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The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

She Squats to Conquer

In a few days I will lose my ability to shower. No, I have not chosen to buy another pair of Louboutins instead of paying the water bill….

Instead, I have decided to celelbrate my midlife crisis by climbing the highest peak in Africa. Literally. Yes, on Thursday, we leave for a three week trip to Africa, kicking off with a 10 day hike up Mount Kilimajaro.

What does one wear for said adventure? Safe to say… Karl lagerfeldt was no help. Yes, my sisters… I spent a good part of my shoe budget at Mountain Equiptment Co-op. Make no mistake, I am all about democracy… helll I love socialism… But shopping at a Co-op… not really my thing.

I love to support equal rights and left wing ideals EXCEPT when it comes to fashion- in fashion…. There must be a hierarchy. In fashion… autocracy reigns supreme.

So imagine my well, my horror when I had to by A LADY NALGENE bottle to put in my tenet so that in the middle of the night when at 17,000 feet above sea level I have to pee…. I can just get up, unzip my -30 degree celcius sleeping bag, and squat over a plastic contraption that takes away both the pain in my bladder and all my dignity just like that.

Safe to say, I bought the hot pink one. I do have standards afterall.

But the whole process got me thinking… how does one maintain a sense of feminine cleanliness well above sea level and reason for that matter?

The answer came to me in a lovely gift bag from a fellow girlfriends fete. LOVE MY MUFF femininie wipes. If Miss J is reading many thanks to here, by the by, for a splendid evening of laughter and Prosecco.

Make no mistake, I hate the name. LOVE MY MUFF sound crude, not cute. I don’t have a better suggestion for what to call feminine hygiene wipes and make them sound appealing and fashionable. You’re kind of screwed to begin with.

But aside from the name, my bigger question is “Who is their market?” Is there a whole host of cyber sisters out there by the thousands who are using these “feminine hygiene accessories” on an every day basis and not just for a midlife crisis/hiking trip.

A study published in November, 2000 in the Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing 20-30% of women reported douching. This number persisted despite reports of the dangers of this practice. Douching has been shown to increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis.

Understand I came of age “post douche”. I was sort of on the cusp when women had just stopped douching and just started with wet-wipes. As a result, my generation got lost in the middle. We really were not the girls who used any more than soap and water to clean our good china so to speak.

The study conducted from 1998-1999 asked 718 women ages 18-65 in California about their body cleansing practices.

There were significant age-related differences found in several areas of body cleansing including use of feminine and deodorant spray, wet wipes, and panty liners. 20% of women reported using wet-wipes, most of whom were under the age of 30. The highest rates of douching was found in Hispianic women over 45.

There you have it. I am too young to douche, too old for wet-wipes.

But as of February 12, 2011 age is no longer an issue. With 10 days on the side of a mountain and no showers to speak of I have 6 packages of travel size wet-ones. So send me up a big GGTH cyber prayer…. For good hygiene and safe travels. Here we are my cyber sisters…. Bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “she stoops to conquer”. And now I must wash my hands.

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