Woman in bathroom
Love Matters

Women's hygiene

When you kiss or have sex, it's nice if you’re clean and smell nice. Brush your teeth, shower regularly and wear clean clothes.

Everyone has a natural scent. This is really important in love and sex. You often find someone more attractive because you like the way they smell. So you don’t have to cover up your natural, clean body odour. Your partner will like it!

Did you know that we all produce scents designed to attract a partner? They are chemical signals called pheromones. You aren’t aware that you can smell them, but they still influence whether or not you find someone attractive.

Personal care for women

Many women have discharge. This is a yellowish white fluid that can come out of vagina when you haven’t got your period. It’s perfectly normal. Wear clean cotton underwear every day, which allows air to get to your vagina.

Wash but no soap
It’s fine to use soap to wash between your legs and your outer labia, but it’s not a good idea to use it to wash between your labia or inside your vagina.

Using soap or vaginal douches to wash your vagina can upset the natural balance of bacteria, which may encourage yeast infections. It can cause itching and irritation and can be a cause of pain during intercourse. If you do use soap, choose a mild baby soap without strong perfumes.

Does your vagina smell?

It’s perfectly normal that your vagina should have a certain smell. Often you have a different smell just before your period compared to around the time of your ovulation. Don’t use vaginal soap, douches or perfumes to take away the smell. They can irritate your vagina and make the smell even stronger.

Wash your vulva with water and wear cotton underwear. Synthetic underwear, such as polyester, makes you sweat more and can irritate your vagina. This makes your discharge heavier so your vagina can start to smell.

Sanitary pads and tampons

Change your sanitary pads regularly, every few hours. You also need to change tampons every four to eight hours depending on how heavy your flow is. For more see the section on pads and tampons.

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