When it comes to most things in life, I am generally pro-hack. (For clarity, here I am referring to “hack” in the Pinterest-y self-help sense. Not in terms of what people in Russia may or may not have done in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.) I love homework hacks. Beauty hacks. Hair hacks. Vagina hacks? Sure*!
As you can see, that “sure” comes along with an asterisk, which I am about to explain to you. *There are a ton of vagina “hacks” and “remedies” that you can find online (on, um, this site too), and, for what it’s worth, a bunch of them check out–either they’re backed up by a doctor or they’re for external vagina issues, like shaving or waxing, that don’t require as much sensitivity as internal stuff does. But a lot of them–particularly the ones you see on Pinterest and Tumblr on, like, a screenshot of the Notes app on someone’s phone–very much do not check out. In fact, some vagina hacks you might come across online could actually do active harm to your vagina. So, check out these vagina hacks that, if you care about yourself, you should probably go ahead and skip:
1. Literally anything here:
Did your doctor prescribe any of these things to you? Great. Go for it. Otherwise, try not to stick any foreign objects up there.
2. Licking your tampon before inserting it:
Um. Please don’t. The mouth has a lot of bacteria in it, so most doctors advise that you don’t lick your tampon before putting it in your vagina–if you need help with lubrication, try a regular lubricant or water.
3. Yogurt tampons:
You’ll see this hack pop up a lot on Pinterest. Don’t do it! Probiotics have been thought to help with yeast infections, which is probably how this hack got started, but that’s when you eat it. (And even then, the benefit is negligible because the bacteria in yogurt is different from the bacteria in your vagina.) And it’s definitely not going to help if you literally stick it up your vagina. Instead, visit a doctor and see what they have to say.
4. Garlic tampon:
Garlic, in the form of a tampon, is another alleged yeast infection remedy. I, um, don’t quite know what to say about this one, except that you definitely shouldn’t do it. (Again–if you have an infection down there, just see a doctor.)
5. Vaginal steaming:
Vaginal steaming has a similar effect on your vagina as douching, which, as you should already know, is…not a good one. It messes with your natural pH and bacteria and could mess with your vagina’s own power to self-clean.
6. Not taking antibiotics if you’re on birth control:
The idea here is that antibiotics cancel out birth control, which is…not true. There is exactly one type of antibiotic that has been proven to affect birth control (called “rifampin,” which is used to treat tuberculosis and other bacterial infections) and if your doctor knows you’re on birth control, they won’t prescribe it to you. So, don’t skip out on antibiotics you need just because you think you’ll end up pregnant as a result.
7. Using vagina deodorants:
Your vagina cleans itself. These things won’t make it smell better.
8. Treating a UTI with apple cider vinegar and baking soda:
Maybe your doctor has told you to do this? I don’t know. Otherwise, don’t touch it.
9. Using baby wipes every time you use the bathroom:
This is fine every now and then, but every time you use the bathroom? Girl. That’ll over-cleanse your vagina, which will mess with your bacteria and pH, which will not make for a happy or healthy vagina.
10. Drinking a “menstrual odor” beverage:
This juice is very healthy! It’s just not going to get rid of every single odor and body function you’ve ever felt embarrassed about before, you know?
11. Whatever the hell is going on here:
I don’t understand any of it! I just know I hate it.
12. Making yogurt from your own vagina culture:
I don’t know. Someone did it. I don’t want to talk about it.
What do you think of these “hacks?” Were you surprised that some of them even exist? Let us know in the comments!