Personal hygiene care is probably one of the most needed guides that no one ever talks about. It is up close and personal. Dignity is important. Good information on the differences in needs of women versus men is needed for guidance and “how-to-do.”
Let’s face it…we really only know what we need and how we do things. Someone else has no idea what you need and want. If you are helping someone of the opposite sex, some things that may be going through your mind include…
- How do I do this hygienically?
- Am I too rough?
- Am I wiping the right way?
- Am I helping with their dignity or do I just want to “get it done?”
- I hate this part.
- I want to do this right.
- I want to help them, but I have no idea if I am doing it right
February 1, 2023
The anatomical differences. The personal “wants” differences. The “how I do it” types of things may be different for each of us. Personal hygiene is definitely one area where very open and honest information is communicated for understanding. Never assume that you know best. Ask how you can best help them.
These are tough conversations but they don’t have to be awful. Maybe addressing it as a clinical need will help both of you to begin the conversation. Is it time to use adult undergarments that help with urinary or bowel incontinence? If she has hemorrhoids, how to best wipe and lessen the chance of discomfort or pain? Do any cleansers or ointments need to be applied after peeing or pooping? Do they prefer to be patted dry or wiped? After pooping, do they pat dry or wipe? Do they use a wet wipe? There are so many things to discuss.
If you are used to being in each other’s space when bathing or toileting then you will have a leg up on everyone else. If you are used to being in private when you bathe or toilet, then you will have a little more “getting used to each other” in that situation. Maybe you can pee in front of each other, but pooping is a private situation for you. That is cool, make sure your loved one is seated on the toilet comfortably, and leave the room until you are called back.
Try things and see what is more comfortable for both of you. Have gloves(nitrile) easily accessible in the bathroom and wear them. Wearing gloves seems to help each other to feel more comfortable with wiping.
Items to have on hand:
- Nitrile gloves
- Disposable white washcloths
- Pump sanitizer
- Personal cleansing wipes (Be careful, some of these cause a lot of irritation.)
- Barrier cream, if needed (Calmoseptine, A&D Ointment, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, etc.)
Niceties or Aids to help:
- EasyWipe Toileting Aid
- Butt Scrubber Multi-Purpose Toilet Aid
- Bottom Buddy Toilet Aid
- Bottom Wiper Self Wipe Long Reach Wiper – for larger or obese people
- Squatty potty
Cleaning with tissue paper
- Grab more than one sheet of soft tissue paper. 4-6 squares & roll over the hand to make a roll ( I know, some people wad toilet paper.)
- Wipe from front to back. You are cleaning the vulva area and not the vagina. The vagina is self-cleaning. Some people use toilet paper to pat the area dry and that is fine.
- Make sure the area is completely dry.
- Be gentle
It’s important that you wipe front to back, as wiping the opposite way — back to front — can spread bacteria.
After pooping, you will still need to wipe the vulva area as we pee when we poop.
Prepare toilet tissue as before and you will wipe from front to back from the perineal area to past the anus. Yes, you may pat the area until it is clean. Place a little pressure on the area to clean it.
Be gentle, do not wipe hard or aggressively. You may need to use a moist wipe and then pat dry.
Wiping too much or too hard will cause anal itching and that will be maddening. 2 -4 wipes should be good.
Note: The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus.
Note: Sometimes wet wipes irritate the vulva or anal area. If it does, use warm water and a washcloth to clean the areas and then pat dry.
**Wash your hands after dealing with any bodily fluids, secretions, or stool.**
If you have wiped and still feel like you need to wipe more….it may be because of one of the following … Dr. Sameer Islam
- Hemorrhoids (hangs on to feces)
- Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (muscles are too tight)
- Weak Rectum Muscles (leakage & soiling issues)
- Foods can Weaken Muscles (Spicy foods, Greasy foods, Coffee)
- Wiping Wrong
Tips to fix the problems
- Fix your hemorrhoids
- Get a bidet
- Increase your fiber- slowly and drink your water to stay well hydrated
- Pelvic Floor Therapy – see a physical therapist for too tight or too loose pelvic floor
- Wipe correctly – front to back
Dr. Sameer Islam YouTube videos
Are you wiping correctly? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItFKEtEt4q4