Do you find yourself in the shower scrubbing your body including your vagina or do you not scrub at all? What soaps do you use when it comes to cleaning your vagina? Well, let’s break down on how to maintain a clean, happy and well balanced vagina.
AROUND, NOT IN
While the external part of your nether regions (a.k.a. the vulva) needs some TLC, the internal portion (a.k.a. the vagina) does a pretty good job of taking care of itself. “The vagina has really great mechanisms within it to keep it clean and have its own little healthy ‘ecosystem,'” says Jessica Shepherd, M.D., a gynecologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago and founder of Her Viewpoint.
THAT UNSCENTED SOAP, USE IT
Typically, the vagina has a pH level of about 3.5 to 4.5 (pH is measured on a scale of zero to 14). When you use hygiene products like body wash, which have generally have a pH of about eight, this can throw your pH balance out of order, leading to itchiness, irritation, and odour. Unscented soaps are always better because they don’t have [fragrances] that could be irritants. What’s more, bar soap is generally a better choice than body wash because it usually doesn’t have as high of alcohol content or as much of a scent. Just make sure to keep an eye out for constant itching, dryness, a change in discharge, or an increase in yeast infections—these are signs that you may need to use a more delicate soap.
DON’T MAKE IT A FULL TIME DUTY
If you clean any less, you might not be getting rid of the buildup of sweat and secretions; if you clean any more than once a day, you could be disrupting the delicate balance of your vaginal area. When it comes to method, using a washcloth or free-handing it is better than using a loofah, which can create small tears and expose you to infection (and even increase your risk of STDs if you have unprotected sex). Again, keep an eye out for itching, dryness, discharge changes, and yeast infections. Over-cleansing can cause these annoying symptoms, too.
We can’t stress this enough. Here’s the thing about cleansing inside your vagina: There’s good bacteria, and there’s bad bacteria. By scrubbing down the insides, you’re getting rid of both. The pH level is very delicately balanced. If you take out the good bacteria, the bad bacteria have more opportunity to overtake the vagina. This can lead to yeast infections and other issues like bacterial vaginosis, another type of infection.
THAT LADY LOVES COTTON AND A LITTLE BREATHER
When it comes to your underwear selection, your vagina has a preference: cotton. That’s why most underwear comes with a thin strip of cotton fabric in the crotch. Since it breathes and absorbs moisture, it’s the ideal way to clothe your lady parts. And when you’re around the house, feel free to go commando so you can let things air out. Just don’t go to the gym without undies, because you’ll want that extra layer between you and germy gym equipment.
POINT TO ALWAYS REMEMBER
Your vagina is built to clean itself so if you notice something is wrong, don’t scrub, call the gynae.