Now that we’ve spent some time talking about female anatomy, we can talk about some (more) slightly uncomfortable, yet very important topics involving hygiene. For instance, taking into account your anatomy, you know the urethra is at the front of your pelvic area, whereas the anus is at the back. This is why it is so important to wipe front to back in order to avoid spreading bacteria and causing a urinary tract infection. Some related myths you may have debunked since learning more about your anatomy is that you cannot pee with a tampon in. This is false. Your tampon is inserted into the vagina, a second opening behind your urethra, where you pee from. Also, there is a myth that peeing after sex prevents UTIs. This has never been proven. If you think about it, these are, again, two different areas – the urethra and the vagina.
Some other common questions many young women have:
Should I shave in that area?
– Shaving can actually do more harm than good. Shaving can cause ingrown hairs and even infections. Instead, think about trimming. The hair provides a natural protection barrier against bacteria and is beneficial!
Doesn’t douching keep my vagina cleaner?
– Actually, douching isn’t recommended because it can change the pH of your vagina. The pH of your vagina is necessary for the “good” bacteria that lives there. This “good” bacteria prevents overgrowth of “bad” bacteria that can cause infections. When you douche, you are actually cleaning out protective bacteria and increasing your risk for infection! Your vagina naturally cleans itself! You should also avoid using scented soaps in that area, as they can also change the pH. Some people are even sensitive to the scents and can end up with a rash and irritation.
Is it better to use pads or tampons?
– It really is your preference. You can use whatever is more comfortable for you. Just remember, you need to change pads/tampons frequently depending on your flow. As a general rule, try to change them at least every 4 hours. Avoid super-high-absorbency tampons if possible and use the lowest absorbency that meets your needs. Give your body a break from tampons and use a heavy absorbent pad at night or try and use pads on your lightest days.
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