If you watch almost any TV at all, you’ll see commercials about your vagina–and how it needs to smell better. Ugh, I know, right?! There’s a whole industry built around maintaining our lady parts. There are wipes, douches, sprays and more that promise to help us feel, well, fresher. They have fragrant names like Fresh Garden Dew and Essence of Vanilla Ice Cream Fantasy.
Newsflash! There is nothing on your body that was made to smell like a friggin’ garden–or vanilla ice cream, for that matter. Your vagina, vulva, clitoris and other parts that comprise your reproductive organs are supposed to smell like YOU.
At this point you may be glazing over and thinking, “Homegirl, that’s all good, but you promised tips on cleaning my stinky vajayjay!” Listen up, Buttercup. unless there is something medically wrong, your vagina will not stink if you bathe daily. It might not smell like a grapefruit salad down there, but um, it’s not supposed to!
This is a fact: we don’t need to douche or perfume our privates, in fact, doing so can actually hurt us. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has confirmed that douching is unhealthy. The doctors put it best when they say that the vagina is a “self cleaning oven.” The word douche means to wash in French. You can do just that with good old soap and H20–don’t need to stick some weird plastic thing up there to make it happen!
Okay, so you know you don’t need to douche your vagina, but why is it so bad to do if you want to? Here’s the thing: a healthy vagina has both good and bad bacteria in it. That’s right (hello, science class!) there are microscopic organisms in our private parts. The balance of harmless and potentially bad bacteria maintain a healthy environment in your body. The vagina is a perfect ecosystem with just the right amount of acidity.
When you douche, you can majorly upset this balance and allow an overgrowth of the “bad” bacteria. This can cause medical issues like yeast infections–yuck! If you do have a vaginal infection, douching can push the bacteria up into your uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes, causing a really big mess.
Yikes — that doesn’t seem so Daisy Fresh now, does it?
To be clear, those perfume sprays and fragrances created for the vag are equally as craptastic. If The Man (ad agencies) convinces us that something is wrong with the natural smells of our bodies then they can sell us ways to fix it and make mega moola. But by changing our scent down there, we’re actually masking the natural scents that make us . . . US, and that our sexual partners are biologically turned-on by. (That’s right, even if it smells like, WHATEVER to you, it probs smells good to your cuddle buddy.) If things seem really smelly or you notice a new and unusual vaginal odor or discharge, see your doctor to make sure that everything is okay.
So, what’s the best way to stay smelling good?
Washing with mild soap is the best way to avoid any perceived crotch funk–stay away from harsh deodorizing soaps and exfoliating bars down there–Youch! In addition, breathable natural-fiber undies allow air to flow to your vagina, reducing sweat and moisture. Drinking lots of water is also necessary for a healthy, functioning body. If you’re fanatical, panty liners can also be worn and then discarded to keep undies fresh. Plus, it hasn’t been scientifically proven, but many women swear that eating tons of fruits and veggies makes them smell better. Bonus? More fruits and veggies are a great way to show your body love either way.
Your body (and yes, your vagina!) is yours and you only get one! Love your gorgeous self with all of your natural functions. You’re beautiful, girl.
Do you ever think your vagina smells? Have you ever tried any sprays or perfumes for your vagina? Are you self-conscious of your down-there area? Tell us everything in the comments!