The vagina is a very important part of the female anatomy to keep clean. When you’re lacking proper hygiene you are not only at risk for foul odors but also vaginal infections. Taking care of your vagina is a fairly simple process as the vagina has a natural process of keeping itself clean.
The offensive fishy odor that comes from the vagina is usually an indication of infection in which case you should consult with your medical care provider. The normal smell of the vagina is not noticeable to people, which becomes a lot of women’s fears. There are many products on the market that claim to keep a woman fresh and clean, but there are many debates over the safety and need of such products.
Douching, which comes from the French word “wash” is considered a type of internal cleaning. It is a mixture of solutions that aid in cleaning. The douche container has a bottle on one end and a wand with holes on the other that is inserted into the vaginal while you squeeze the contents of the bottle up into the wand to rinse out the vagina. According to The Body, an HIV/Aids Resource website “douching disrupts our body’s natural protective cleaning system and rinses away the bacteria and yeast that are always present in our vaginas” When we wash away these natural floras in our vagina we are putting ourselves at risk for infection, irritations and we make it easier to get STDs. STDs are easier to contract due causing inflammation or irritation to the vaginal tissues.
Cleaning Wipes can cause irritation and inflammation to the vagina areas. It’s also possible when using cleaning wipes to pull bacteria from around the anal area to the vagina causing a bacterial infection to the vagina. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the perfumes or solution used to keep the wipes wet and provide cleaning.
Soap is tricky as you do not want to use soaps that are harsh or high in perfume content. These can also cause inflammation and irritation. A mild to gentle soap should be used when washing the vagina. If you already have a vaginal infection its best to use items you can throw away after washing. For example use disposable washing clothes to clean the vagina. Wet the disposable washing cloth, apply soap, then use and discard. Do not put more soap on disposable wash cloth and reuse this just helps spread the infection.
During your period it’s best to keep the area clean but you do not have to over wash the vaginal area. Washing once a day is appropriate as long as you are using your sanitary products per the recommended use.
It’s also very important to wash your vagina and vaginal area after intercourse. To ensure you clean the inside of the vagina it’s important to urinate after sexual intercourse this helps the body eliminate any bacteria that may be close to the urethra. Use a mild soap and clean the vagina and surrounding areas.
To properly wash the vagina you need to wipe the vagina from front to back. This method prevents spreading bacteria from the anus to the vagina when using the wrong technique back to front. Use a soft wash cloth and a mild to gentle soap.
The Body: Douching is Bad For You
Fight Against BV: 7 Steps to Proper Vagina Hygiene
Kids Health: Feminine Hygiene