Women learn about feminine hygiene and the right way to care for their bodies in many different ways, and from many different sources. From people (like your mom, an aunt, a teacher, a doctor or a friend who probably doesn't know much more than you), to resources (like books, pamphlets, Wikipedia, or commercials for feminine hygiene products), there are plenty of ways to learn about the female body. But chances are, there are still some feminine hygiene tips no one ever taught you.
When a woman reaches adulthood, she's expected (and required) to make decisions that help her care for herself. And they aren't always easy. Between your choice of regular hygiene routine to what kinds of feminine hygiene products you buy at that time of the month, there are many decisions women need to make related to feminine hygiene. Not only are those decisions quite personal, but they can change over the course of your adult life depending on need and new information. Education is a really important component, which is why knowing these six tips — from choosing cotton to saying no to scents — that you may never have been taught before could be a total game-changer.
1. Stay Away From Scents
Sometimes it's hard to forget this one, even if you have been taught it before. Not only are commercials for feminine hygiene products so prevalent, but scented products prey on women's self-conscious fear of being, well, smelly. But according to TeensHealth from Nemours, you should avoid products that make you smell "fresh and clean" because fragrances can be major irritants.
2. Use Pantiliners Sparingly
Although it may seem more hygienic to regularly use a pantiliner if need be, according to the staff at Mill Creek OB-GYN, daily pantiliners are a no-no.
3. Choose Cotton
Cotton is a very breathable fabric, which is why it's an ideal fabric choice for underwear. According to Everyday Health, cotton underwear can cut down on moisture near your lady bits, which can mean a lessened risk of bacterial growth and infections. (And, as an aside, you should stay away from thongs.)
4. Use Fresh Towels
Dr. Marisa Weiss told BreastCancer.org that frequently replacing towels and washcloths is a good idea because bacteria can cling to towels, potentially putting you at risk for an infection. Weiss suggested purchasing some soft, affordable towels or washcloths and using a fresh one each time and then washing them when you wash your underwear.
5. Change Out Of Wet Clothing ASAP
According to the Mill Creek OB-GYN staff, always make sure to change out of wet swimsuits or super sweaty workout gear as soon as you can.
6. Wipe Right
Don't forget. Always wipe from front to back, though this one you just may already know.