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Leave it alone!: 3 Tips to Clean Your Vagina the Healthy Way

woman holding a grapefruit

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

By Katiee McKinstry

After a long day, what sounds better to you: relaxing in a warm bubble bath and taking some deep, cleansing breaths, or soaking your vagina with chemicals that may cause irritation and infections?

Your vagina works hard for you and sometimes it needs to breathe. Things like scrubbing your vagina with soap and shaving every single day is not only annoying for you, but potentially unhealthy for your vulva and vagina!

Remember, your vagina is your BFF. How would you treat them after a hard day’s work?

We’re not saying you can’t shave or wash down there every day. You can even stay unshaven! We’re simply saying to take a moment to consider whether you’re promoting your vaginal health or not.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your own vaginal health is to leave it alone. That may sound scary, but there’s actually some medically relevant information to back that up.

So go ahead, give your vaginal a little TLC. Compliment it; treat it right. You deserve it! But make sure you’re paying attention to when less is more:

Minding your vagina and its pH balance

Vaginal health can be extremely tricky because we are all different. Some things work better for others, and some things don’t work at all. However, it is important to remember that the vagina is self cleaning.

You don’t have to rush down there every time you jump in the shower, because that can actually mess up your vagina’s pH balance.

You don’t have to take our word for it, as Sexpert Autumn Morris of Speaking of Sex has some of the answers you may be seeking:

“Vaginal pH can be very tricky to understand as we get bombarded with a lot of different sources of information that tell us to do different things,” Morris said. “The most important thing to remember when it comes to vaginal pH and vaginal care is that your vagina is not supposed to smell like Bath and Bodyworks. Everybody has a natural scent to their vagina and that is perfectly fine. The vagina is a self cleaning organ, meaning that it automatically knows to rid itself of the bad stuff on its own. Whenever we use intimate washes excessively on our intimate areas or even inside of our intimate areas, we disrupt the natural flora of the vagina and we also teach the vagina that it no longer needs to self clean.”

woman blowing bubbles in a bathtub

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

So, how do I clean my vagina?

Use an intimate wash on your pubic hair, if you have it. That’s fine! It is important, as Morris said, to make sure not to use it inside your vaginal area.

Soaps and intimate washes disrupt your pH balance, and can cause more issues later on. Some of these issues include bacterial and yeast infections. Yikes!

If you can’t wash inside your vagina, it may feel a little unhygienic. We often think that our vaginas have an odor and are quick to clean them up so they smell like roses and daffodils. That’s not natural! Your vagina is supposed to smell like, well, your vagina. So what do you do? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

First, we research.

“A healthy vagina has a pH that falls within 3.8 and a 4.5 on the pH scale, which is approximately the pH of a glass of wine,” Morris said. “Intimate washes and intimate care products should be fragrance free and fall within this pH range to ensure that they are not disrupting that pH level.”

The pH level is the key to a healthy vagina in combination with simply leaving it alone. In order to clean and leave your vagina alone simultaneously, look at products that are completely fragrance free, and fall within Morris’ pH scale example.

Once you’ve got those intimate care products on hand, now you have to figure out how to use them in a way that will be healthier for your BFF, aka your vagina.

“Intimate care products that are fragrance-free and pH balanced are good to use on pubic hair, the mons pubis, or the very outer parts of the vulva. They are not to be used inside the inner labia, near the opening of the vagina, or inside the vagina for any reason,” Morris said.

When in doubt, leave your vagina alone

The last thing you want is someone poking and prodding you all day. The same goes for your vagina.

A clean vagina is one that gets to breathe and live their best life. Keep it clean and balanced so that you can live your healthiest life!

Now that you know not to clean inside your vagina, you can start to achieve that perfect pH balance; balance your vagina, balance your life! The trick is to leave your vagina ALONE because it knows what it’s doing. Some alone time is much needed for everyone, and that doesn’t exclude your vagina. Don’t fret, though, if you still want to clean down there. Intimate washes are still okay, as long as you take the necessary precautions.

“Always remember that intimate washes can also throw off pH balance if they have fragrance, do not fall within the pH balance of a healthy vagina or just do not work well with your body. If you’re using intimate care products that cause any sort of irritation, discharge, or any other problems, stop use immediately and seek a professional's assistance if the problems persist,” Morris said.

Your vagina is powerful. It deserves to be treated with respect, but also with love! By taking the necessary steps and finding what works for you, you can maintain a perfectly healthy vagina. Don’t be scared of how your vagina smells or to give it the space it needs.

Trust us, your vagina will thank you later!

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