Raise your hand if you have ever rolled your eyes when you see spotless white pants and long-jumping women in pad commercials or flowers as vaginas in intimate hygiene wash bottles. We’re sure you have, just like us!
For far too long, the portrayal of vaginas in the mainstream media has been excessively dramatised by the use of flowers and petals, when the reality is quite contrary to what most people believe.
Your vagina is a smart and efficient organ of your body which needs care and attention to prevent possible problems, much like every other part of your body.
So, how do I maintain vaginal hygiene? If they are already so efficient, do I need to do something? Should my vagina smell like this? Many women from around the world ponder over these questions. Keep reading to know simple things you can do every day to keep your vagina healthy and safe.
No, you don’t need to douche or wash your vagina
As we said, vaginas are efficient, self-cleansing organs. Your vaginal wall is lined up with a concoction of good bacteria which spews out anything that might lead to an infection. This mix of bacteria also balances your vagina’s pH level. That’s all your vagina needs! However, we are morally policed since childhood to keep our vaginas “clean” and “fresh” by a variety of products which popularly claim to do so. This ideology gives rise to methods such as periodic washing and douching.
Douching is a process which involves women to squirt a liquid into their vagina with the prospect of cleaning it. Not only is it unnecessary, but it also gets rid of your vagina’s good bacteria. Moreover, if you wash your vagina with soaps you use on your body, it might disturb the pH levels of the same since the soaps aren’t meant for both of these purposes.
It is best to use only water and mild soaps if you wish to use one and let nature do its work.
For once, say no to scents
Fragrant products are top-rated among women because we are cultured since our childhood that women are supposed to smell fresh and flower-like. Soaps, perfumes, shampoos – everything we use is scented. However, scented sanitary pads, lube, condoms are best kept away from your vagina since they harm the good-bacteria and disturb your vaginal pH levels.
Change is good
It is advised by gynaecologists worldwide that women should change their pads every four-six hours on days when they have a normal or light flow. Prolonged use of a sanitary napkin can cause rashes and can lead to infections which come with a foul odour.
Your vagina doesn’t need to smell like a flower
Your vagina isn’t a flower; you shouldn’t expect it to smell like one. The smell of your vagina and discharge changes depending on your menstrual cycle. The hormones, pH levels during ovulation, the bacterial makeup in the vagina – all this affects your odour. There is no need for one to buy scented products to smell fresh down there.
Safe sex is for the best
Intercourse brings with it pleasure and possibly some problems, if you are not careful. While having sex, make sure that the condom and the lube, if any, used isn’t scented or made of materials that you might be allergic to. This practice also prevents you from numerous STDs. Peeing after sex also helps with washing out potentially harmful bacteria which might lead to infections.
From the first period to trying on many different menstrual products, from childbirth to menopause, your vagina goes through so much. Even though it is quite a self-sufficient body part, it is always better to be careful of our practices to keep it safe, healthy and happy!