Sometimes, poor or inadequate care of our intimate area can be a risk factor for urinary tract infections. It happens when bacteria gain access to the urethra and ascend to the bladder, causing cystitis. In this article we explain what are the recommended hygienic guidelines to prevent urinary tract infections.
The importance of good intimate hygiene
To understand the importance of intimate hygiene, it is advisable to know that bacteria located in the anal region can reach the genitals and come into contact with the urethra. The urethra is the tube through which the bladder evacuates urine to the outside. If the bacteria gain access to it, they could travel up to the bladder and, in severe infections, even spread to the kidneys, although it is less frequent because the symptoms of a urinary tract infection are usually so bothersome that it is usual to seek medical treatment promptly. . It must be said that the force with which we expel urine usually serves to expel these bacteria from the body, but some manage to remain attached to the walls of the urethra and reach the bladder without the urine being able to eliminate them. These bacteria are the ones that can multiply and cause infections. Good intimate hygiene is the basis of prevention.
How to avoid cystitis with good intimate hygiene?
Cystitis is the name given to inflammation of the urinary bladder, usually caused by a bacterial infection. It causes a continuous desire to urinate, even if only a few droplets are eliminated, discomfort or a sensation of itching or burning in the urethral area. It tends to affect women more because their urethra is closer to the anus, which increases the risk of bacteria reaching it and gaining access to the bladder. Good care of the intimate area makes it difficult for these bacteria to spread. Next, we detail what are the basic measures to have a good intimate hygiene:
Clean the area with the right sense
This means that when you go to the bathroom to urinate you must wipe yourself by passing the toilet paper from top to bottom. You have to follow the same direction for any cleaning of the area. If you do it in the opposite direction, you would be transferring bacteria from the anal region to the urethra, which is just what we must avoid to prevent infections.
Use specific soaps for the area
The intimate area is more delicate than other parts of the body and has a different pH. Therefore, when choosing a soap or gel, it is important to make sure that it is specific for this part of the body. These products, in addition to respecting the pH, do not contain aggressive ingredients that dry out or irritate. It is also advisable to pay attention to rinsing to remove any soap residue, as it could trigger irritation.
Do not douche
It is true that rinsing with the shower helps to wash away microorganisms, but it should not be done inside the vagina. Although there are still those who consider them necessary, douching is not recommended. This is because the jet of water inside the vagina can disrupt its normal flora, killing off the beneficial bacteria that protect it. This situation could cause other disease-causing microorganisms with the ability to reach the bladder to multiply.
Wash by hand and avoid sponges
It is more advisable to perform intimate hygiene with a clean hand rather than with a sponge, since sponges can accumulate bacteria, with the consequent risk of infection.
Avoid intimate deodorants
Their use is not recommended because they could cause irritation in the area and changes in the pH, which increases the risk of discomfort.
Other recommendations for intimate hygiene
We highlight the following:
- Maintain good hydration. Proper hydration entails adequate urine elimination. Thus, if you drink about two liters of fluids a day, you urinate more times, which helps expel bacteria that could cause infections if they remain in the bladder for too long.
- Go to the bathroom to urinate frequently. Related to the previous point, visit the service approximately every 2-3 hours. It is also advisable to urinate before and after sexual intercourse to expel bacteria, if applicable.
- Wear cotton underwear, as it is a fabric that allows perspiration, preventing humidity from accumulating in the area, a factor that can favor the multiplication of bacteria.
- Wear loose clothing that does not squeeze your intimate area. In this way you also favor perspiration.
- Follow a healthy diet and avoid tobacco and the consumption of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages to keep your immune system and vaginal flora strong. Vegetables, fruits, fiber and good hydration help a good intestinal transit and, consequently, prevent constipation. The more time the feces spend in the digestive system, the more risk of bacterial multiplication exists.