Simple is best
There are a lot of sites and blogs giving instructions for vaginal hygiene with the best way to keep your lady-bits clean and orderly. But, as with most things, simplicity is the key. Washing once a day with a clean cloth and lukewarm water is best, front to back (never try to clean inside your vagina). Never use soaps or sprays with a lot of perfume. During your period, carry wipettes, like Sweet Spot On-the-Go Wipettes, if you are concerned about freshness. Contrary to some information out there, please don’t douche—it is bad for the vagina! A healthy vagina has both good and bad bacteria in it and the balance of the two bacteria helps maintain a healthy environment in the body. The vagina is a perfect ecosystem with just the right amount of acidity. Douching can disrupt this balance and allow an overgrowth of the “bad” bacteria. This can cause medical issues like yeast infections–yuck! If a vaginal infection already exists, douching can push the bacteria up into the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes, causing even more of an issue.
Tips for intimate hygiene
Here are some other tips for feeling clean and keeping your vagina healthy.
- To prevent odor, make sure that you wipe the area around your clitoris with toilet tissue every time you urinate. Urine and vaginal secretions can accumulate in this area and can give that not-so-fresh feeling.
- Be careful when washing your vagina, it’s not a race. Don’t rush. Take your time because you don’t want to irritate your skin.
- Be gentle! It’s a very fragile area and you don’t want to get a cut or an infection.
- If you’re concerned about a persistent, strong odor in your vaginal area, visit your gynecologist. Your gynecologist can test for an infection and can prescribe an appropriate medication or topical cream if you need one. You can also talk to your gynecologist if you’re worried about odor and cleanliness.
- Heavy perfume is a no-go. It can end up causing a burning sensation and irritation due to the chemicals used in such products.
- Vaginas aren’t meant to smell like baby powder or fields of flowers. If you’re really worried about how you smell, it’s okay to talk to your partner about it. You’ll probably find out that everything is fine.