Do you really need to clean your vagina? Experts weigh in

Updated on:26 November 2019, 17:41pm IST
There are more intimate hygiene products in the market than we can count. But does that mean we necessarily need to use them? Well, this is what gynaecologists have to say.
Ainee Nizami
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This is how you can clean your vagina
How can you clean your vagina… that is the question. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How does one clean her vagina? Is water enough? Does one necessarily need to use feminine hygiene products? And if so, which products are really safe to use?

If you end up getting a lot of vaginal infections, find yourself scratching down there, or are simply curious about intimate hygiene–then we’ve got some answers.

We got two experts: Dr Sanchita Dubey, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals in Noida and Dr Smita Vaid, senior consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Fortis Escorts Hospital in Jaipur to answer two basic questions: how do you keep your vagina clean and do you really need to use products to do so?

What is a good routine to keep the vagina clean and healthy?
“Proper hygiene is important because your intimate area is quite delicate and is prone to infections. A healthy diet where you avoid spicy and caffeinated foods, and consume a lot of probiotic products such as curd and buttermilk, help to keep vaginal secretions healthy,” says Dr Vaid.

As far as inside your vagina is concerned, unless you have symptoms of infections like dirty discharge, foul smell, or irritation, you do not need to use medicated vaginal washes.

Simply establish a daily washing routine to keep the area around your vagina clean using only water, she suggests.

wear breathable underwear to keep vagina clean
Wear breathable cotton underwear for the sake of your vagina. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You can also keep it clean by adopting good hygiene habits, such as wearing breathable cotton underwear and wiping front to back when you use the bathroom.

Should women use intimate hygiene washes?
“Using intimate hygiene products in the inner area of the vagina is not recommended,” explains Dr Dubey. Cleaning the vagina from the inside can wash away the good bacteria, which protects the vaginal lining from diseases. Washing it off means washing off your protection.

Only the outer region of the vagina should be cleaned, she says. Women should use intimate hygiene products only when they are exposed to public toilet areas. That too not more than twice a week.

So there you go!

For a healthy vajayjay, all you need to do is keep the area clean, use water to wash yourself each time you use the bathroom, and ensure that you wear breathable underwear.

And as far as vaginal washes and other intimate hygiene products are concerned, well the experts have spoken! Unless you have an infection or you’ve been using really unhygienic washrooms, steer clear.

Ainee Nizami Ainee Nizami

Ainee has 10 years of experience in finding and writing stories about lifestyle, health, and fitness. When she is not surfing the internet for stories that'll connect with women, you’ll find her reading a book and sipping chai.