Many women use feminine hygiene products every day, such as intimate wipes, cleansers and sometimes even deodorants, with the hope of feeling extra fresh and clean. These are used in countries all over the world and bring millions of pounds into the economy each year. But, do these products actually help to do this or are they doing the opposite?
Many of these products are labelled ‘safe’ for the intimate areas, but this does not mean that they cannot upset the delicate balance of your vagina and put you at a higher risk of getting in infections. Research that took place in 2018 showed that women who used feminine hygiene gels are linked with an eightfold increase in developing a yeast infection and nearly 20x more likely of developing a bacterial infection.
‘The vagina is a self-cleaning oven’ so will naturally produce discharge that will eliminate dead cells and bacteria.
What is the difference between the vulva and vagina?
The vulva is the external part of the female genitalia. It protects a woman’s sexual organs, urinary opening and vagina.
The vagina is the internal muscle that extends from the cervix to the vaginal opening.
What is good practice?
Many people are concerned about their vaginal odour, so buy feminine hygiene products to try and solve this issue, however it is natural for your vagina to have a unique scent.
The best way to maintain a healthy and safe vaginal cleaning technique is to avoid putting anything in the vagina (the internal part) and clean the vulva once a day with a fragrance and soap free product. This will help to maintain a balanced PH, allowing the natural bacteria to do its job and therefore put you at a reduced risk of developing a yeast or bacterial infection.
If you have any concerns about your vagina or vulva it is best to consult your doctor rather than turning to products. They will be able to give you the correct information and give you the right treatment plan to suit your needs.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.