Women Ask the Specialists
How to use a spray seat properly

ProfileGraduated from the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo and started to work as a resident physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Tokyo Hospital in 1981, Studied in France on a French government scholarship (science and technology section) in 1991, Worked for Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital since 1995, Works for Mitsui Memorial Hospital since 2002

Series I : Some concerns women might have with their “private parts” and how to use a spray seat properly.(Dr. Maki Nakata consultant obsterician-gynecologist at Mitsui Memorial Hospital)

The spray seat can keep women’s “private parts” clean easily by just pushing a button to wash the parts. However, how to use it differs depending on users’ habits and tastes. Therefore, there must be some questions you hesitate to ask. We asked Dr. Maki Nakata, a doctor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mitsui Memorial Hospital, problems in women’s “private parts” and how to use a spray seat properly.


Often we do not understand the reasons that we have discomfort in our “private parts”.

Q1.The private parts are sometimes itchy or sore, or have an odor even though I keep cleanliness in mind in my daily life. Why do these problems occur?

These days more and more women visit the obstetrics and gynecology department about their itchy, sore, and odorous private parts. These problems have something to do with the contemporary woman’s lifestyle. Since a woman’s vulva is wet with vaginal secretions, these problems are more likely to occur if that part is sealed with tight pants or tight lingerie for a long time.

Q2.I can imagine why there might be an odor when my private parts are constricted, but why does wearing pants and tight lingerie lead to problems such as itching and soreness?

First, your clothes and pantiliners may sometimes rub against your skin and mucous membranes to cause itching. Normally, a fixed number of naturally occurring (note) microorganisms grow inside a woman’s vagina. These naturally occurring lactic bacteria are called “Doderlein's bacillus”, and are found inside the vagina of those who ovulate and have periods. However, harmful bacteria, such as intestinal bacteria, gardnerella vaginalis, and staphylococci can grow inside your vagina if you seal your private parts.

(Note) “naturally occurring”:
Non-pathogenic bacteria that grow in stable conditions in certain parts of your body, such as the skin’s surface, the inside of the mouth and throat, and the lumen of a large intestine These bacteria are naturally occurring in these parts.


What you can do with a bidet and what you can not do.

Q3.Can I wash away harmful bacteria by washing my private parts with a bidet?

The vagina, located close to the anus, can easily get soiled when stool, mucus of the large intestine adhere around your anus after doing your business. You can wash away stool and mucus of the large intestine by washing your anus and nearby area with a spray seat after doing your business. On the other hand, you con not solve your problems just by washing your private parts with a bidet, for harmful bacteria are also growing in your vagina, especially when your private parts get stuffy and less clean as a result of wearing restrictive clothing.

Q4.When I am concerned about vaginal odor, can I wash away harmful bacteria by washing the inside of my vagina thoroughly with a spray seat?

Please do not wash the inside of your vagina with a spray seat. It is not a device to wash the inside of your vagina.
When your private parts have been constricted by tight-fitting clothing, causing the growth of unhealthy microorganisms, You can not restore a normal balance of bacteria even if you repeat “vaginal douching” with a spray seat,  You need to remedy the condition by wearing less restrictive clothing.
By the way, even those who have balanced vaginal bacteria need some time before their naturally occurring bacteria restore their original balance after washing the inside of their vagina. Some of the Western countries have long had a habit of washing the inside of the vagina and this habit is criticized due to the fact that “vaginal douching” affects the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina.

Q5.Some of my friends say that vaginal itching can be relieved when they wash with a highest pressure of the spray seat.

Surely, you may feel good just after your sore parts are washed with high water pressure. However, sore parts do have an inflammation, and substances to intensify itching will be released to worsen your inflammation and itching if you spray the affected parts with a shower head. You can feel good for a moment, but later you will experience adverse effects. Scratching one or two insect bites will not cause big problems, in most cases but for those who have particular medical conditions, such as atipic diathesis, scratching a large affected area will cause serious problems. The best way to deal with itching is absolutely not to scratch and not to irritate an affected area. When you suffer from itching in your private parts, you should reduce friction caused by your clothes or panty liner. You can also make use of a bidet, but when you use the bidet function, you should wash with soft streams for a short period. Washing thoroughly with strong streams can not stop your itching in the long run.


How to protect your private parts.

Q6.What should I do exactly to prevent itching, soreness, and odors of my private parts?

First, you need to improve airflow. Please try to wear loose fitting clothes and lingerie that leave some space between your skin and lingerie, or between your skin and your panty liner. If you have to seal your private parts at work or away from home, you should change your clothes after coming home so that your private parts can “breathe”. You should remove your panty liner as men undo their ties when they get home.

Q7.Is it alright to use a panty liner even when odors are annoying?

When you are concerned about your odors, the balance of bacteria in your vagina is disrupted. I can understand that you want to use a panty liner because of odors, but sealing your vulva and vagina with pads results in a vicious cycle. In terms of the health of your uterus and vagina and how to look after your private parts, it is a big problem to seal your vulva and let it get stuffy for a long time. It is when you are concerned about your odors that you should wear suitable clothes so as to allow the wind to pass by the private parts, without sealing your vulva and vagina.

Q8.Is putting on cologne all right when odors are annoying?

Please do not put cosmetics or perfumes on your underwear, or the mucous membranes of your vulva. When your vulva itches, the symptom is comparable to that of a cosmetics rash on your face. So please avoid putting perfumes directly on your vulva as well as using soap, cleansing cream and other cosmetics. You should wait for 3-4 days in breathable clothes until your skin and mucous membranes recuperate.

Q9.When should I visit the obstetrician and gynecologist?

Most of those who visit the obstetrician and gynecologist about their itching and odors do not need medical treatment, nor can get cured by medical means. The root of these problems lies in their lifestyle, not in diseases caused by pathogens. The key to solving these problems is not a medical care, but the right hygienic management. If you can manage hygiene properly, you can solve your problems.
Before visiting your doctor, you should check your clothes and panty liner first.
When using a bidet toilet seat, please use the bidet function and shower function briefly (to avoid washing too much) and take a wait-and-see approach for 3-4 days. You should not send strong streams into your vagina. If you follow these precautions, your symptoms will usually go away in 3-4 days (Do not wash too much. Do not scratch. Do not rub.). If you still do not see any improvement, please visit the obstetrics and gynecology department without further self-care treatment.

Some external itching medicines are available without a prescription at a drug store, but you can not apply them to your vulva if attached instructions for use tell not to apply them to mucous membranes. Please do not hesitate to visit a hospital if you can not wait, under your self-care treatment, even for 3-4 days due to fierce itching and other symptoms. That is the time when a medical emergency treatment is required.


Message from Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association

As is said in Dr. Nakata’s answers, problems in private parts derived from getting stuffy and having skin stress are on the increase due to changes in the current women’s lifestyle (They spend long hours wearing slim pants and tight lingerie), and there is an increase in the usage of maxi pads.
Keeping private parts clean by washing them with a bidet toilet seat is in a way very effective to prevent those problems from occurring. However, washing them too much because of itching may work negatively to worsen your problems.
Therefore, please pay attention to the following note and keep your private parts clean and comfortable!!

Instructions for using a spray seat.

The shower function and bidet function of a spray seat are for washing away filth around your private parts. Moderate use of a spray seat helps you keep your private parts clean and comfortable.

【Warning】Please be careful not to wash too long or too much. (You may wash away naturally occurring bacteria, and upset the balance of naturally occurring bacteria.
Please follow your doctor’s instructions if you are under treatment.