How can I stay healthy down there?

There are things you can do to keep your genitals healthy. These tips can also lessen the symptoms of some infections and irritations.

    Do's   Don'ts
Cleaning
  • Use your hands to clean your vulva
  • Use mild soaps or soap substitutes
  • Pat your genitals dry
  • Use a bland barrier cream if the skin feels irritated or to protect it from irritation caused by moisture
  • Avoid using cloths or sponges
  • Avoid fragrant or irritating soaps
  • Avoid cleaning inside the vagina or douching
  • Avoid rubbing the area dry
  • Don’t use 'feminine' sprays, perfumes and deodorants on your vulva
Clothes and laundry
  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Wash and change out of sweaty clothing as soon as possible after sport
  • Wash clothes with pure soap (such as Lux flakes)
  • Avoid wearing underwear when sleeping
  • Avoid wearing tight, synthetic clothing
  • Avoid washing clothes with strong detergents and softeners
Toileting and menstruation
  • Wipe from front to back on the toilet
  • Avoid using sanitary pads or panty liners unless you have your period
Sex
  • Use water-based glycerine lubricants
  • Use non-latex condoms
  • Get checked for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) each year or before changing sexual partners
  • Get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Avoid sex until any genital irritation has passed
Hair removal and genital piercings
  • Use a fresh razor each time you shave
  • Wash with mild soap and water before and after shaving
  • Talk to your doctor if you are thinking about getting a genital piercing
  • Avoid shaving and waxing
  • Don’t share razors
  • Don’t get any piercings from an unqualified practitioner

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Disclaimer

The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.

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