Health Guides

Consult our health guides for tips and precise and useful answers on topics relevant to your hygiene and well-being.

Intimate Cleansing and Maternity

Why is it important for me to pay special attention to intimate cleansing during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, hormonal activity intensifies and vaginal losses increase significantly. Seeing as though these white secretions are a useful natural defense and that intimate mucous membranes are especially sensitive during pregnancy, you should not try to get rid of the secretions by cleaning too often or too aggressively. Also, pregnant women sweat more because their sweat glands secrete more. The increased sweat in the vaginal area can cause the maceration of the mucous membranes. The intimate mucous membranes are also sensitive and women must be careful during cleansing.

How do I go about intimate cleansing after the delivery?

The perineum suffers a shock during the delivery, especially if the mother undergoes an episiotomy (a surgical incision in the perineum during the delivery). This sensitivity will require special care during daily intimate cleansing. The young mom must use soft intimate cleansing products, with a physiological pH (5.5), in order to avoid further irritation. The perineum, vulva and vulva (genital) area must be dried off with a clean towel. Do not rub as this will cause irritation. For several days after the delivery, young moms should wear briefs that are adapted to heavy losses such as the FRESH CONTROL briefs, whose antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-odour properties help in preventing vulva (genital) infections. The new moms feel comfortable and in control as they go about their daily business.

How do I go about intimate cleansing during pregnancy?

In order to respect your genital (vulva) ecosystem, simply follow the four rules listed here-under:

  • Clean your intimate area twice daily with products adapted to the physiological pH of the genital (vulva) area (pH 5.5), such as those from the BACTI CONTROL Douceur Extrême line. Products with this pH level can be used for daily intimate cleansing as they will not compromise the ecosystem of the genital (vulva) area.
  • Vaginal douches and irrigation are not recommended as they could cause the uterine cervix to open prematurely. The vagina is self-cleansing and so it does not need us to inject products into it.
  • Avoid wearing liners too often as they cause lacerations. Instead, try wearing briefs that are better suited to your present condition. Cotton briefs are preferred as they will limit irritations and the maceration of mucous membranes. FRESH CONTROL briefs are still the best choice with their antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-odour properties.
  • Avoid bubble baths, perfumed soaps, intimate deodorants, and softeners as they may contain substances that can irritate the genital (vulva) area.

I am a young mother. What precautions should I take to prevent irritations and feel fresh and clean all the time?

Women will experience irregular secretions for several weeks after the delivery and will need to wear appropriate underwear. Wearing pads and protective liners induces the maceration of mucous membranes. To avoid this maceration and to feel fresh and clean, new moms can opt for Fresh Control cotton briefs. For added cleanliness, they should also use an intimate cleansing product adapted to the physiological pH of the vulva (pH 5.5) once or twice a day.

Intimate Cleansing and Menstruation

Women experience many discomforts during their period: pains in the lower abdomen, migraines, nausea, odours, fatigue, etc. There is also a feeling of uncleanliness, related mostly to the blood flow, and the discomfort that comes from having to wear sanitary protection. By washing themselves carefully and dutifully (without overdoing it though) during their period, women will feel better both in mind and body.

What happens during my period?

Organes génitaux féminins

Menstrual secretions are mostly composed of blood and useless uterine cells. During the ovarian cycle (28 days), the uterine tissue prepares itself to receive a fertilized egg cell. At the end of the cycle, the uterine tissue thins out, thereby letting through superfluous cells through the uterine cervix towards the vagina. These secretions are accompanied by certain discomforts, more or less significant, depending on the woman: pains in the lower abdomen, headaches, nausea, migraines, weight gain, fatigue, signs of depression, etc.

What type of protection should I choose?

There are no rules here. Women can either use pads or tampons to absorb the blood. Each woman should choose the protection that best suits her body. Pads might seem safer, while tampons might seem more discreet. Women should wear adapted underwear throughout their period in order to feel fresher and cleaner and to restore the balance of the vulva (genital) ecosystem. Wearing cotton undergarments, such as the FRESH CONTROL briefs, on a daily basis prevents irritations and infections in the vulva (genital) area.

How often should I change my sanitary protection?

Women must change their sanitary protection regularly, about every 4 hours. Those who experience heavy losses will obviously need to change their pads or tampons more often than those who do not. Keeping the same sanitary protection on for too long may lead to the development of bacteria or cause irritations or infections in the vulva (genital) area. Moreover, scented tampons and scented or odour-absorbing pads are not recommended. Neither are intimate deodorants as they disturb the flora of the vaginal vulva.

How do I clean my intimate area when I have my period?

During this time, women must change their pads and tampons regularly and clean their intimate area with an appropriate product twice daily. The pH of the intimate cleansing product used must be adapted to that of the vulva (pH 5.5), as is the case for the BACTI CONTROL Douceur Extrême intimate cleansing products. The area must be hand-cleaned from front to back. Avoid using toilet gloves as they often contain germs. After cleansing, the area must be dried off softly and carefully with a clean towel.

Avoid cleansing too aggressively…

Products that are too aggressive on the flora of the vulva (genital) area or that are too high in alkaline pH or too acidic should only be used to treat skin infections. These products strip the skin rather than cleansing it. Vaginal douches and irrigations should also be avoided as they will cause the uterine cervix to open prematurely. The vagina is self-cleansing and so it does not need the help of other products.

Intimate Cleansing and pH

The Skin’s pH

Contrary to popular belief, the skin does not have a neutral pH; its pH is naturally ACID as is the entire vaginal vulva area:

Skin PH between 5 and 6
Vagina PH between 3.8 and 4.2
Genital Mucous Membranes PH 5.5

diag1

PH: A little chemistry reminder…

PH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of water. If the pH of water is neutral, there is the same amount of hydrogen (H+) ions as hydroxide (H-) ions in it.

PH Value Qualification
1 to 7 Acidic pH
Equal to 7 Neutral pH
7 to 14 Alkaline pH

diag2

Choosing the appropriate daily intimate cleansing product

The flora of the vulva (genital) area must maintain a pH of 5.5. to be well-balanced. Thus, women should use intimate cleansing products with a similar pH level in order for this balance to be maintained and to avoid irritations and infections in the vulva (genital) area. In fact, most vaginitis stem from inadequate daily intimate cleansing, as the products used are too aggressive and dry out the vulva (genital) area and destroy its ecosystem’s natural defenses.

Warning: Intimate cleansing products with a very high (alkaline) or very low (very acid) pH level can be used to re-establish the balance of the flora of the vulva (genital) area in women suffering with diseases involving the growth of micro-organisms. These products must only be used for a short period of time and under gynecological supervision. Using products with a very high or very low pH level on a daily basis can cause other diseases.