Personal hygiene, periods and how to feel good
From puberty onwards, feminine hygiene is really important. And not just because of your periods.
How should you wash your vulva?
You don’t need to change the way you wash your vulva during your period, but you may want to wash more frequently when it’s really heavy. You should never wash inside your vagina (also known as ‘douching’) though, because this could get rid of some of the healthy bacteria and cause an imbalance in your pH.
How often should you change your protection?
Whether you use tampons or pads, it’s a good idea to change them regularly to prevent leakages and blood developing a stronger smell over time. These will need to be changed more frequently when your flow is at its heaviest – usually the first two days of your period. At night, a special pad designed for sleep will mean you won’t worry about leaking onto nightclothes or bedding, whatever position you choose to snooze.
What underwear should you wear?
Cotton underwear is best for breathability during your period or when you’re doing sport, as increased moisture and heat can encourage bacteria or smell.
What should you do if you smell different to your ‘normal’?
Remember – it’s completely normal for your vagina to have its own unique smell, and this will no doubt change at different times of your cycle and when you’re on your period. It’s nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. If you wash regularly but still notice a strong smell that’s different to your ‘normal’, book an appointment to see your doctor as you may have an infection that needs checking out.