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Dr. Sushma Sinha Sr. Consultant Gynaecologist, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi

Women visiting to gynaecologist, irrespective of their age, profession and social spectrum, having one or other complain i.e. Vaginal itching, irritation and discharge. This is usually due to infection caused by bacteria, virus or fungi or most commonly the mixed infection which also affects vaginal equilibrium. The prevalence of vaginal infection is so common that every woman at any point of time in their life stage suffer by this at least once. Although modern women are giving much attention to their general health and hygiene i.e. face and hand hygiene etc. but their awareness level of intimate health is not optimum as required.
The lifestyles of common women in India have changed tremendously in recent past. They are coming out from their house premises and occupying the working spaces across all professional domains. Their life becomes more hectic with lot of responsibility. The long working hours and peer pressure impacting their life with lot many ailments and vaginal problem is the most common among all.

The work environment and fashion trends make a woman to choose official formal dress. Tight skirt and synthetic pantyhose, sometimes these styles fit people well and other times…not so well. Regardless of the fact that often, too tight clothing just doesn’t look good, wearing them might also be putting a women’s health at risk. These tight clothes suffocate the intimate part and make it further warm and moist, which is the ideal condition for fungus such as yeast to grow fast and leads to yeast infection. The continuous sitting or standing position in work places also make woman susceptible to vaginal infection with the disturbed vaginal equilibrium.

Women should choose a wardrobe that makes her look elegant in her workplace and also doesn’t compromise her health. She may replace a tight skirt and pantyhose with loose fitting trousers. A pair of smart, loose trousers will enable her to feel comfortable, professional, and confident throughout the working day. Wearing synthetic underwear can be a good way to boost her self-esteem and feel good at a time when you might be feeling uncomfortable and lacking in confidence. Women should avoid synthetic lace, which will irritate the skin and instead try cotton underwear in your favourite style and colour.

A woman should give due respect to vagina as other part of body and should change into comfortable night wear after the day at her workplace. It would further be recommended to go to shower before bed and make the sleep fresh and complete. A woman should not use scented soap, cosmetic intimate wash made of harsh chemicals, savlon or dettol as it disturbs vaginal equilibrium of normal healthy bacteria of vagina which ultimately alter the normal pH of vagina. One should wash their vulva with lukewarm water and mild natural intimate wash

Content Courtesy: Women Health Organization, Everteen Feminine Intimate Health &Hygiene Survey. The article is part of educational campaign on vaginal health & hygiene “I for Intimate Hygiene”, conceptualized by Women Health Organization and supported by Everteen Natural Intimate Wash.

Disclaimer: The content and information provided in the article is for educational purpose only and should not be considered as a medical advice. One should consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The author of the article does not endorse or recommend any product through this article.

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