It’s important to practise good feminine hygiene and look after your intimate area like you would the rest of your body. Feminine hygiene will help to boost your overall health as a woman too, by keeping your genitals clean you can help to prevent infection and discomfort.
Feminine hygiene products
Personal care products are an essential part of your hygiene routine especially during your menstrual cycle. During your period you may feel like you need to wash or freshen up more regularly to avoid any bad odours or discomfort. However bear in mind that your vagina self-cleans itself in order to keep the natural; pH balance in check. The natural oils and discharge that you secrete all help to keep the pH balance in your genitals as it should be and free of infection.
What sanitary products are best for me?
Taking care of your intimate area during your period starts with the sanitary products you use and how often you change them. It’s essential that you stay protected each month, whether you’re on your heavier flow days until the very last days of your period.
Sanitary products include:
- Tampons – Easily inserted inside your vagina, tampons absorb your flow during your period. A string is attached to the end making them easy to remove from your vagina when it is time to change them or you have finished your period.
- Sanitary pads, towels and liners – Coming in a variety of absorbencies, lengths and designs, sanitary pads sit inside your underwear and are attached with an adhesive back and wings. They absorb your menstrual flow once it leaves your body and are disposable after use.
- Menstrual cups – Made from flexible silicone the cup sits inside your vagina. It catches your menstrual flow and holds it until you are ready to remove the cup. These cups are a reusable option that can be washed after use and safely stored when you’re not on your period.
Tampon vs pads
You might be wondering which sanitary product would be better suited to you, should you use tampons or pads or perhaps a menstrual cup is the ideal solution for you.
There is no right or wrong way to have a period or use sanitary products. It all depends on what feels more comfortable to you and which you find easier to use. For example, tampons can take a little bit of practise to insert correctly and remove smoothly, whereas pads might also need some adjusting in your underwear to find the perfect position.
Many women who are active and enjoy swimming find that tampons are the best option for them, as they absorb your period flow before it leaves your body. As long as you have used a tampon with an absorbency that is suited to your flow it will not leak as you move. Whether you use pads or tampons, it is important to change them regularly and find the right products to suit the heaviness of your flow. This is especially important with tampons as leaving them in for too long can lead to infection, such as toxic shock syndrome.
What is feminine hygiene wash?
Your vagina is a self-cleaning organ that regulates its own pH balance and levels of healthy bacteria. However throughout your menstrual cycle or day to day life you might feel like your vagina needs a little freshen up in order to avoid odours or discomfort. If you want to use feminine hygiene washes, wipes, powders or sprays, look out for products which have no scent and are hypoallergenic. This will help your vaginal pH balance to remain in its normal healthy state and avoid any irritation.
How do I know if I have heavy periods?
Every woman is different and therefore every period is different – every length, flow and cycle. However a heavy period tends to be classed as heavy if you have to change your tampon or sanitary towel every two hours, or if you need to use these to sanitary products together. Find out more about the causes of heavy periods here.
Why is my period late?
It’s completely normal for your menstrual cycle to vary from month to month, however if you have had unprotected sex you might be pregnant. Find out about other causes of late periods here.
How can I relieve my period cramps?
Period pain and cramps are one of the symptoms of periods; however there are ways that you can manage these pains. From taking painkillers to exercising, there are ways that you can make your periods more manageable.
Image for illustrative purposes only. Posed by models.