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What Are the Best Tips for Personal Hygiene for Women?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 21, 2024
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Personal hygiene for women involves many of the same precautions as personal hygiene for men, but special attention is often placed on bodily processes specific to women. This may include menstruation, intercourse, and necessary hygiene procedures needed by a woman's body. It is important to mention that tips for personal hygiene for women change over time, and tips that were once common knowledge are often known to be counterproductive later on. Tips for personal hygiene for women, then, should be allowed to evolve as science and medical research improve.

One of the most important aspects of personal hygiene for women involves urinary processes. Wiping from front to back helps prevent the spread of fecal matter and infections related to these materials. Washing before and after sexual intercourse is also thought to reduce the likelihood of developing an infection.

In general, washing is considered highly important for women. Keeping the rectal and vaginal area clean can be as simple as washing during a shower, but in some cultures it is considered normal for women to wash this area with water after using the toilet. Washing the body is also important in general. It is usually considered unnecessary for women to wash internally, and in fact doing so can spread infections and damage the internal tissues of the vagina.

Some aspects of personal hygiene for women relate not to a woman's natural body, but to alterations to a woman's body. Women who wear makeup on a regular basis must be sure to clean makeup off completely and pay attention to signs of an allergic reaction. Many women have piercings, and these must be kept very clean as well. One of the most important things to remember when taking care of hygiene is that the human body has evolved to remain healthy on its own, but that it may react in unexpected ways to changes.

Many people worry about personal hygiene for women relating to intercourse. It is generally important to make sure that both parties are clean and free from transmissible diseases. Bacteria lodged internally can be highly problematic for women, and severe infections may require prescription medications.

Feminine hygiene can also be different depending on a woman's race, culture, or personal makeup. Different hair types, for example, require radically different hygiene methods. Skin types may also require special care, although this often has less to do with race than environment. Culturally, certain groups of people may have different expectations when it comes to hygiene, but this relates more to a woman's appearance to others than health. What is considered acceptable cleanliness in one culture may be frowned upon in another.

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Discussion Comments

By pleonasm — On Mar 25, 2014

@irontoenail - It's tricky, because hygiene is quite personal and cultural as well. Some things might seem like they should be universal, but they aren't. I mean, even taking a bath is completely different for different cultures.

But I agree that there should be more information out there. I know I picked up a lot of what I knew from magazines and they probably aren't the best source for a teenager.

By irontoenail — On Mar 24, 2014

@MrsPramm - That, of course, doesn't apply if you've already got something like thrush or another infection. In that case, I'd ask a doctor for advice about hygiene.

I wish that female hygiene was covered more clearly in school, to be honest. I feel like they didn't even cover the basics of what options were available for periods and piercings and things like hair removal.

Maybe it's not the kind of thing that should be covered in school, but it could save a lot of trouble later on. A lot of my friends ended up with infected belly-button piercings, for example, because they had no idea how to get a good one, or how to care for them once they had them. And I know that having my period at high school was the most stressful thing in the world. I had no idea how to deal with it or whether what I was experiencing was normal or not.

By MrsPramm — On Mar 23, 2014

Apparently the best thing you can do to prevent bladder infections after sex is to urinate after you're finished. All that friction can deposit bacteria in the wrong places and going to the toilet helps to flush it out.

Aside from that, I'm in complete agreement with the article that women really don't need to do anything extraordinary to wash themselves in that area. If you try to wash yourself internally, or use products that are supposed to stop smell or whatever, you'll just end up getting an infection or hurting yourself.

The vagina is self-cleaning and anything you do to the inside is just going to disrupt natural processes.

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