Our body is a remarkable organism designed to work autonomously to maintain balance. Too often we underestimate how capable our bodies are and end up creating problems by interfering with natural functions.

Incorrect feminine hygiene practices can cause internal imbalances that lead to an array of uncomfortable situations.

It is common belief that to clean your lady bits you need soaps, douches, shampoos or vaginal wash, however these are all unnecessary as vaginas are self-cleaning. To maintain feminine hygiene all you need is to gently wash yourself with warm water.

Throughout your cycle you will smell differently which is one of your body’s miraculous ways of letting you know your fertile and non fertile times, these smells should not be off putting. If you do experience unpleasant smells or sensations you may have an imbalance in your microflora or an infection or bacterial overgrowth and this should be investigated by your health care practioner.

Below are some common hygiene mistakes that may be upsetting your delicate southern region.

1. Using soap, douches and body washes – your vaginal pH is more acidic than alkaline, this intricate balance is there to minimize bacterial growth and to keep you clean. Using soap alters this pH balance to a more alkaline state and allows opportunistic bacteria to multiple leading to yeast infections. An altered pH leaves you more susceptible to contracting urinary tract infections caused by bacteria traveling from your anus to your vagina and it not being killed.

2. You are wiping back to front – different bacteria reside in your vagina and anus and this is necessary for correct function. The bacteria’s should not mix so to avoid infection you should always wipe from front to back.

3. Your diet – a diet void of whole foods can cause major problems in your private areas. Highly processed, sugar-laden foods and too much alcohol can heavily disrupt your microflora allowing bacteria overgrowth to run wild.

4. Your undies and clothes are too tight – ‘Bad’ bacteria love warm and moist breeding grounds, so synthetic underpants, wet swimmer bottoms and lycra gym pants need to be removed as soon as possible. Keep the area cool and dry and wear cotton underpants and loose clothing when possible.

5. You are not changing your tampon/pad regularly enough – as stated bacteria love warm and moist areas, change your tampons/pads regularly to avoid this.