Intimate hygiene is a concern for many women. Should you wash your vagina? Should you wash your vulva? But what is the difference between the two? Should you wash with water or soap? The menstrual panties help reduce fungal infections? We answer all your questions in this article.
What is the difference between a vulva and a vagina?
First of all, let's remember what is the vagina and what is the vulva. The vulva, often confusede with the vagina, is the part that encompasses the external female genitalia. The vulva is composed of the labia majora and minora, the clitoris, but also the vestibule.
The vagina, unlike the vulva, is an internal genital organ. It is the muscular tube located at the level of the vulva, between the urethra and the anus, borrowed during childbirth or during penetration. It has an average depth of 8 cm. The vagina is connected to the uterus and the cervix. Inside the vagina is the famous G-spot, which is said to be an erogenous zone.
Why is douching a bad idea?
Douching consists in washing inside the vagina with soap and water: whether it is soap classic or products dedicated to intimate hygiene.
In the collective imagination, the vaginal shower would eliminate bad odors, bad bacteria and reduce white discharge. All this is totally false. The vagina does not need to be washed, it washes itself. In fact, the vagina is made up of glands at the cervix that release mucus that will eliminate "waste". The vagina cleans itself !
The vagina is made up of bacteria essential to the proper functioning of the flora. More precisely, it is lined with a protective layer of micro-organisms, in particular lactobacilli: the good bacteria which represent 60% of the bacteria.
They protect the vagina from external aggressions, bad bacteria and and and fungi. This balance is essential and very fragile. When the flora is unbalanced, it is called vaginosis.
Having an unbalanced flora can lead to a proliferation of pathogenic germs, which can lead to mycosis, vaginitis and infections. This usually results in heavy, smelly discharge, burning, itching and redness, in the vulva.
How to wash your the vulva ?
It is necessary to differentiate between the vulva and the vagina, in order to provide the necessary intimate hygiene to each of them. For the vulva, washing with water or soap with a neutral and non-aggressive pH (preferably organic, natural to avoid endocrine disruptors) is largely sufficient. There is no need to scrub excessively or to wash too muchs (one per day maximum).
Concerning the vagina, as said before, you do not need to clean it: it cleans itself.
Other advice: Essuyez you from the front to the back, after the shower or after going to the toilet: this avoids that bacteria located in the intestines come into contact with your vulva and potentially your vagina, which again, could cause an imbalance and therefore inconvenience.
Does washing your vagina inside have a contraceptive effect?
Another belief that is totally false: washing the inside of your vagina will not in any way use contraception to eliminate spermatozoa. Only a contraceptive method such as the pill, IUD, patch, implant etc... will be effective in fighting an unwanted pregnancy. Don't forget to use a condom, which is the only way to protect yourself from STDs and STIs.
Are intimate gels and soaps a good idea?
There are many intimate gels and soaps available in stores. You can forget about all the scented intimate wipes that are filled withes of products that disturb the vaginal balance. The same goes for gels and soaps that are too aggressive, with a non-neutral PH: they should be banned, as they will unbalance the vaginal flora.
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