By Audu Haruna J.
There are so many simple ways through which each and every individual can take very good care of himself. In fact, there is no one to take good care of you, more than you. These easy procedures can vary, to some extent, between ladies and gentlemen, this is probably due to their biological and physical composition. Therefore, let us see these tactics for men, and for women.
● Care of the Genitals – For Men
Change your boxers frequently. Instead of sniffing it to know if it is still suitable for reuse simply have a ‘1 boxer a day’ policy. Let me further explain why you shouldn’t reuse boxers. You will recall the previous write up I did on understanding body odours. The pubic area has an abundance of apocrine glands that produce sweat rich in substances suitable for use by microorganisms. There is therefore more microorganism-sweat interaction in the pubic area (and armpits) than any other part of the body making them the most prone to bad smell. These microorganisms are also collected by your boxers. When you have your bath, you wash them off your genital area. But when you reuse the boxers of yesterday, rather than start afresh, you simply reintroduce those populations stuck on the boxers back into the genital area. Thus people who reuse boxers are more likely to have a smelly pubic area.
●Shave your pubic areas when due.
You would wonder why anyone will neglect his most prized organ to be overgrown by ‘bushes’. Not only will you sweat more, you simply create a good environment for microbial ‘wildlife’ to thrive (pardon my sarcasm). Shave the pubic hairs when they are dyed and do it properly. Some men don’t know how to shave down there. They only shave off the visible/frontal part alone. You should include the hairs on the scrotal sack, that hidden crevice where the scrotum meets your thigh, and the stretch all the way to the anus. These hidden places are even the reservoirs of genital smells. A person may shave regularly but these parts he hasn’t touched in nearly a year. Please be thorough. This may not be related, but your pregnant wife in the last trimester may need your help with shaving because the bulging stomach may make it difficult for her to do it herself unless you don’t mind someone else doing it for her in the labour ward.
●Try to keep the genital area dry, don’t leave it damp. Dry yourself properly after having your bath before wearing your boxers (men know how impatient they can be about this especially when late for work). Due to the impact of water activity on microbial growth, a moist genital area makes life conducive for bacteria and fungi to thrive. The most common infection that results from a damp genital area is Tinea cruris (Jock itch) which causes an itchy, smelly and sometimes reddish ring-shaped rash on the genitals. If you notice this increases your hygiene in the genital area, avoid undies unless it becomes necessary (for instance go boxer less while at home) and seek medical assistance for an antifungal prescription.
So, if you don’t shave regularly and properly, don’t change your boxers frequently, and still keep a damp genital area, I can not begin to imagine how you smell down there. You can do better! May I add that it will be cruel for someone like you to demand oral sex from your wife!
●Avoid Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as much as you can. Abstain from random sexcapades and stick to your wife. Use condoms if you insist (at least to protect your innocent wife at home). However, know that condoms do not protect you from all STIs.
It is important that as a woman you have a female who is a health professional with whom you can easily discuss changes in your body and get the right advice. This could be a friend, relative, acquaintance or even a social media personality you follow. You need the right information as there is a lot of misinformation out there.
● You need twice as much, all that has been said above about men. Biologically you are more ‘delicate’ and need more ‘maintenance’ than men. If men are Nokia -cheap and rugged, women are like Samsung – expensive and fragile, to be handled with care.
●The vagina is self-cleansing. You don’t need yoni pearls and those other ‘vagina cleansers’ out there whatever the claim of miracles. If you notice ‘abnormal’ changes in the smell and discharge from your genitals consult your Doctor.
●White and 100% cotton underwear is what is recommended, for proper aeration of the genitals and to reduce the chance of trapping microbes. Nylon, acetate and other kinds of underwear made from synthetic (man-made) materials make you prone to irritation. They may be sexier but not necessarily ideal.
●Insertions, especially when done for masturbation (making it frequent) makes you prone to infection.
●Use mild soaps only to wash the (outer) genital area to avoid irritation.
●Do not abuse antibiotics as this may upset the balance of beneficial bacteria (LAB) in your vagina allowing for pathogens to colonise the area.
●Follow female health professionals on social media for more health tips (you may tag and appreciate some you know doing a wonderful job).
‘Dirty’ and ‘woman’ are two words that should never go together for it will be a sight for sore eyes.
Audu Haruna J. is a lecturer from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Kaduna State University, Nigeria. He can be reached via: