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Understanding...Feminine Hygiene

Author: raven

Filed in: health and safety

Vaginal wetness and odor are normal and all women have to contend with it. My goal with this essay is to educate you on what the most common causes are. Give you some guidelines on how to deal with it safely. Know when you need to seek medical advice. I will touch on some of the most common causes of vaginal odor and itching. I will also be including some links to some helpful sites at the end of this essay. The vaginas normal state is moist and lubricated much like your mouth is. You should normally produce about ½ to 1 tablespoon of fluid a day. This discharge of fluids is what keeps your vagina clean and healthy. It will normally have a faint sweet smell to it. You may notice a fishy odor after having sex. If you have a persistent fishy or unpleasant odor that may be a sign that something is wrong and you may need to seek medical advice.

Some common causes of odor are excess perspiration, urinary leakage, discharge caused by hormonal fluctuations, your period, sexual activity, and vaginal infections. The vulva is the outer part of the female genitals and has sweat glands and emits the same type odor you will find in your armpits. The discharge from your vagina should normally be clear, milky white or a bit yellow and should not have a bad doer or excess itching or burning. If there is a strong odor excessive discharge or itching and burring you may have an infection and should contact a health care professional.

Basic guidelines for recognizing some common vaginal infections: Vaginitis is the most common form of vaginal infection in women it is divided into two categories Infectious and non-infectious.

Non-infectious vaginits is when women suffer from itching and irritation with out having an infection. The symptoms are mild to moderate itching accompanied by irritations. Only a doctor can tell you for sure it is non-infectious vaginits. Some common causes of non-infectious vaginatis are allergic reactions to soap spermicaldal products. Lotions or other chemical irritants, Some other causes may be wearing tight clothing and wet bathing suits, hormone fluctuations, having sex, perspiration, and vaginal dryness.

Some examples of Infectious Vaginitis are:

Yeast Infections has a thick, white cottage cheese like discharge. Mild to sever itching, redness and irritation. This type of infections is odorless.

Bacteria Vaginosis (BV) has a white grayish discharge and is about the consistency of milk. You will notice a fishy odor. This odor may be more pronounced during your period or after having sex.

Trichomoniasis will have large amounts of a gray or greenish yellow discharge. Itching and swelling of the vagina and vulva. It usually has a fishy or foul odor.

Dealing with the odor and wetness:

Some tips for dealing with vaginal odor and wetness.

Keep the vaginal area clean and dry. Wash daily with a gentle cleanser and warm water. When cleaning the vaginal area always wash from front to back the helps prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina. Wear natural fibers, Cotton undergarments and hose with a cotton crotch these allow for better airflow than nylon. Avoid tight clothing as it can trap moisture making it possible for bacteria to grow.

Whenever possible wear skirts without undergarments this provides maximum airflow and keeps you dry. Sprinkle cornstarch on underwear and inside pantyhose to absorb moisture. Keep anything that is used in the vagina extremely clean. Avoid douching as this washes away the good bacteria that your body needs to keep your vagina sweet smelling and healthy. Avoid over washing for the same reason. Over washing is when you are in the bath or shower and you use your fingers to rinse out the vaginal cavity. Dry the vaginal area after bathing using a blow dryer on the low heat setting.

Dealing with vaginal dryness:

Use water-based lubricants there are several good ones on the market and can be found in any grocery or drug store. Avoid lubricants that contain silicone or petroleum jelly, as they are bad for toys, diaphragms and condoms.


This essay is just an overview of some common problems and solutions for dealing with Feminine Hygiene. Below is a list of web sites that have further information.

Vagisil Women’s Health Center

NewWoman. Net

Girl Stuff News

University of Iowa Heath Care Center

UTMB Heath Care

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