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Feminine intimate hygiene, pantyliners for discharge

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Vaginal hygiene is an important part in feeling confident! Keep feeling and smelling fresh with these helpful tips on intimate vaginal hygiene and by wearing pantyliners every day.

Feminine intimate hygiene, vaginal hygiene and intimate odours are something that all women go through. It's normal – no matter what time of the month it is.

If you feel self-conscious or just want to protect yourself from intimate odours, be sure to maintain your feminine intimate hygiene by washing regularly and changing your underwear frequently. Wearing pantyliners every day will help you to feel fresh and clean too.

If the odour is particularly strong or different, it could be a sign that your vaginal discharge has changed. Wearing pantyliners for discharge can help.

If you experience any itching, abnormal pain or change in the colour or consistency of your discharge, this could be an indication of an infection. As always, if you’re worried, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and make an appointment with your doctor.

Since there is so much potential for smells to build up in this area, it is important to adopt habits to keep it clean. That way, you will avoid infections and be less self-conscious of suspicious odours coming from your own body.

Helpful feminine hygiene tips:

What to wear

Cotton underwear allows for better air flow to this area, so invest in some comfortable pairs with cotton crotches. They allow the vagina to stay moist, while also allowing its secretions to evaporate.

Remove your bathing suit after swimming, sweaty clothes after a hot day, and your workout clothes as soon as possible. Put on dry clothing so moisture doesn’t enable bacteria to grow.

Avoid leather trousers, spandex and other tight clothing that doesn’t let your body breathe.

Daily habits

Wipe your vagina dry with toilet paper after urination, to keep your underwear dry. However, do not use soap, talcum powder or other cosmetics on this part of your body. Let it air-dry naturally.

Wipe from the front of your body to the back, so faecal bacteria from your anus does not get any closer to your vagina. It may take a bit of getting used to, but you will adapt within a few days.

If you feel the need for a more thorough clean, use a wet cloth with a mild cleanser. Rinse after you use soap and pat dry. Only wash the outer genitalia.

Use clean towels and washcloths when you clean yourself. Moist cloths retain bacteria between uses, so start fresh to stay fresh.

Wash your hands before and after using a public bathroom. The door handles alone are touched by countless hands, so you want to have clean hands when you are removing clothing or wiping yourself.

Eat healthy food and drink lots of water. Junk food affects the smell of your vagina, so keep your diet clean to stay fresh.

What to do during your period

Things get messier when you are menstruating, so you need to step up your hygiene a little more at this time of the month.

Change your pads or tampons every 4 to 6 hours to keep pace with your flow. You can use different densities of products for light and heavy days, but wearing one item for too long enables bacteria to grow.

Sex – during and after

Use contraceptive methods, such as condoms, that protect you from sexually transmitted infections which can cause further complications for your reproductive system.

Be careful when using lubricants. While these products can enhance sexual pleasure, they contain glycerine, which can irritate your vagina and make you more susceptible to infections.

After sex, wash away fluids with a clean, damp cloth. This will minimise odours and remove any bacteria from you or your partner.

Feminine hygiene ‘no-no’s

Do not douche to clean your vagina. This technique shoots water into the self-cleaning vaginal canal and has no proven benefits. It can alter your pH level and increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis.

Avoid using scented products, such as wipes, vaginal deodorants or scrubs. Your body has its own scent and this shouldn’t be erased. Scented products make you more likely to get an infection by tampering with your natural chemistry.

Never shave your pubic hair – these hairs protect your vulva from bacterial infections. While you may be tempted to remove it, thinking it will reduce your risk of infection, it’s better to just trim it shorter.

Shaving is more likely to injure you or expose you to chemicals that you don’t want near sensitive body parts.

Do not dismiss vaginal infections. See your doctor if you have excessive, discoloured or foul-smelling discharge, or if you experience itching or pain.

Do not self-diagnose. You may be nervous about talking about such an intimate concern with your doctor, but your home remedies or over-the-counter treatments may make the problem worse. Talk to an expert.


  • Biol Psychol. 2003 Jul;63(3):269-79.