Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stay clean 'down there'

By Meluse Kapatamoyo

Away from the blog, we have had debates on the right and healthy way of ensuring cleanliness of our privates parts, especially how to keep one’s vagina clean.  

To get expert advice, i put this question to Dr Sharon Kapambwe, Head of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme in Zambia on how best this practice can be done.

Dr Kapambwe says the best way to keep one’s reproductive system clean is to thoroughly wash the vagina regularly but “DO NOT”
douche or clean the inside with fingers because, “when you do this you remove the protective cervical mucus and disturb the good germs in the vagina. You also risk damaging the surface area of the vagina”.

Dr Sharon Kapambwe
This increases the risk of easily contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

She says a healthy vagina has good bacteria that produce acid which stops the growth of,
HIV, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and other sexually transmitted germs. The same bacterium is found in fermented products such as sour milk and yogurt.

Cervical mucus cleans the vagina, traps and kills germs, provides lubrication and also helps transport the sperm to the egg during the fertilization process.

Acid conditions in the vagina create an inhospitable environment for bad bacteria or viruses such that they are less able to survive in the female reproductive tract.

This led to asking Dr Kapambwe on the use of tampons.

“A tampon is different. It is medically tested and is not going to bring in infections. It’s sterile, unless you open it and expose it to air, only then can it gather bacteria. People do get infection from tampons every now and then because of exposure to air but on its own it’s a very sterile product and it’s meant to fit in the cervix for a certain time, “ she explained.

“But when it comes to your fingers, you would have touched so many things and you do not know what you are carrying around that is why we worry when you start putting fingers down there. The vagina itself is much cleaner than your mouth as it cleans itself.”

There are other ways of keeping your reproductive system healthy. This can be done by maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and using condoms. In addition visit a screening clinic regularly as routine check-ups can prevent severe infections in the genital area. PYM


Ferdinard Okwor said...

You're doing a great job, Mel

Field Shachizanda said...

This good for women especially those that sleeps with every jim of a man who asks for sex.Let this spread to the villages across the nation,This will help our village women to be clean.
My worry is on the issues of love making most women allow men to touch the private part,even allows the fingers to go inside while preparing a woman for sex .how safe is this act?
i am safe with a woman who cleans her private parts and allows her man to use a condom

Meluse Kapatamoyo said...

Thanks Ferdinard. I know this is a very sensitive topic but the ladies wanted to know. Hope you share the link to the women in your life, its an important one.

Anonymous said...

That is what i was going to ask aswell. Most of us women allow men to dip their fingers into our fingers when we are being intimate. Personally i don't dip my fingers when washing but when am being intimate with my husband i let him touch me that way. My question now, should i ensure that he washes his bands before we start to get intimate or should i stop him all together just to be safe?

Anonymous said...

Looking at what has been said by the doctor, its not safe to dip fingers into your vagina at ALL. I consider womens hands to be much cleaner than that of men, we are touching water all the time and have hand sanitizers in our handbags but with men thats another story. You are lucky if he washes his hands after using the toilet. If i were you, i wouldn't let him touch me there anymore, although i must admit, having experienced it at one time, the sensation is something else but would you put your health at risk for a few minutes of pleasure? It's like sleeping with a person you know has an STI without a condom. Think about it my sister. @ Meluse Kapatamoyo, you have outdone yourself on this story. I know it some boldness on your part to write this. We need more of such stories.

Anonymous said...

very good and informative article, lot of my age mates in Zambia and younger have inserted so many things down there. Even roots and other herbal preparations to keep it "warm" and "tight" not knowing that it might bring about bacterial glad you brought it up,i will share this with my friend and print it out for my twins.

Sneha Walia said...

use product like intimate washes, vaginal washes to instead of soaps to keep everything ok, "down there"