Vaginal health has been a controversial topic for decades and unfortunately, it’s wrought with misinformation. Products like “feminine wipes” or deodorizing spray are marketed with vaginal wellness in mind, leading many people to believe these are things necessary for a healthy vagina.
We’re going to set the record straight. Here are three things you actually don’t need to keep your vagina healthy that you may have thought you did, and one thing you actually do need.
1. Scented Soap or Deodorizer
You may be familiar with product advertisements and even menstrual educational videos for teens that refer to feeling “not so fresh.” These materials promote the use of scented soaps, deodorizers, and even scented pads or tampons to mask the natural odor of the vagina. However, these are completely unnecessary. They are designed to manipulate a person’s insecurities about their vagina to increase sales of scented personal products.
In reality, perfumes and chemicals used in scented products can disrupt the delicate pH balance of the vagina. Or, they may result in an overgrowth of bad bacteria that good bacteria that are organically present in the vagina can’t fight off. This can lead to symptoms like itching, excess discharge, or infection that requires treatment.
2. Douching (Even With Plain Water)
According to the Office on Women’s Health (OASH), an extension of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says that 1 in 5 people between the ages of 15 and 44 douche their vagina. Douching is a process that involves using a lavage device to flush water — often with perfumes or other additives — through the vaginal canal. Although douche kits are readily available at any grocery store or pharmacy, it’s highly recommended that you do not douche, even with plain water.
3. Silk or Satin Panties
The vagina is a naturally moist and dark environment and requires healthy ventilation. This can be achieved by wearing breathable cotton panties that wick moisture away from the vulva and dries quickly. Panties made of silk, satin, or other materials are more tightly woven and can retain moisture, increasing your risk of bacteria overgrowth and infection.
So, What Do You Need?
It’s relatively clear by now that the human vagina is designed to self-maintain in most cases. You don’t need special underwear or soaps to ensure your vagina is healthy. The only thing you really do need for good vaginal health is an experienced Folsom gynecologist for annual wellness checkups, cervical cancer screenings, and in the event of an infection, hormonal balance, injury, or other issue. A good OB/GYN is your most trusted resource for managing your reproductive health.
Contact Folsom OB/GYN to Book an Appointment Today
At Folsom OB/GYN, we offer experienced, compassionate gynecology care. Our services include but are not limited to annual gynecological exams, birth control, hysterectomies, endometriosis management, infertility treatments, pelvic reconstruction, and incontinence management. Contact us today to make an appointment at (916) 983-3500.