One of the best parts of being a girl is being able to use flowery, fruity, sweet-scented shower gels–it feels so feminine and makes you feel so pretty! But there’s a downside, unfortunately: New reports suggest that using scented shower gel or fancy soaps down there can make you prone to STDs and STIs!
Research says that if you use shower gel, soap, lotion, or oils inside your vagina that aren’t designed to be there, it can lead to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. There’s a reason for that: the chemicals in all that stuff–which is still rad for the rest of your bod–can mess with the natural pH of your vagina, which cleans itself. As a result, your vag becomes unable to regulate the bacteria down there on its own, and the bad bacteria winds up taking over . . . and you end up very uncomfortable.
What’s more, the same STD and STI risk is posed by douches–as in, the literal kind, not the guy kind (though you should avoid both at all costs). Basically, anything scented near your vag? Or anything designed to make it smell better? It’s gonna make everything worse. And they can even make the smell–which is probably normal and healthy–worse in the long run, because the flowery coverups can cause infections that make it smell bad and sting. Yikes!
Using anything in your vagina–unless your doc specifically tells you to–does a lot more harm than good. Experts also recommend that even if you’re using lube that’s generally okay for down there, check the ingredients: you’re much better off with lube that doesn’t have glycerin, and you should opt for one with a silicone base.
If you use anything down there that you’re not supposed to, it can cause irritation–and tiny skin tears–that can make you more susceptible to STDs and STIs because when there’s broken skin, there’s more a chance of bacteria, viruses and other bad stuff getting in. Trust us–you smell fine. If you want to use shower gel or scented soap elsewhere on your body, go for it–but as for inside of your lady bits? It’s not worth the risk!
Do you use shower gel or scented soap? Do you think the link between shower gels and STDs and STIs is legit? Would the risk of STDs and STIs deter you from using shower gel entirely or just down there? Tell us in the comments!