Gynaecologists and obstetricians have admonished women that are in the habit of washing their private parts with soap, detergents, antiseptics, or sitting on potty among others, to desist from the practice.
The experts, who gathered at meeting of the Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians of Nigeria, SOGON, in Lagos, said women who engage in such practices risk washing away the normal flora of the vagina (bacteria) which will give room for other organisms to thrive. Once the bacteria is washed off, the acidity of the vagina is reduced and becomes suitable for other harmful organisms to thrive.
At a meeting where they endorsed a new drug – Klovinal for the empirical treatment of vagnitis (vaginal infection) they noted that every woman’s normal vaginal discharge should be clear, scanty, odourless and not associated with itching. In the views of a Gynaecologist, from Reddington Multi-Specialist Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Dr. Olufisayo Balogun: when the vagina is associated with odour, itching, either coloured or profuse, it is a signal for infection.
Balogun explained that the normal environment of the vaginal was not a sterile tissue organ in the body, it has some bacteria-Lactobacillus, i.e a normal ‘commensa’ or ‘flora’, whose presence does not amount to infection. The bacteria, according to him, are there to protect the tissue against other harmful pathogens. “The acidic environment in the vaginal needs to be ensured at all times by avoiding washing with some of these things. The vaginal has its own natural cleansing mechanism, by trying as much as possible to keep the humidity of the area low. By wearing cotton underwear which allows erosion in contrast with nylon under wears. “When a woman wears nylon underwear all the time, the humidity increases and allows proliferation of the pathogenic organism.”