Many women believe that douching is the best way to get away from odor issues down there. Well, that could actually do more harm than good. Odor issues may be solved temporarily, but problems like the overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina or yeast infection, or bacterial vaginosis may occur. These happen because douching can significantly affect your vagina’s pH levels.
To avoid that, you may ask yourself what to do instead of douching. Good thing, there are far safer ways you can maintain your feminine hygiene. So, if you want to know what they are, this article is for you. Below are the alternatives you can try.
Many experts strongly advise women to unlearn douching as part of vaginal hygiene. It’s believed to be unsafe. In fact, even if you feel so fresh after douching, it may start the rapid growth of bacteria and create an imbalance of pH levels.
If you douche:
You may risk yourself for more infections.
An itching and burning sensation may occur for prolonged periods.
Irritation and allergic reactions can happen, too.
If these happen, your vagina’s natural defense against harmful bacteria is compromised. With that, you should think about what to do instead of douching.
Tip 1: Let Your Vagina Clean Itself
Like other parts of the body, your vagina also has a self-cleaning mechanism that allows you not to clean it from time to time. Of course, you can still wash it, but you don’t actually need to do it all the time.
Your vagina has Lactobacillus bacteria that helps in producing mucus in the vaginal lining. And this causes blood, semen, and other vaginal discharge that make an odor to be flushed out of the vagina. This also helps in maintaining the normal pH level of the genital, which can help repel odor-causing bacteria. Trust your vagina to do its job.
Tip 2: Keep it Dry
We all know that bacteria cause bad odor, and they thrive in wet and dark places. And this also applies down there. The best way you can do this is to change your underwear whenever it’s soaked in water or any liquid.
This is especially the case if you always go to the pool or swim in the sea or other bodies of open water. If you are no longer swimming, don’t wait too long. Go to the nearest bathroom to wash and change. In cases where you are tightening your vagina by sitting on hot water, keep it dry as much as possible afterward. And as for taking shower or bath, you make sure to always pat dry your vagina before putting on your undies.
Tip 3: Use Products Safe for Your Vagina
Sometimes, using water to clean your vagina once in a while is not enough for some women. If you’re one of them, you may use products designed for vaginal cleaning. These products usually help balance out pH levels and get rid of bacteria that cause odor.
There are a lot of options in drugstores. In fact, some of these cleaners even have different benefits such as cooling, fragrance, etc. Just pick the one that you don’t have any allergic reactions to. You can check that by reading the label of the product for notes and warnings.
Tip 4: Do not Use Soap
As mentioned, it’s recommended that you only use pH-safe products. That’s why, as much as you want to use soap to feel clean down there, avoid it. Regular soaps not made for vaginal use can cause an imbalance of pH and the growth of bacteria over time. Of course, you can still use any soap below, but you have to make sure it’s at a safe distance from the vagina.
Besides, most soaps can dry out and remove the natural moisture of your vagina.
Tip 5: Maintain Good Immune Health
Taking care of your immune system is also a great way to maintain your feminine hygiene. Studies have shown that those women with weaker immune systems tend to have decreased mucus production down there. This means that lower mucus means the natural cleaning function of the vagina becomes inefficient.
To maintain robust immune health, you have to pay attention to your stress levels. Stress can lower your immune system’s defense. In addition, you also have to take good care of your mental health as it can greatly affect your daily activities. With a good mental state, you can exercise, eat healthily, and even know whenever you need rest.
Tip 6: Wear Comfortable and Breathable Undies
You may not pay attention to the type of undies you wear, but they, too, have an impact on your vaginal hygiene. If you wear tight underwear, airflow can be quite restricted and intense sweating in the immediate area can occur. This can further contribute to the unpleasant odor.
You can try fabrics like cotton. They can help absorb and reduce the sweat sticking to your skin down there. This gives no chance for harmful bacteria to multiply and harm the natural acidity in the area.
Tip 7: Use pH-safe Lubricant
One way of maintaining normal pH levels down there is to use a pH-safe lubricant. Sex is part of life. If you and your partner are using lubricant during the deed, don’t use baby oil or any other products not intended for vagina use.
To find one that’s suitable for your vagina, you should avoid the following ingredients: glycerin, glucose, phenoxyethanol, chlorhexidine, propylene glycol, petroleum, parabens, and silicone oils. These can cause irritation and abnormal pH levels in your vagina. So, make sure to read the labels of the lubricants you’re about to use.
Tip 8: Eat Healthy Food
What you eat will reflect on your body. Yes! Your diet is a big factor when it comes to maintaining a good pH balance and natural odor. There are foods that can cause an imbalance in pH levels. And you need to avoid sugary and fatty foods. You may also reduce your caffeine intake.
It’s important that you know that douching is not the only way you can get rid of bad odor down there. Your enemy is the abnormal increase and growth of bacteria, and douching can make the situation worse. So, try out the douching alternatives above and see if they work for you.
Most importantly, you have to acknowledge that your vagina has a natural odor. And that’s why douching is not always going to be the answer.