Feminine Washes: Yay Or Nay?
Feminine Washes: Yay or Nay?
Want your vagina to smell like roses? You’re covered. Want it to be smoother? You’re covered, Want it to be whiter? Guess what, you’re covered! Countless types of vaginal washes claim to make your vagina more fragrant, more visually appealing than it already is, but do we really need them?
Are feminine washes really necessary?
One thing is obvious, upon doing research, many doctors agree than vaginal washes are not necessary, and may even do more harm than good when it comes to your vagina’s wellbeing.
First, to clarify: there is a difference between washing the vulva (the external genital area) and the vagina (the first part of the reproductive system inside the body, leading to the uterus). These washes are specifically meant for use on the vulva, while douches are meant to clean the vagina. There is absolutely no need to wash the vagina; it is a self-cleaning device with regular cell turnover and a highly-tuned pH and microbiome. Altering any of these factors with douching can lead to irritation and even infection. Douching is also not effective in preventing pregnancy—a common myth. The vulva, however, one can clean – but should only be cleansed with very mild soap and warm water. Avoid fragrances and other harsh chemicals in this area, as they can cause irritation and inflammation, which can lead to itching and pain.
However, if you notice a change in odor, that could indicate that you should get a checkup. Some natural life cycle changes (like pregnancy or during the menstrual cycle) or even a change in diet might contribute to a slight odor change. A different odor or change in amount/color/consistency of vaginal discharge could indicate an infection, such as a yeast infection. If this change does not go away with removal of any irritants or is accompanied by pain and itching, visit a medical professional for a diagnosis and treatment. This is another reason why it is a good idea to know (and appreciate!) your own natural scent, rather than cover it up—so if there is an issue, you can get it checked out!