To get to the bottom of this magical mystery, the first step is to understand the parts that make up the general region.
The vagina is the inside part, the canal between your uterus and the outside world. And that’s the part that cleans itself.
The vulva is the outside part. It’s made up of the labia (those are the lips), the mons (the mound of fatty tissue in front of your pubic bone), the clitoris and its hood, and the opening of the urethra (where you pee from).
The best way to clean your vagina is to focus on the area outside it.
Here are the details.
In this article: 📝
- How to clean your vagina inside
- How to properly clean your vagina
How to clean your vagina inside
So does that mean you don’t have to clean the inside at all? Yes, in fact, it’s best to avoid vaginal cleaning completely.
Think of your vagina as a peaceful society of good and bad bacteria. When all is going well, the good bacteria outnumber the potentially harmful bacteria.
To maintain this healthy environment, your vagina should be slightly acidic. (Your pH balance should be in the region 4.5.)
If you interfere with this balance, you could become prone to infections.
The main bacterial force in your vagina is lactobacilli — and they’re like your peacekeeping force.
They produce lactic acid which kills off or slows down the growth of dangerous bacteria.
They also make sure that the vaginal walls don’t become hospitable to unwanted intruders.
The problem is, many products that still line our shelves make promises for rosy fresh vaginas — and these can actually land up doing more harm than good.
That’s because they upset this otherwise self-sufficient society.
How to properly clean your vagina
Here are our top tips for your vaginal hygiene:
1. Avoid douching
From the French word meaning “to soak,” vaginal douching is a practice of washing out the vagina with a mixture of fluids.
Some common options are vinegar, baking soda, and iodine.
While it’s still a common practice, vaginal douching can do more harm than good.
That’s why doctors recommend you stay clear of it.
Douching interferes with the ecosystem of bacteria in your vagina and if good bacteria get outnumbered by bad, you could land up with health issues.
The disruptions caused by douching may make you more prone to bacterial and yeast infections, as well as STIs — all of which can infect the rest of your reproductive system.
2. Polish your perineum
Your perineum is the area between your anus and your vagina.
While it’s a good idea to stay away from cleaning your vagina on the inside, washing the outside once a day is important.
During your period, you might want to wash more frequently than this to feel fresh.
3. Go gently
Clean your vulva gently with warm water and soap.
Open your lips and clean around the area, taking care not to send too much soapy water up into your vagina.
4. Steer clear of perfumed soaps and washes
For some people, these can cause irritation. It’s best to keep things simple, scent-free, and hypoallergenic.
5. Know thy discharge
It’s totally normal for your vagina to secrete a clear or milky liquid that has a subtle smell.
Around ovulation, you might excrete a substance that looks like raw egg white.
But if you notice a discharge that is strong-smelling or looks different in color or texture, it may be a sign that something is up.
And if you’re experiencing an itching or burning sensation, it may be worth checking in with your doctor.
6. Look after yourself
Really? As a method to clean your vagina? Yep.
That’s because when you’re in good health, your vagina is too.
This study showed the effect of a healthy diet on vaginal health.
And this one showed how lifestyle intervention related to diet, physical activity, and mental health can play an important part in keeping your vagina in good shape.
If you’re feeling alone in all of this, you don’t have to be.
Join us on Peanut. Let’s have the conversation.
💡 More from The 411:
Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching
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Vaginal Massage: Benefits and Methods
Swollen Vagina? Causes and Treatments
Boil on Vagina? Causes and Treatments
What to Do About Ingrown Pubic Hair
Should I Be Worried About Vagina Pimples?
VCH Piercing: All You Need to Know About
Fishy Vagina Smell: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
How to Make Your Vagina Smell Good