All the ways not to cleaning your vagina – and the only right way to get it done – Firstpost

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From head to toe, the beauty industry has a plethora of products on offer – especially when it comes to women. But is there even a need for them? Or are they just causing you more harm? Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to quit your CTM skin routine. But when it comes to your vagina – it’s best to keep it super simple. 

Let’s look at some ways you should not be cleaning your vagina. 

 All the ways not to cleaning your vagina – and the only right way to get it done

There are a few tried-and-tested basics, but far more ways to disturb the natural equilibrium in your vagina.

1. Do not use a douche

Douching is the practice of inserting water into the vagina to cleanse it. While it’s okay to clean your vulva with water, your vagina does not need to be cleaned. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, fully capable of maintaining itself. This practice actually rids your vagina of all the healthy bacteria that live in it.

Research has linked the use of vaginal cleaning products and douching with increased quantities of potentially cancer-causing volatile carbon compounds in the blood. The research was published in the Journal of Women’s Health in September.

2. Do not use soap

Your vagina has a lower pH level compared to the rest of your body. Traditional soaps are usually too alkaline to even match the pH level of your body – forget your vagina. So either skip the soap or find a much milder one if you must.  

3. Do not use a “special” wash daily 

Unless recommended by a gynaecologist, you don’t need to use any over-the-counter vaginal/intimate wash. Even if your doctor recommends it – make sure to ask how often you need to use it. Chances are, it won’t be daily – other than maybe when you’re on your period. 

4. Do not use vaginal wipes

They might seem like a convenient option to carry around with you but they could contain harmful chemicals, preservatives and are also generally bad for the environment. Our advice? The simple old toilet paper. Roll it up and carry it in your wallet, just like you would a vaginal wipe. 

5. Do not use perfume or deodorant around your vagina

Yes, your partner can smell you down there. But all vaginas have a distinct smell and it’s natural for it to not smell like a flower market. So avoid all chemicals – and non-absorbent fabrics. Remember, a healthy vagina is a sexy vagina.

6. Do not steam your vagina 

Yes, yes, vaginal steaming seems to be all the rage since Gwyneth Paltrow talked about it, but the practice has zero scientific data backing it – and it can cause burns if you’re not careful with it. And for what benefit? Nothing, nada, zero.  

7. Do not wipe back to front 

Hopefully, this is a redundant piece of advice since you’re all already doing it. In case you’re not – here’s a friendly reminder to wipe only from front to back. Basically, never let anything that has been in touch with your butt come in contact with your vagina – whether it is tissue, toys, condoms, or even fingers. There is a lot of bacteria that live on your butt and wouldn’t do anything great for your vagina.  

8. Do not scrub too hard

It’s okay to use a loofah to clean around your vulva – till the time you do it gently. Very light exfoliation may help with ingrown hair but using scrubs and pumice stones can cause microabrasions and infections. So just, maybe, don’t. 

9. Do not clean it too often 

Once a day – that’s more than enough. It’s okay to rinse with water multiple times but a thorough wash is only needed once daily. Sure, it might not be harmful to go over that limit once in a while but it’s best to be cautious and not overdo it. 

10. Do not spend too much time in the bath

We already know that damp spaces are bad for your vagina since it’s essentially a breeding ground for bacteria. This is why you’re always advised to change out of your swimsuit and workout clothes as soon as possible. Spending a long time in a hot bath might sound lovely and comforting after a long day but try to limit your time in there for your vagina’s sake. 

11. Do not be afraid of hair 

Many women associate hairlessness with keeping a vagina clean. It’s far from the truth, though. The hair is there for a reason – to reduce friction and protect you from bad bacteria. So you might want to skip the shaving and waxing and stick to just lightly trimming for neatness if you must. 

How to clean your vagina the right way

1. Water

Not too warm, not too cold. Stick to room-temperature water and clean your vulva with it. Pat gently with a dry towel. If you’re travelling and are not sure about the water quality, try to get your hands on a bottle of mineral water to clean yourself with. Better safe than sorry. 

2. That’s all. No, really!

For more information, please read our articles on Vaginosis and Vaginitis.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

Updated Date: Dec 26, 2019 08:03:25 IST

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