Hygiene comprises the overall promotion and preservation of wellness, This includes the whole body cleanliness which can be maintained through regular and proper washing and use of supportive products. This aspect can be applied to both men and women. Therefore when the word feminine hygiene is given it is almost always referred to as the wellness of the vaginal region.
The vagina is a muscular tube that leads from the uterus into the exterior part of the body. The exterior part is the vulva which is a common site of infections and diseases in women because it is kept moist and often, subjected to friction and irritations.
• The vagina is lined with mucous tissue which serves as. a barrier from foreign substances. Sex hormones balance plays a key role in the thickness of the tissue. The phases that alters the balance are age, menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. Young girls and older women have a very thin mucous tissue and therefore their vaginal flora is more vulnerable and compromised.
• The vagina has lots of micro organism living in balance. One good example is Lactobacillus acidophilus which maintains the acidity of the vagina area by producing lactic acid. The acidic environment serves as a protection for growth of other organism which may cause harm to a woman. When the acidity is not maintained, there will be an overgrowth of other bacteria which favor the basic environment.
Improper hygiene can manifest the following unwanted symptoms:
• Labial, vulvar and vaginal itching
• Unpleasant odor
• General physician
• family physician
COMMONLY USED MEDICINES
Feminine hygiene products are produced to help women obtain the proper hygiene needed to maintain the balance of the vaginal region.
Sanitary napkins also known as pads are made up of cotton, rayon and super absorbent material e.g., dried hydro gel. Generally, a pad can lasts for six hours however it is recommenced to change it every four hours to prevent growth' microorganism.
Tampons are cylindrical cotton or absorbent material inserted vaginal cavity. They are preferred by some women who have a very active lifestyle. The controversy involving tampons is the incidence of Toxic Shock Syndrome which is caused by Staphylococcus aureus. This can be prevented by frequent change c i tampon, preferably every 3 hours.
Pantyliners are thin, napkins used in light menstrual flow, daily vaginal discharge and post-intercourse discharge. They should also be change frequently and allow an pad free day to promote airflow to the vaginal region.
Feminine wash are used to cleanse and maintain the pH of the vaginal environment. The common content of this preparation is lactic acid.
Some of them contains mild cleanser.
Vaginal douche is a process of cleaning the vaginal canal by irrigating it. with water or other solution. This is not recommended for every day use for it may change the chemical balance of the vagina. It may also kill the natural micro organisms.
Feminine wipes are handy cleansing cloths used to clean the vaginal area especially every menstruation and can be used any time of the day.