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When it comes to washing and cleaning your vagina, there are quite a lot of misconceptions and myths. The sad part is that many people fall for it too. While some women use good-ol’ soap, others use feminine hygiene washes or wipes regularly to get the gunk out.
But which is the right way to do it? Well… we asked 10 Indian women about they care for their vulvar and vaginal region, so that you can make that conclusion yourself.
1. Just plain water is good to go
“I never use soap to clean my vulvar region. It can alter the pH balance, so I just wash it with water.” —Asha Singh, 21
2. Expert advice
“I have learnt the proper technique from gynaecologists. My gynae suggested that I wash from front to back, so that’s what I do. I also use a gentle intimate wash, but avoid douching.” —Nikita Bhardwaj, 32
3. Vaginal washes for the win
“I use a gentle vaginal wash. And whenever I am at home, I avoid wearing underwear to let my vagina breathe properly.” —Sanjana Shaw, 21
4. Quit chemically laden products
“For years I alternated between vaginal washes and soaps, only to be plagued by itchiness down there. So in the past year, I quit using all chemical products. I wash myself with water after every trip to the bathroom, and of course, when I take a bath. I also use a gentle soap once or twice a week. Trust me, my vagina couldn’t have been happier.” —Meghna Kriplani, 31
5. A big NO to fancy soaps
“Since the vagina is self-cleaning, I don’t use any fancy soaps marketed for using ‘down there’. They mostly contain harsh chemicals that can disrupt the delicate balance, leading to infections. Instead, I prefer using a mild soap to wash all parts, except for the vaginal opening to maintain hygiene as well as the pH balance.” —Grace Bains, 25
6. Extra care during those days of the month
“I usually wash my intimate area regularly with an intimate wash to keep the odour away. I strictly avoid using any soap. The soaps have chemicals in it, which can affect the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina. During my periods, I ensure that I change my pads frequently. ” —Mahima Jaiswal, 23
7. I trust gentle intimate washes
“Since soaps are drying in nature and are also loaded with chemicals, it is not at all good for directly applying and washing your intimate areas. So I trust only and only gentle intimate washes. ” —Divya Sharma, 21
8. Warm water please!
“Though our vagina maintains its own pH level, I’m very particular about a few things—one of them being washing my intimate region with warm water. Apart from that, I use an intimate wash whose ph level is exactly the same as that of vagina. After washing it properly, I wipe it properly to keep it dry.” —Chetna Pattnaik, 22.
9. Frequent wash with water is the best
“I make sure to wash my vaginal area at least twice a day with water. Soap and any other liquid is a big no-no for me. During my periods, the frequency of washing increases to several times a day, because I am a hygiene freak. Apart from that, I make sure to visit a gynae from time to time, just to keep any red flags in check.” —Geetika Sachdev, 31
10. Care post peeing
“Normally after peeing I wash it thoroughly and wipe it dry. This avoids any odd odour.” —Nirupama Shaw, 25