‘Douches’ and ‘feminine’ sprays claim to clean the vagina, but they have some very dangerous downsides

vaginal cleaning products - douches and scented sprays
vaginal cleaning products - douches and scented sprays
There is no need for your vagina to smell like a garden and there is nothing wrong with it if it doesn't smell like a garden.

Drugstores are filled with products like douches and scented sprays that claim to make your vagina cleaner and better-smelling.

Moore said the vagina is self-cleaning, so special products are not needed to keep it healthy.

If you think your vaginal odor smells different than usual or smells different, Moore recommends seeing your gynecologist right away.

Take one walk down the feminine hygiene aisle at your local drugstore or medical and you are bound to find a large selection of products that claim to balance your vaginal pH and make your genitals smell fresh, clean and amazing.

Although these products have been popular for decades, they are not necessary for maintaining a healthy vagina. In some cases of your vagina, they can even cause irritation or worsen existing bacterial infections in the vagina.

    Every vagina has its own natural fragrance


Advertising may make it seem like the vagina is supposed to smell fresh and cool, but according to gynecologist Donnica Moore, that is the furthest thing from the truth. "There is no need for your vagina or your internal parts to smell like a garden," she told INSIDER.

That is because the vagina's odorous discharge is what allows it to naturally clean itself, according to the Mayo Clinic.

"You do not need any special products or any cosmetic to cleanse to the vagina in any way, including soap, unless your doctor tells you otherwise," Moore said.

    Vagina infections - Douches claim to flush toxins out of the vagina but can cause irritation and worsen infections in the vagina.

At worst, vaginal cleaning products can create or worsen bacterial infections.

A most popular vaginal cleaning product is the douche, which works by expelling a liquid, like water or a vinegar-water mixture, into the vagina. Oftentimes, these products contain added fragrances and sweet smell, which Moore said are problematic for your vagina.

Fragrances or smell can potentially irritate the vagina and cause inflammation, itchiness, and pain. In addition, if a person already has a yeast infection or other bacterial vaginal infection and tries flushing out the area with a douche, it can actually push the bacteria or other flues further up into the cervix and worsen the infection, according to Moore.

Some of us or some people claim douching makes them feel cleaner during their menstrual cycles, but there are safer ways to do this. "To those women, Moore said that take a shower or use a bidet, which has been used for this for hundreds of years". She also suggested that using a menstrual cup rather than a tampon or pad if menstrual odors are bothersome.

    Infection in the vagina: Feminine sprays are also unnecessary and can cause infections in the vagina.

Similar to douches (vaginal cleaning product), feminine sprays are scented products meant to freshen up the vagina. They are not sprayed directly into the vagina like a douche, but they can still cause irritation on the vulva, or vaginal lips, and external genitalia or outsides area.

In addition, scented sprays can also mess with the vagina's natural pH, which helps regulate healthy bacteria. Water is enough to wash and clean the outer lips of the vagina (external parts of the vagina) effectively, mild unscented soaps are also fine to use, according to Moore.

Most importantly, it's a bad idea to use vaginal cleaning products if the vagina's odor seems off. Moore said that, if you feel or see that your vagina is giving off a discharge or odor that is not normal for you and is particularly unpleasant, you need to call your doctor or gynecologist, not go to the drugstore or medical and see what is in the vaginal floral section.
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