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    14 Important Questions about Hygiene During Your Period

    Updated 02 March 2021 |
    Published 30 October 2018
    Fact Checked
    Rodion Salimgaraev, MD
    Reviewed by Rodion Salimgaraev, MD, Therapist
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Today, we're answering the most pressing questions about hygiene during periods: washing your genitals, using pads, managing odors, and many more!

    How often should you wash your genital area during periods?

    Blood can offer a favorable environment for bacteria to thrive, so health care providers recommend rinsing the genital area at least twice a day — morning and evening — while on your period. It’s also acceptable to do this more often if you feel uncomfortable.

    What do gynecologists recommend using for hygiene during periods?

    The vagina is a self-cleaning organ. It’s important to preserve its natural flora, and using regular soap or even specific cosmetic products for intimate hygiene can disrupt them. Health care providers recommend washing the genital area with warm water without soap.

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    In what direction should you wash your genital area?

    Wash the genitals from front to back. Start by washing your labia and then proceed to the perineum and anus. This will reduce the likelihood of pathogenic microorganisms and traces of fecal matter entering the vaginal area.

    Intimate hygiene on period

    Should the inside of the vagina be washed?

    The human reproductive system is cleverly organized and doesn’t require additional cleaning on the inside. For that reason, health care professionals strongly advise against using any hygiene procedures aimed at washing away the healthy vaginal flora (such as douching).

    Should you use sanitary products that are more absorbent and change them less frequently?

    Always choose sanitary products with an absorbency level that’s appropriate for your menstrual flow. Changing these products less frequently than once in four to eight hours (four hours for pads and four to eight hours for tampons) may lead to bacterial growth and infections.

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    Can you bathe while on your period?

    Yes, people who are menstruating can safely take baths. Normally, running water is perfectly fine. But if you have any reproductive health problems, it’s a good idea to consult a health care provider before soaking in the tub. If you do choose to take a bath while on your period, follow these steps for the safest experience:

    • Ensure the bathtub is clean, as your immune system is more susceptible to infection during menstruation.
    • Use warm water — not hot. Hot water may provoke heavier bleeding.
    • Wash your genitals before sitting in the tub (for example, rinse off under the shower).

    Can you prevent odors using a feminine hygiene deodorant?

    Feminine hygiene deod