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For the next two articles, I will discuss the most common personal hygiene tips that every woman should know about.  Some may seem basic, while others you may not have known about.  The purpose is to keep in line with the idea that prevention is better than curing — at least no one can say they weren’t told.  If there is something you have always wanted to know but have been afraid to ask, either leave the question in the comments section or email the editors at

The best way to clean “down there”

The good news is that your vagina is a self cleaning “machine.”  In other words, as part of its function, your vagina actually cleans itself.  But, when you need to clean “down there,” the best way to do it is to use water and gently remove any possible dirt and debris.  If you want to use a cleanser, make sure it’s a mild form of soap.  Try to avoid products with perfumes as it may irritate the area. Use hypoallergenic and pH-balanced gentle cleansers.  Try not to overdo cleansing in the area because it may cause an imbalance of the normal growth of bacteria around your vagina and lead to possible infections.   Lastly, try to take showers and not baths.  Bath water is full of bacteria from the skin, so sitting in the tub will allow these bacteria to reach the genital region, which can increase your chances of getting a urinary tract infection.

The best ways to prevent genital irritations

As said earlier, using water (with or without a mild soap) to clean down below is the best method of prevention. In addition to avoiding bubble baths, use soft, white, unscented toilet paper and unscented feminine products.  Also, try to avoid anything that causes dampness in the region.  That means promptly change your underwear after exercising or removing bathing suits as soon as you are out of the water.

The best way to wipe

Always wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.  Doing it the opposite way increases the chances of bacteria from your butt region moving to your vaginal region, which can cause a urinary tract infection.  Wipe the same way for washing and showering.  Try to wash your hands before using the toilet or at least before wiping (especially in public).  When you are out and about in public, your hands are exposed to a lot of bacteria so washing your hands can avoid passing germs from your hands to your genital region as well.

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