“It is best to let your vagina clean itself. The vagina cleans itself naturally by making mucous. The mucous washes away blood, semen, and vaginal discharge”.1

Umbrella

What may the Vaginal and Vulval Hygiene Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Genital Care/Health/Hygiene
  • Vaginal Care/Health/Hygiene
  • Vulval Care/Health/Hygiene

Self-Cleaning

Is the vagina self-cleaning?

In Douching: What Is the Best Way To Clean My Vagina? the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov elaborate on:

“It is best to let your vagina clean itself. The vagina cleans itself naturally by making mucous. The mucous washes away blood, semen, and vaginal discharge”.2

Douching

What is douching?

DotS the definition of douching may vary. In Douching: What Is Douching? Womenshealth.gov’s definition is:

“The word “douche” means to wash or soak. Douching is washing or cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids. Most douches are sold in stores as prepackaged mixes of water and vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. The mixtures usually come in a bottle or bag. You squirt the douche upward through a tube or nozzle into your vagina. The water mixture then comes back out through your vagina”.3

In Sexual Health: Keeping Your Vagina Clean and Healthy – Washing Your Vagina: Vaginal Douches the (United Kingdom) NHS’s (National Health Service) definition is:

“A douche flushes water up into the vagina, clearing out vaginal secretions. Some women use a douche to “clean” the vagina. But using a douche can disrupt the normal vaginal bacteria, so it isn’t recommended that you use one”.4

Is douching different from washing the outside of your vagina during a bath or shower?

In Douching: What Is Douching? Womenshealth.gov’s explain:

“Douching is different from washing the outside of your vagina during a bath or shower. Rinsing the outside of your vagina with warm water will not harm your vagina. But, douching can lead to many different health problems. Most doctors recommend that women do not douche”.5

What can douching lead to?

In Douching: Why Should Women Not Douche? the Womenshealth.gov elaborate on:

“Douching can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can lead to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. If you already have a vaginal infection, douching can push the bacteria causing the infection up into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious health problem. Douching is also linked to other health problems”.6

Keeping Clean

How may women keep their vagina clean?

In Sexual Health: Keeping Your Vagina Clean and Healthy – Washing Your Vagina the NHS note:

Vaginal and Vulval Hygiene

“It’s a good idea to avoid perfumed soaps, gels and antiseptics as these can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina and cause irritation. Use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) gently every day. The vagina will clean itself inside your body with natural vaginal secretions (discharge)”.7

In Essential Information: Caring for Your Skin Down There – Cleansing the (Australian) Caredownthere elaborate on:

“Just in case you have been wondering if your vulval problem is happening because you aren’t washing enough….you don’t have a hygiene problem. Using soap, particularly if this is done frequently, will in fact make your skin more sensitive. It is best to avoid soap, particularly perfumed liquid soaps, abrasive washes and wet wipes. A soap substitute, available from your chemist, or simply soaking in a bath with a couple of handfuls of ordinary salt thrown in is the best way to clean vulval skin”.8

Health Care Provider

What if I cannot keep down there clean?

If you cannot keep down there clean, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The NHS explain:

“If you’re worried about the way your vagina smells, the smell is unpleasant or you’re using perfumed products to cover up your vagina’s smell, you should see your GP. You might have an infection that needs treatment”.9

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to the Vaginal and Vulval Hygiene?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted:

Sources

  1. Douching: What Is the Best Way To Clean My Vagina? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching Accessed: 18 March 2020
  2. Douching: What Is the Best Way To Clean My Vagina? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching Accessed: 18 March 2020
  3. Douching: What Is Douching? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching Accessed: 18 March 2020
  4. Keeping Your Vagina Clean and Healthy – Washing Your Vagina: Vaginal Douches. Page Last Reviewed: 18 October 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/keeping-your-vagina-clean-and-healthy/#washing-your-vagina Accessed: 18 March 2020
  5. Douching: What Is Douching? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching Accessed: 18 March 2020
  6. Douching: Why Should Women Not Douche? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019. Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching Accessed: 18 March 2020
  7. Sexual Health: Keeping Your Vagina Clean and Healthy – Washing Your Vagina. Page Last Reviewed: 18 October 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/keeping-your-vagina-clean-and-healthy/#washing-your-vagina Accessed: 18 March 2020
  8. Essential Information: Caring for Your Skin Down There – Cleansing. Caredownthere https://www.caredownthere.com.au/_pages/information_care.html Accessed: 18 March 2020
  9. Sexual Health: Keeping Your Vagina Clean and Healthy – Washing Your Vagina: Scented Wipes and Vaginal Deodorants. Page Last Reviewed: 18 October 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/keeping-your-vagina-clean-and-healthy/#washing-your-vagina Accessed: 18 March 2020
Topic Last Updated: 18 March 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 18 March 2020
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