Wellness

How should I really be washing down there?

I recently made this post talking about soap and why you don’t really need it. But if you aren’t quite ready to give it up, I understand. My only stipulation is you really have to stop mistreating your southern regions with it. Yes, I’m talking about how you wash your vagina.

Let’s start with a little anatomy, because I know everyone calls it a vagina. I mean, sure that’s right to a degree, but actually not really. The vagina is the inner canal, the bits outside are your vulva.

Right, so now that’s out of the way you SHOULD NOT under any circumstances WASH your VAGINA. Got it? Don’t be sticking soap up there or sprays, or douches or — god forbid — glitter.

On the subject of douching

Okay, we’ve all heard that term before, but for those of you who don’t know it outside of the insult, douching is the act of “internal cleansing” of the vagina (correct term here).

Here’s a surprise, the vagina doesn’t need to be washed. It actually does that on its own. Aren’t our bodies amazing? It’s like a self cleaning oven — no, better because there is no maintenance required. Like all other areas of your body, your vagina has a natural flora. There are bacteria and microorganisms that exist within your vagina and they are there for a reason. Don’t believe me?

“Research suggests that douching is bad for your health because it disturbs the normal chemical and microbial balance of the vagina. This can potentially lead to BV or other bacterial infections. Douching also may force pathogens up through the cervix causing uterine infections.”

Very Well Health

Here’s the thing, most women douche because they can smell something unpleasant down there. If that’s the case go to your doctor because it could potentially be something that will eventually need medical attention anyway. It seems embarrassing but trust me, they’ve seen worse.

a woman in a bikini holds a pineapple in front of her vagina.

Your vagina also has a natural pH

Are you sick of reading these letters here? PH is literally so important in your body. As mentioned before, many soaps change that pH. Without the proper pH your self cleaning vagina can’t do what it was meant to do. Even water can do this when it’s inserted into the vagina (a la douching).

So I can still wash down there?

Right. You can still wash your vulva (which includes your labia and clitoris, btw). Mainly, you only need warm water for this. Although healthline says you can use a mild soap. Mayo Clinic even talks about healthy feminine hygiene using only warm water.

a flower which looks like a vulva.

But the smell —

Okay, let’s be candid for a moment. Woman to woman I know what you are probably thinking. Isn’t your vagina supposed to smell like fresh cut roses or a lavender field? Nope. If the man your with expects that then get out while (if) you can. Yeah, it probably has a smell, and more likely than not it’s not from your vagina but from the skin around the area that sweats and excretes our bodies byproducts, as skin does.

Yes, it’s supposed to smell like that

It might feel uncomfortable or vulnerable, maybe it’s an insecurity for you and so I know this will be hard to believe, but your vagina isn’t supposed to smell “good.” By good I mean it shouldn’t smell like flowers or fruit. It should smell like a vagina.

Ultimately the decision is yours, but yeast infections and bv are seriously no fun. So I’m going to stick to the warm water only rule that most professionals suggest.

I am a twenty-something college student studying English creative writing and journalism, just trying to figure out life one cake and mistake at a time all while doing what I love - writing!

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