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    Hygiene question
    An_252541 posted:
    I am at my wits end and hope someone can give me some advice. My wife and I married about 10 years ago. We are both 56 years old, athletic and in excellent health, other than the issues I am about to talk about. We have always had a very good sex life and enjoy sex at least once a week or more. With the onset of menopause my wife started having some physical issues. Some kind of breakout keeps occurring in her sexual area and prevents us from having sex. At first she though it was constant herpes breakouts (we both have herpes), but eventually her doctor told her it was not herpes and was probably brought on by sweating during workouts and then not changing clothes right away. This makes sense to me as a man because I can have problems down there if I don't clean up after working out. So, here is the situation; things improved for a while-she was being more careful. Lately it has gotten worse again. Th problem is that she jogs in sever heat for 40 minutes and then likes to lay out by the pool afterwards. I finally sat down and talked with her. I said as sweetly as I could that if I ran for 40 minutes and then sat out in 90 degree heat for another hour or two I would have issues too! I said that I always shower right after working out...even if it means showering again later because I do more physical activity outside. She actually took it really well and explained that she cleans up using wipes or something before laying out by the pool and that since starting to do that things have been improving. I accepted that, but things really are NOT improving. She has had a breakout now for 3 weeks. In addition, sometimes she likes to make love after laying out and frankly she really doesn't smell good at that point.

    Just to get things straight. I am not some crazy cleanliness freak guy. I promise! I swear I am not. I shower once a day normally and brush my teeth twice a big deal. I am fairly normal and am not afraid of a little sweat. I don't leap out of bed after sex and jump in the shower or anything stupid like that.

    I really cant believe I am writing about this. I love my wife very very much and it kills me to talk to her about this stuff because then she gets a complex and starts questioning her attractiveness and then our love life suffers because of that. My wife is gorgeous and sexy and I tell her that all the time and I mean it.

    So, questions:
    1. My wife tells me that her doctor told her long ago never to wash her vagina with soap because it can cause imbalances, etc. Is that true? I mean I only found that out because we were playing around in the shower and I started to soap her up down there and she stopped me. I had never had a woman tell me that before.

    2. How do I tell my wife that she needs to shower more? You also have to realize that when we first met my wife didn't brush her teeth until 10 or 11am and didn't brush before going to bed...ever...which I finally had to say something about so that we could smooch in bed.

    So now I am going to tell her she doesn't smell good? What should I do? How do I handle this?
    elle0317 responded:
    Vagisil wash is what I use with a face cloth, I can't use soap either on my genitals. It's Ph balanced and is for sensitive skin. I don't know what advise to give you regarding actually how tell her. Be gentle, for sure!
    sluggo45692 responded:
    Communication is a wonderful thing. Be gentle, but firm. You've been married for 10 years, you should be able to talk about anything. Like you said, menopause has started. Things change. You have to let her know. You can't fix a problem if you don't know you have a problem. When I started dating my current gf, I had to tell her to stop buying me soaps. She always had bought men soaps. I break out with the menthol. I walked bow legged for about a week after our first shower together. Some people don't realize they have a problem, because they can't smell themselves. Talk to her. I don't think she's going to shoot you for talking to her. Good Luck
    dogoflanders responded:
    I noticed recently that my husband suddenly became reluctant to go down on me. When I asked him why, he said I had an odor. When I asked what kind of odor, he said "it smells like bottom." I was so embarrassed. I was glad he told me but was mortified that I didn't know it was there. I am now extra careful and wash my bottom with a soap like Dial, but put the soap only on my hand. That's because my doctor also told me to avoid using soap on my genitals because of the dyes and perfumes.

    You could bring the subject up again with your wife, and give her something nice to use, like a soft bath puff and a gentle cleanser like Vagisil which was mentioned before. It never hurts to tell her that you will love her forever.

    Good luck!
    elle0317 replied to dogoflanders's response:
    I use the vagisil for both the front and back, (the front is washed first) with a wash cloth. I've found using my hand only was not enough to deter the scent(s).
    rhondamay replied to elle0317's response:
    I concur with Elle, but have an additional option that works for me. My gyno also said soap is bad and recommended Sliquid Splash. It is made by the same company that makes the great lube Sliquid Silk. You can get it at Walgreens, Rite Aid or online at or probably many other places. It is supposedly balanced to complement a woman's normal healthy pH.

    Good luck,

    Kmilla responded:
    I have worked at an ob/gyn office for over 4 years and I can tell you we would never tell our patients to not wash there genitals with soap. What we do tell our patients is to avoid soaps with harsh perfumes and dyes which , yes, do upset the gentle balance of the pH of our vaginas. Dove is a good one. That's what I use myself. Also, NEVER use a douche of any sort. No product of any sort should ever go inside the vagina unless it is a rX or was recommended by your Dr to treat an infection of some sort. All douching products should be taken off of the market as they only do harm, never any good. Yes, I even mean if you have an infection. Don't use them!
    Sf5grabn responded:
    I seems to me that if her doctor, after telling her not to use soap, would have told her what to use! After all, aren't doctors supposed to be highly concerned with cleanliness and bacteria. Bacteria is what causes the odor under armpits and the genital area! Don't know about the "imbalances", but even were that the case, ph. neutral soaps are available everywhere. It "sounds" like her doctor isn't doing his/her job! Perhaps your wife should see an allergist MD to learn what she may be allergic to. Honestly, I have NEVER heard of a doctor telling a patient to wash the genitals with just water and expect him/her to be really clean! I can assure that were a woman to have surgery in that area, surgical soap WOULD be used! Even if your wife won't talk with her doctor about this, you can! Simply ask what she should use in lieu of soap and let HIM/HER be the heavy rather than you!!
    An_252926 responded:
    Summer's Eve Cleansing Wash is also a good product to use for a woman's private areas. Use a soft cloth and it cleanses thoroughly. After 10 years of togetherness, be open and honest.
    Be loving and caring, and just tell her. If she loves you, then she
    will be grateful and comply. She may get a little embarrassed, that's normal for anyone, but it will fade. Good luck!
    Anon_475 replied to An_252926's response:
    I was told to avoid everything by Summer's Eve because they contained so many potentially allergizing ingredients ...
    elle0317 replied to Anon_475's response:
    I agree, I tired that years ago and it irritated me...switched to vagisil wash and never had an issue since.

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