Vaginal hygiene is an important topic, and there are hundreds of products marketed to help “cleanse and refresh” or “balance your pH.” These include soaps, washes, sprays, douches…you name it, they’ve invented it. But are these products actually necessary, or even good for you? The answer is usually no.
Many products have actually been shown to throw off your normal bacteria that helps keep your vagina healthy and maintain your regular pH. In fact, the best thing you can do for your vagina is - nothing at all! No soaps, no washes, nothing. Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven, and products are likely to do more harm than good.
Some tips for a healthy vagina include:
1) Maintaining a healthy diet
2) Wearing cotton underwear and changing them daily
3) Avoiding wearing underwear to bed at night
4) Avoiding tight fitted clothing
5) Changing out of wet swimsuits or sweaty clothing as soon as possible
6) Wiping front to back after using the bathroom.
7) Changing pads or tampons every 3-4 hours
It is also important to use condoms with intercourse and get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases. If you notice changes in discharge, vaginal itching or burning, pain with intercourse, or a fishy odor with your discharge, consult your healthcare provider.
If you have specific questions about a product you've heard about, always consult your healthcare provider before using.