagina healthy but if ignored, there may be complications in the future.
“I had always been big on exercising, sports, and Yoga”
For Rasika Bombatkar, sharing this information with the world was not an easy task. She was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in September 2022. A physiotherapist, the 26 year old, has shared her journey with cancer on several social media platforms.” I had always been big on exercising, sports, and Yoga. I’ve never smoked. My health seemed perfect — this came out of nowhere,” she writes about her health condition which “apparently was just a cough”.
“I was afraid of being “treated” differently”
Rasika shares that initially she hesitated to share this information with others because of the way she anticipated the world would treat her.Rasika is not just one, there are several cancer patients who do not wish to inform others about their health. They dislike being pitied and being talked to in a demotivating manner. Cancer is a cruel disease and the struggle for survival for a cancer patient is beyond can never be put together in words. With an intention of inspiring others, Rasika decided to share her journey on World Cancer Day, which was observed on February 4.
How to help a person with cancer?
In a post made on her personal Facebook account, Rasika has talked about helping people with cancer. She has listed a number of dos and don’ts while having a conversation with a cancer patient.She says, “it is important to be mindful of questions and comments that can be hurtful or insensitive,” and suggests avoiding saying “this is unacceptable, disheartening”, “the same thing happened to my neighbor and it turned out fine”,”do you smoke? did you drink”, “things could always be worse.”Instead, she suggests that it is not necessary that all your conversation should be about cancer. Try something like this: “things might look difficult for now, but it won’t be the same forever”, “it is okay to feel this way”, “I don’t know what to say or how to say it, but I want you to know I am here for you.””Not everyone will disclose widely. Knowing the level of privacy your friend wants to maintain will help you determine the best way to provide support,” the cancer survivor believes.
“I went through four rounds of chemotherapy”
For treating her lung cancer, Rasika underwent four rounds of chemotherapy followed by a surgery to remove the tumor.Lung cancer is treated depending on the type of the cancerous growth and how far it has progressed.While people with non-small cell lung cancer are treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, small cell lung cancer is treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Mental health of the patient should also be taken care of
Rasika writes that she felt dependent, weak, and emotionally fragile during the course of her treatment even after the process was a successful one. “…it left me with some uncertainties,” she writes.”But it was my loved ones’ unwavering belief in me that allowed me to see that a cancer diagnosis didn’t define me or my future… that life doesn’t end with this diagnosis… that this too, like other things life throws at us, can be a way to rise – above everything. And that there’s no shame in giving up as long as you pick yourself up stronger, harder and more resilient than ever before,” she writes and encourages people like her.
What symptoms did she show prior to diagnosis?
Rasika writes she had a cough and only after the diagnosis, it was detected that she had lung cancer. Coughing is a classic symptom of lung cancer. It is characterized by persistence which means it does not go away and worsens gradually.Sometimes the patient coughs up blood or there are traces of blood in the cough.Cough is accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue and unexplained weight loss.One feels pain in the chest even while deep breathing and coughing.