Revista de Obstetricia y Ginecología de Venezuela
Print version ISSN 0048-7732
CELIS, Cuauhtemoc et al. Resultados de una encuesta epidemiológica de hábitos de higiene íntima en mujeres latinoamericanas. Rev Obstet Ginecol Venez [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.1, pp. 21-27. ISSN 0048-7732.
Objective: To describe the intimate hygienic feminine habits of some women of Latin-America during 2008. Methods: A previously designed pilot survey was applied to a total of one thousand women who assisted to the office of a group of gynecologists of Latin America during 2008 and agreed to voluntarily answer the survey. Setting: The participant countries were: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Results: 95.4 % of these women practiced corporal hygiene at least once daily and 2.8 %, once or twice a week. 71.% cleaned their genital area backwards (from vulva to anus). The type of soap most commonly used is the bar soap followed by liquid body wash. Evidence showed that 66.9 % of women depilate their genital area. The bikini surrounding area is the most depilated one, with a 32.8 % and the total depilation of the genital area is 28.8 %. Cotton is the most commonly used material for underwear on the vulvar area by surveyed Latin American women (65.5 %), which added to a 20.2 % of women who use underwear of any material with cotton was nearly 86 %. When the use of genital hygiene devices during sexual intercourse is questioned, 29.7 % of the surveyed women opted to use vaginal showers; of which 42 % used it every time they had sexual intercourse and 43 % just occasionally. In relation to the habit of urinating before and after having sexual intercourse it was established that 37.9 % of women urinate after the coitus; 17 % before it, and 11.8 % urinates before and after. Conclusions: Women, in a great percentage, wash their hands after urinating or defecating, but the habit of washing their hands before is still not as frequent. Regarding the genital (feminine) hygiene technique, the percentage of "inadequate" hygiene technique is surprisingly as low as about 28 % (percent). With this in mind, it is fundamental to reinforce training, improve information strategies and public health campaigns.
Keywords : Feminine hygiene; Self-care; Vaginal infections prevention.