If you really want your body to smell fresh, do not use scented vaginal hygiene products. Vaginas are self-cleaning, they do not require any sort of soap, chemical or perfume to make it clean.
A healthy vagina has a pH balance that is more in the acidic range, which helps maintain a healthy environment for good bacteria. Good bacteria exist to protect against infections such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. A vagina is a very delicate environment so its important to realize what you put in, on or around it.
Normal vaginal pH is 4.5 or less, when the pH levels gets too high it can cause an overgrowth of bacteria which can cause a fishy odor along with watery grayish discharge. Since the vagina is a self sufficient organ it constantly washes away bad bacteria and naturally renews cells. When you put scented products or items near or in your vagina you kill off the good bacteria and then the bad bacteria can overgrow.
Companies become sneaky and target women and their insecurities with intimacy and vaginal health. They try and sell you a product you don’t need and can actual cause an issue. Scented or perfumed soaps, or period products interfere with the vaginas natural ability to clean, which can lead to infections and fishy smells. Both scented products and douches that claim clean and provide your vagina with freshness are untrue and can lead to yeast infections.
What is vaginal douching?
Vaginal douching is washing or cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or mixtures of fluids. This is different than basic washing you do while in the shower – washing the outside of your vagina with warm water should be done.
Tips for good vaginal hygiene
- Wipe from front to back when using the toilet
- Keep the vaginal area dry by wearing cotton panties
- avoid vaginal hygiene products with added chemical to increase absorbency
- choose the lowest absorbency product for your flow
- wear tampons for the least amount of hours necessary and switch to pads when sleeping
- don’t leave tampons in longer than 8 hours
The odor dilemma
Let’s talk about vaginal odor. Despite what vaginal hygiene products say, our lady bits are supposed to smell. Women’s Health says “each vagina has its own unique smell…it should never have an offensive, malodorous smell.” A fishy odor is commonly caused by bacterial vaginosis caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. Be alert to musky, rotten or metallic smells – these aren’t normal and should be checked out.
Practicing good hygiene for your body is important and that includes vaginal hygiene. Don’t feel uncomfortable if you need to see your doctor for vaginal issues. Don’t let your embarrassment stop you from getting the treatment you need to keep your vagina healthy.