This Common Feminine Hygiene Product May Increase The Risk Of UTI, Expert Explains
Women's health: Women are at higher risk of UTI than men. Frequent urination with only small amounts of urine, burning or pain when urinating, foul-smelling or cloudy urine are common signs of UTI.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) can occurs in any part of the urinary system
- UTI can lead to damaged kidneys if not treated well
- Drink lots of water when suffering from UTI
- Consult your doctor if you face any discomfort
Women these days frequently use feminine hygiene products that according to doctors can cause more harm than good. They have come across many cases of infections that are caused by such products and their regular usage as they differ the pH level of vagina. There are a lot of factors which can contribute to Urinary Tract Infections like sitting on dirty toilets, using unwashed stand and pee devices that have accumulated bacteria as well as holding urine for a long period of time which allows bacteria to grow in the bladder.
Feminine hygiene products and UTI: Know the link
Washing the private part is important to keep it clean and prevent infection as well as to maintain pH balance. The vaginal pH of a premenstrual woman will be 7 (neutral), whereas in reproductive age, it may range between 3.8 to 4.4. At menopause, depending on whether a person undertakes hormone replacement therapy or not, the vaginal pH may be 4.5 to 5 or 6.5 to 7. The other important thing is balanced microbiome in the vaginal and vulvar areas that differs from person to person.
There are a lot of factors which can contribute to Urinary Tract Infections like sitting on dirty toilets, using unwashed stand and pee devices that have accumulated bacteria as well as holding urine for a long period of time which allows bacteria to grow in the bladder.
Intimate hygiene products including washes, wipes and shaving gels and alternative care products for vaginal steaming, etc. are popular among urban women who want to ensure good personal hygiene. However, according to studies, gel sanitizers are likely to increase a person's risk of developing a yeast infection by 8 times, while the risk of getting a bacterial infection rises by nearly 20 times. An association with the use of intimate washes was also linked to 3.5 times higher risk of bacterial infections, and a more than twofold higher risk of having a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Most of these washes are meant for the external genital area as vagina has a self-cleaning mechanism that is quite effective but as an additional measure, use of water is enough. However, marketing and media messaging have led us to believe that it is not adequate. One must avoid the use of artificial fragrances and other harsh chemicals in this area, as they can cause irritation and inflammation, which can lead to itching and pain.
Taking probiotics, eating yogurt and using protection during intercourse is recommended to maintain natural ph level of vagina. Furthermore, women who are suffering from urinary tract infection must avoid using intimate hygiene products totally till their state has been restored back to normal. In terms of clothing, it is recommended to wear light and breathable fabrics.
It is not advisable to use commercial intimate feminine hygiene products very regularly, especially if there is a fungal or yeast infection. However, one can use such products just before or after periods. If one is experiencing smell or pain during vaginal discharge, they should consult a gynaecologist immediately instead of opting for such products.
(Dr. Manisha Ranjan, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida)
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