Intimate washes are unecessary

Intimate washes are unecessary

May 13, 2017, 03:01 PM

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Intimate washes have recently gained a copious amount of infamy amongst South African women in recent years but the funny thing about intimate washes is that they are one of the most redundant products.

You’re literally throwing your money down the drain if you buy them.

Intimate washes are basically soaps, sprays and other products for your vagina that claim to not only clean it but leave it smelling “fresh.” Others also claim to help to balance the pH level of the vagina so as to help avoid bacterial infection, dryness and itchiness.

The vagina refers to the birth canal of a woman’s reproductive system. The outside part that we usually see is actually called the vulva.

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Many women have been shamed into believing that the very natural smell that occurs in the vaginal area is awful. It is not. There are times in which the smell may be strong but unless it smells rotten and is accompanied by a number of other worrying symptoms, there is no need to worry or be ashamed.

If the smell worries you, rather visit a doctor for a professional opinion instead of putting your vagina at risk just because you are scared and ashamed.

These products tend to thrive due to the prevailing shame and lack of knowledge women have about a part of their own bodies.

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While they have been around for a long time, they are quickly gaining popularity, especially in South Africa. Intimate washes should not be confused with medications formulated to aid with thrush and other bacterial infections.  

A number of doctors have come forward in speaking out against these products which can sometimes do more harm than good.

They have highlighted how most women do not actually know that the vagina is built to take care of itself. It has been described as “a perfectly-balanced ecosystem” which contains good bacteria that exist to keep everything balanced and healthy.

In fact, according to UK website, Daily Mail, the vagina’s skin cells contain high levels of sugar molecules called glycogen. Bacteria then breaks down these molecules to produce lactic acid which is necessary to maintain its slightly acidic pH. Yes, acidic, like a tomato.

This process should not be interfered with by any means.

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Daily Mail even mentions that studies have shown that women who use scented soaps, bubble baths, or special deodorants, or who douche, make themselves more prone to bacterial vaginosis than others. This is because these products can remove the vagina’s pre-existing good bacteria.

These products are in fact not meant to even be used INSIDE the vagina so there is no reason for them to even affect its pH and if they are not meant to be used inside, there is no need for them as soap or shower gel then serves the same purpose.

Dr Ugwumadu, consultant gynaecologist at St George's Hospital, in South-West London, believes that these washes merely serve a psychological effect as women feel better about themselves if they believe they smell better.

Another reason why you do not need them is because they are usually quite expensive. Why would you pay so much money for something you don’t need?

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How to care for your vagina?

  • Only use water to wash your vulva and vagina

  • Discharge is normal and it’s colour and consistency may change throughout the month due to your reproductive cycle. Research types of vaginal discharge to know what your body is trying to tell you as well as to know when to worry

  • Wear 100 percent cotton underwear as often as you can as it is the most breathable fabric

  • Avoid wearing thongs too often

  • Rinse underwear thoroughly after washing

  • Always wash brand new underwear before you wear it

  • Find milder soaps to use when washing underwear, detergent isn’t always the best

  • When on the toilet, wipe from front to back

  • Change sanitary products regularly (don’t wear them for too long)

  • Bath every day

  • Allow your vagina to breathe regularly (avoid wearing underwear whenever you can, especially if you are at home or sleeping)

  • Do not use any products inside your vagina, soaps and lotions are acceptable to use on your vulva

Main image credit: youtube.com

Written by

Kay Tatyana Selisho

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