All women should be concerned about their vaginal health, but what constitutes a healthy vagina? Well, it totally depends on your regular practice of proper hygiene, especially when it’s that time of the month.
According to Dr Nupur Gupta, director, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Delhi, there are some common practices that women follow in order to maintain vaginal health, but they actually end up doing more harm than good.
Yes, you may think you might be keeping it clean and healthy, but you’re disturbing the entire biome of your vagina.
That is why we are here to help you.
The market is filled with fancy feminine hygiene products that promise to clean your nether regions. But Dr Gupta tells HealthShots, “The vagina is a self-cleansing organ. It cleans itself with natural secretions, thereby maintaining the right pH balance. Acidic pH is maintained by good bacteria but when you use a feminine wash to clean your vagina, it disrupts the bacterial balance and that can result in bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections.”
Toxic chemicals are found in lubricants. Vaginal exposure to toxic lubricant ingredients can lead to discomfort, irritation, and increased risk of infection from even short term exposure.
Dr Gupta says, “Naturally, your vagina produces enough lubricants to help keep up vaginal health as well as sexual activity. Artificial lubes or lubricants reduce vaginal dryness during sex, especially after menopause or childbirth or in women who have dyspareunia or vaginismus. They do not completely resolve the problem and you need to watch out for any skin irritation or allergic reaction. It can also interfere with fertility in couples’ planning conception.”
It has been used to treat bacterial vaginal infections, especially bacterial vaginosis (BV). It can be combined with standard antibiotic treatment. It helps to remove bacterial mucus from the vagina. We still need more studies that prove it is an effective remedy for BV.
Also, read: Oops! Beware of using these 5 things on your vagina
They are available as vaginal cleans or vaginal detox that have herbs. They claim to detox your vagina and clean it from BV or yeast infection. But Dr Gupta says, “It can lead to vaginal irritation, severe infection (Toxic Shock Syndrome TSS), or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).”
With a Brazilian wax, pubic hair is groomed and removed from the front of the pubic bone, around the external genitals, between the upper thighs, and around the anus. Dr Gupta says, “It actually increases your chances of genital problems (irritation, itching, inflammation infection). It is also not recommended for women with chronic skin issues like eczema or psoriasis.”
Keep in mind that some vaginal discharge is absolutely normal. To keep your bacterial balance in the vagina healthy, don’t use artificial soaps or douches.
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