Women have a bad name for spending too much time in the bathroom. But, this is because they just love to stay clean and feel fresh, all the time. Whether it’s the face or the intimate parts of the body, everything needs to smell fresh, or it can ruin a woman’s day! However, the recent trend for women is to resort to extensive modes of vaginal cleansing. And we don’t mean just the vulvar region on the outside. Through douching and steaming, women are also cleansing the inside of their vagina. But, is vaginal cleansing worth the effort and money?

Vaginal Cleansing - Is it worth the effort?

The first thing to understand is that the vulvar region is outside the body, while the vaginal tube is on the inside. So, how do you clean the system, and keep all infections at bay?

1. Vagina has a self-cleansing mechanism

Yes, you read that right. The vagina is smart enough to clean itself. If you see natural secretions from the cervix, don’t be alarmed. It’s just your body's natural way of maintaining itself.

2. Vaginal Steaming: Is it worth the money?

An age-old recommendation that has recently gained popularity is vaginal steaming, which is a service offered by many high-end spas in exchange for a hefty price. The idea is to steam-cleanse the vagina with herb-infused steam. But there’s no scientific evidence that this can be helpful in any way. On the other hand, the warm and moist steam can create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow inside.

3. Vaginal Douching: Is it a good way to cleanse yourself?

Douching is the process of shooting water up your vagina to clear out all natural fluids inside and ‘cleanse’ the vagina. Unfortunately, this is an extremely wrong thing to do, as the fluid inside is what keeps the channel clean and moist. Douching can disrupt the microbiome inside where good bacteria live to protect you. It will also cause dryness.

4. Scented soaps: Can they clean the vagina and make it smell good?

There are plenty of vaginal cleansers available in the market. These are not just for the outside - they are marketed as internal cleansers and claim to leave behind a beautiful smell. The first thing to note is that your vagina has a pH level that creates a slightly acidic environment for the microbiome. Soaps and cleansers can raise the pH level and disrupt the environment inside. Plus, remember that your vagina is not supposed to smell like fruits and flowers. On the contrary, if it smells of flowers and fruits, it’s probably something you should be worried about.

5. Natural cleansing tips: Surely moms and grandmoms know better?

Well, if your mom and grandmom have told you to put cucumbers or yoghurt inside to cleanse yourself, they surely do not know better. They can cause infections, rather than helping with the cleansing process.

6) Tips to keep your vagina healthy:

a) Drink plenty of fluid. Drinking lots of water can ensure that the urine washes all toxins out frequently.

b) Don’t forget to urinate often, especially after intercourse.

c) Have a healthy, nutritious diet, and try to incorporate some exercise in your daily routine.

d) It is a good idea to visit your gynaecologist and get regular health checkups done.

e) Be careful about using public toilets. Use toilet seat cleaning sprays and flush before and after using it to avoid UTIs.

f) If you use tampons, sanitary napkins, or panty liners, change them every 3-4 hours. It’s a good idea to shift to menstrual cups, too.

7) So, are vulvar cleansers a no-no, too?

Not at all. Don’t ignore the vulvar cleaning. Use a good cleanser like Imbue Intimate Hygiene foam, which you can use anywhere to keep the vulva clean. In general, use water to regularly clean the outside to keep all infections and odour at bay.

Just remember to let your vagina do its own thing. It is a self-sufficient, intelligent part of the body, but it likes to work on its own. Your innocent gesture of trying to help it can upset it.