The importance of intimate hygiene during pregnancy

So you’ve taken a pregnancy test (we recommend the First Response Digital Pregnancy Test) and it’s come back positive. You may have already started planning your nursery, birthing plan and even cute baby names. But there’s one aspect of pregnancy that is often overlooked because it doesn’t get discussed nearly enough – vaginal health.

We all know that feminine hygiene plays an important role when it comes to your overall health as a woman, but did you know this rings true tenfold when you become pregnant? In order to prevent infections and to remain as comfortable as possible, it’s super important to always take care of your intimate hygiene. Below, we discuss the best ways to do this.

How does pregnancy affect vaginal health?

According to an article by specialist pregnancy care brand, Mama Xpert, pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow can cause a higher amount of vaginal discharge. Most of this discharge appears yellow in colour after drying but it is usually odourless. While this is mostly normal, it is recommended you visit a doctor if any other changes occur, such as unusual odours.

Why is intimate hygiene important during pregnancy?

While the vagina is very tough and resilient, it also doubles up as the birth canal and as a route for passage of infection into the body. This gives it an extremely important role in ensuring the health of your pregnancy. 

One of the most frequent infections to look out for are yeast infections, which are very common during the second trimester. These infections can cause discharge to change drastically and may also lead to itching. Yeast infections occur when the yeast and acid balance in the vagina become out of balance, however they are usually harmless – albeit uncomfortable.

What is the best way to keep the vagina clean during pregnancy?

According to Mama Xpert, here are some dos and don'ts when it comes to vaginal hygiene.

- Do use a plain, unperfumed intimate wash for the vulva or the outer part of the vaginal area.
- Don’t wash on the inside of the vagina. It has a self-cleaning mechanism that keeps it cleansed naturally.
- Don’t use a vaginal douche. This can flush out the good bacteria and might actually raise the risk of infection.
- Don’t wash your vaginal area with regular soaps and gels or heavily perfumed ones. This can wreak havoc with the pH balance and good bacteria that keep the vagina healthy, making you more likely to get an infection. This could also result in irritation.

Is it safe to use intimate wash?

If used correctly, intimate wash is great for use during pregnancy. Just be sure to select one that does not contain strong perfumes and chemicals, as these may irritate the skin and affect the pH balance of the vagina. It is also a good idea to search for a product that is paraben and irritant-free.

An intimate hygiene wash such as Femfresh’s Sensitive Wash, for instance, is specially formulated to care for your intimate skin. The wash is gentle and hypoallergenic, and it contains lactic acid and aloe for those with sensitive skin. It is also fragrance, soap and paraben free, as well as being clinically tested by gynaecologists and dermatologists. 

sebamed pH 3.8 Feminine Intimate Wash also keeps vagina flora balanced while simultaneously getting rid of bacteria. The gentle, dermatologist developed formula has a pH value of 3.8, the same pH of healthy genital acid mantle. Organically-based, it supports the natural balance of the female intimate micro-flora to help protect against infections and odours.