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Foreign Body, Vagina (cont.)

Vagina Foreign Body Prevention

Prevention of infections related to foreign objects in the vagina begins with good vulvovaginal hygiene.

  • In young children, parents should instruct perineal cleaning by wiping front to back. This will decrease the amount of bacteria and feces that may enter the vagina. Poor perineal hygiene may cause irritation of the vulva or vagina.
  • Parents can also aid in the prevention of foreign bodies of the vagina by talking with children about their bodies and teaching them the proper names of their body parts, such as vagina, urethra, anus, and rectum. Knowing the correct names of body parts will allow children to better communicate any problems. For example, children may be able to describe these body parts to adults in instances of pain, discharge, or possible abuse.
  • For older girls and women, good hygiene includes limiting the amount of time objects remain in the vagina. Tampons should be used no longer than 6-8 hours.
  • Sexual activities resulting in painful placement of objects in the vagina should be avoided.

Medications for vaginal infections or irritation should be used only when prescribed by a health care professional. Patients may commonly misdiagnose the etiology of a vaginal discharge. Douches or vaginal washes are not needed to clean the vagina. Repeated douching may increase the risk of infection due to washing away the normal bacteria which help to fight infection. Showers and baths are satisfactory for cleaning the vulva and perineum.

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