A Gynaecologist at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano, Dr. Jibril Abdullahi, has advised women to avoid cleaning the va gina with soap and alum as such could do more harm than good.
Abdullahi gave the advice against the backdrop of general understanding among women that such cleaning was the best way to keep the female part healthy.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday that the va gina had a pH level that needs to be maintained between 3.5 and 4.5 in order to prevent the growth of unhealthy bacteria and maintain the growth of good bacteria.
He said washing the va gina with harsh chemical could hurt the pH (potential of hydrogen) balance around the organ and could lead to irritation, infection, as well as offensive odour.
According to Abdullahi, women can use lukewarm water to clean by wiping from front to the back instead of using harsh chemicals in the area.
He explained that “the use of simple clean water is enough to keep the va gina clean because it has natural fluid to clean itself.
“The va gina cleanses itself. Avoid the use of feminine sprays on the va gina, scented pads, tampons, as well as scented wipes to avoid burning and irritation.
“Wipe from front to back to avoid bacteria from the anus invading the va gina and wear cotton und erwears.
“Women should also avoid tight und erwears made from synthetic fabrics such as silk and lace, among others.”
The gynaecologist also advised women to always change wet clothes and und erwears immediately after workout or swimming to guard against ye ast infection.
He said: “Taking yogurt also helps to prevent ye ast infection.”
Abdullahi further advised women to maintain good hygiene during menstruation by changing sanitary pads frequently and to always wash the va gina after s ex to minimise the chances of infection such as bacteria, among others, from invading the organ.
The expert also advised male partners to always wash the penis before s ex to minimise bacterial infection invading the va gina, especially if condom was not used.
He advised women to urinate after s exual inte rcourse, saying it helped to flush bacteria out of the va ginal area and also prevent the risk of developing Urinary Tract Infection.
He stressed that “the consumption of fruits such as cranberries, pineapples, strawberries, among others, helps to freshen the smell of the liquids secreted by the va gina.
“Drinking lots of water and consuming lots of garlic also helps to remove toxins from the va gina, as well as prevent ye ast infection.”
Abdullahi suggested kegel exercise to help maintain healthy va gina, noting that “it helps to strengthen the va ginal pelvic muscle due to the fact that it tends to get weaker with age and childbearing.
“Also, having s ex regularly helps to keep the va gina toned and elastic as it is another way of maintaining healthy va gina.”
Abdullahi then advised women to go for regular test to check s exually Transmitted Diseases and get treated if infection was present, stressing that if left untreated, it could cause long term damage.
He also urged women to seek medical help if there was a change in the looks, discharge, smell, as well as pain in and around the va gina.