Intimate hygiene is important, especially when you’re on your period. But false marketing and unrealistic beauty standards spread misinformation about the female body.
Many women overwash their private parts and disrupt the gentle vaginal microbiome. It results in vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, vaginal yeast infection, or vaginal dysbiosis. Worse yet, it increases your risks of catching STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
So, let’s start by understanding your body a bit better.
How do vaginas work?
People tend to refer to the female genitalia as the vagina, but the vagina is only a canal from the vaginal opening to the cervix. The outer part of the female genitalia is called the vulva.
Your vagina or vaginal canal has a diverse mucus membrane that consists of microorganisms, mainly bacteria called lactobacilli. It regulates pH levels and prevents infections.
In other words, your vagina is a self-cleaning and maintaining mechanism. While it takes care of multiple functions, using harsh chemical cleaners increases your risk of washing off good bacteria and bad bacteria and fungi overgrowth.
However, you don’t need to wash inside to disrupt the gentle vaginal microbiome. Everything from toxic menstrual products to bleached toilet paper can upset the vaginal flora.
Vaginal flora is moist, which makes it very absorbent of chemicals and toxins. Normal vaginal pH level is acidic, between 3.8 and 4.5. Most of the substances in intimate hygiene products are alkaline, which can neutralize your natural flora and create a breeding ground for nasty organisms such as bacteria or fungi.
Unfortunately, people with vaginas are bombarded with negative messages about their bodies. They are told that the natural scent of the vagina is bad, and you need to use all those products to change it. News flash - vaginas don’t smell like flowers, and if yours does, then I recommend checking in with your doctor.
What those marketing messages don’t tell you is that the vaginal flora is very sensitive to chemicals and toxins. And overuse of such products can leave a long-lasting negative impact.
How can chemicals in your menstrual care products harm you?
Most of the conventional menstrual care brands sell products without you knowing what’s inside. These intimate hygiene products often are bleached and contain harmful chemicals such as perfumes, pesticides, dioxins, and furans.
A comprehensive study of women’s intimate hygiene habits showed that up to 85% of women use tampons, 75% wear panty liners, and 73% pads. Most of these are bleached and infused with myriads of toxic chemicals to make them look and smell good.
However, it’s not only about irritations. Some of these chemicals are linked to much worse conditions such as cancer and other endocrine system disruptions. Some women even notice that after using period products containing harmful toxins, their periods become more severe, painful, and heavier.
You might not notice how these chemicals affect your health until you develop a chronic infection, allergy, or irritation. Many women come to Genial Day looking for a solution because they don’t know where their discomfort is coming from. But the moment they switch to chemical-free and hypoallergenic period products, their problems disappear.
Toxins found in other intimate care products
Menstrual care products aren’t the only ones to blame. We use many other microbiome disruptors without even knowing it. Toilet paper, intimate wipes, douches, and lubricants can be the reason for your irritation and chronic infections.
A case study analyzing vulvovaginitis, a vaginal discomfort caused by chemicals found in conventional hygiene products, showed that many women experienced unpleasant symptoms such as itching, vaginal dryness, dyspareunia (painful sex), and allergies. Tests suggested that these irritations were a result of using bleached toilet paper.
Perfumed lubes and wipes have a similar effect because they are too harsh for a delicate flora, wreaking havoc on vaginal pH levels.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a lubricant to make intercourse more comfortable or ditch wipes when you have no other cleaning option. The solution is to switch to skin-friendly and toxin-free products.
How to reduce your risk of vaginal infections and irritation
Avoid overwashing your intimate parts
Knowing how to maintain a balanced vaginal microbiome properly is your first step in preventing bacterial or fungal infections. As mentioned before, your vagina is self-cleaning, so by no means should you clean inside the vaginal canal. Unless your doctor recommended otherwise, leave the vagina to clean itself.
The vulva, on the other hand, needs cleaning, but no need to overdo it. Gynecologists recommend washing exterior parts of the female genitalia twice a day with luke-warm water and if needed, an unscented gentle cleanser.
Strive for organic, chemical-free products
Unbleached toilet paper might look worse than the bleached one, but it’s much better for your intimate health. When it comes to menstrual hygiene care, also try to switch to organic and chemical-free products.
Genial Day strives to make your cycle as comfortable as possible. We use a unique FAR-IR Anion technology that produces negative ions and FIR to help reduce vaginal irritations. Our period products are skin-friendly to protect your delicate parts.
Many of our clients claim that after starting to use Genial Day pads, their periods become more comfortable, and skin irritation and chronic infections disappear.
Practice safe sex
No matter how many partners you have, you should always practice safe sex. Make sure to do regular STI tests and ask the same from your partners. When having vaginal, oral, or anal sex with a new partner, always use a barrier contraception method such as condoms or dental dams.
Safe sex also means that you choose skin-friendly condoms and hypoallergenic lubricants. Also, don’t forget to pee and wash up after having sex to avoid a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Intimate health issues are often hard to spot, whether it’s a common vaginal infection or an STI. Regular gynecological check-ups are the best way to prevent complications or infections from going undetected. If you notice any discomfort, irritation, changes in vaginal discharge, or vaginal dryness, don’t self-medicate and always use professional help.
Your intimate wellbeing plays a vital role in your sexual and reproductive health. However, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Your vagina is entirely prepared to self-clean, and you only need to go easy on it and choose toxin-free products.
Genial Day pads, panty liners, period panties, wipes, and menstrual cups are toxin-free, unscented, heavy metals-free, chlorine-free, and pH-balanced. Get yours today - visit our shop and start a love story with your period.