The vagina is one of the most sensitive parts and quite literally the central focus for a woman. It’s nice to stay clean and hygienic but here’s the danger—You should know where to draw the line. Here are 4 things you should never ever do to your female parts. Do you use vaginal products or have some cleaning rituals to stay clean? Go ahead and read why you should be careful before going overboard with the cleaning sessions!
1. Douching Down Under
It feels great when it is clean down under, doesn’t it? Luckily, vaginas are self-sufficient. They do their automatic douching. There’s absolutely no necessity for you to use anything other than mild soap and warm water if you wish to clean there. The mucus in the vagina takes care of the cleaning.
If you think you are very hygienic by using a douche, let me tell you, you are only reducing the good bacteria in your vagina. The harmful bacteria and the good bacteria both live together in your female part and strike an optimum pH balance that keeps infections at bay.
Douches with vinegar make the vaginal flora go haywire and increase the risk of vaginal infections. Also, this is not the right method to avoid STIs, and neither is it a correct contraception method, for, it only increases the chances of infections and causes complications in childbirth (1).
2. Leaving A Tampon In For Too Long
We’ve all heard of those gory sagas where women discovered about their “lost tampon” after a very long time only because it fell off from their vaginas. Why do we like these extremes? Either douche so much that it rips off good bacteria from there or just stick a tampon in and forget for ages? Wrong. Also, do not use a sanitary pad for too long until there’s stench.
Leaving a tampon inside your vagina can lead to infections, and sometimes the tampon just sits deep inside the vagina and becomes very difficult for you to remove it. Also, tampons are made of cotton and synthetic fibers which increase the absorption power of these tampons.
These fibers prove to be toxic and can leave toxins inside your vagina (2). Although rare, tampon usage and Toxic Shock Syndrome have been linked with each other quite often. Save yourself the gore and make sure you keep reminders, sticky notes, alarms, whatever it is. It is important you change your tampons from time to time, preferably every 4 hours but nothing beyond 8 hours.
3. Using Fragrant Vaginal Products
Many women across the globe have the habit of using perfume in between their legs. Sometimes, vaginal odor can make you feel conscious and awkward, but perfume is a recipe for havoc in the vagina. Also, refrain at all costs from using fragrant vaginal washes, soaps, and hair removal creams. Why? The vaginal wall is super absorbent. There’s research going on about administering drugs through the vagina because they get absorbed into the bloodstream faster without getting metabolized and hence work faster (3).
Although it sounds insane, it is this absorbing nature that made some women pour vodkas in their vaginas instead of drinking it because the kick is more intense and they could get high faster. To call this crazy is just an understatement. Why would you want to do anything like this to your bodies, women? There are harmful parabens and phthalates in the substances that impart fragrance to the feminine products which quickly get absorbed into the bloodstream. So, fragrance – Strictly NO!
4. Cleaning The Vagina Using Hot Steam
As if douching wasn’t enough, steaming the vagina has joined the league to basically what women think is “cleansing.” Also, what is even funnier is that it is meant to cleanse the uterus. First of all, steam is hot, and you are at the risk of burning yourself down there. That is already awful. Secondly, the steam has to travel a long way to reach the uterus, and that seems unlikely. Thirdly, you are again disturbing the bacterial balance that is required to keep the environment acidic and optimal.
So, women, sorry but there is nothing you are expected to do to maintain the area clean. The vagina can look after itself. And doctors can’t stress enough on this and are urging women to stop torturing themselves with things like V-steam.