I recently shared my hatred for scented douches over on my Instagram Stories and the questions I got in response inspired this article. So I’m doing my duty and put together this go-to guide for how the hell you should be cleaning your p*ssy, why, and then how you definitely should not be.
When is the last time you looked at your pussy? If you haven’t taken a handheld mirror down to visit her recently, do that! Knowing what’s going on in between your legs is WAY less scary than you might think. It also can help you communicate better and understand your body in new ways.
While this is not the most beautiful graphic (you know I love some good colors and visuals), it illustrates exactly what you need (and it is wonderful compared to what I tried to draw on the iPad).
What I really want to point out here is that the VAGINA is NOT what is on the outside of your body. The word “vagina” is not representative of that entire area, although it is commonly referred to as such. The “vulva” is the outside portion of the female genitals. The “vaginal introitus” is the opening that leads to the “vaginal canal”. The “vagina” is the tube of muscle that connects the opening to the cervix.
Being clear on the terminology is really important, especially for this article.
There’s a lot going on in your body, all the damn time, but probably even more so than you think. Your vaginal microbiome is a complex system of bacteria, yeasts, and organisms that operate at a pH between 3.8-4.5. This balance is really important because it prevents illnesses, infections, and susceptibility to disease.
“Professor Ronnie Lamont, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says: ‘The vagina contains more bacteria than anywhere else in the body after the bowel, but the bacteria are there for a reason.'”https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/keeping-your-vagina-clean-and-healthy/
A few things that can alter your vaginal pH:
– Male ejaculate (for a short time)
– Menstrual blood
– Bacterial vaginosis and other infections
Not all of these situations are harmful, for example male ejaculate has to alter the pH so that the semen can survive and make their way to fertilize the egg. It is just important to understand how all of this will affect your body.
This all came up because I got UPSET about scented douches. I hate them with a passion because they mess with the balance of your vagina and can lead to harmful infections.
If you find that there is an unpleasant scent or discharge coming from your vagina, that means something else is going on and you should go see your doctor to get tested for an infection! Every woman experiences some sort of imbalance, and if you’re dealing with this, you’re not alone – but it is important to recognize the signs and see someone about it ASAP.
“Repeat after us: Vaginas are supposed to smell like vaginas, not like you’re traipsing through an English garden. Your personal scent is individual, Minkin says, but as long as it’s not reminiscent of anything rotting, fishy, or otherwise foul (all potential signs of something like bacterial vaginosis or an STD), you’re good.”https://www.self.com/story/7-weird-vagina-things-that-are-normal
There are soaps marketed towards cleaning your genitals, and there isn’t anything wrong with using a specific soap, but there are certain things to look for like:
– No artificial fragrances
– pH balanced (!!!)
– No artificial colors
– No parabens
I like Honey Pot Co. a lot. They have a sensitive wash with colloidal silver that may be helpful for women with skin issues like razor burn.
A special soap is not required (in most circumstances). My rule of thumb is to just make sure that what you’re using isn’t harsh. I recommend an unscented, organic soap like Dr. Bronner’s or even an unscented, organic baby soap. Think: GENTLE.
Clean around your labia and in the space between your labia and legs with mild-soap and water to prevent buildup of bacteria, skin cells, and smegma. Make sure you avoid getting anything inside your vagina and stop use/ rinse immediately if you feel any burning or uncomfortable sensations.
Do you have any products you love or questions? Let me know in the comments!
Calee Shea is a Holistic Health Practioner based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is your go-to gal for all things periods, vaginal health, and sex.