Ask any woman and she’s sure to have heard a few absurd myths about the vagina in her lifetime. Some of these claims are far-fetched and easy to call out as untrue, but the most dangerous myths about the vagina are the ones that have been passed down for generations and sound close enough to facts to have staying power. We think it’s time to let go of some of these myths and opt for solutions backed by science when it comes to our feminine care.
Our advisor Dr. Tamika Cross, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, shared some of the most common myths she hears in her office, and how to avoid making the same mistakes:
Myth #1: I should clean the inside of my vagina.
The vagina is self-cleaning. Much like our guts, our vaginas contain normal flora, or “good bacteria” that helps to maintain vaginal pH stability and prevent infections. When you wash internally with anything other than water, you disrupt that normal flora, potentially paving the way for more harmful bacteria, infection, or irritation. After a workout or if you notice more odor than normal, use a gentle, pH-balanced soap - like our Feminine Foam Wash - to cleanse the external features of your vulva (i.e. the labia, clitoral hood, and vulva). Steer clear of getting any soaps inside the vagina since this isn’t necessary or recommended!
Myth #2: I can block odor with more heavily fragranced products.
Fragrances can be a trigger that disrupts normal vaginal flora and can cause vaginal pH imbalances. Our vaginas are not meant to smell like a spring meadow or fresh peaches. A healthy vagina will smell like a vagina. However, any abnormal smell can be a sign of a vaginal infection, such as bacterial vaginosis. When you notice a change in your vaginal odor along with other symptoms, check in with your OB/GYN to make sure there are no signs of infection. Then, if the odor persists, you can opt to use gentle, effective solutions like our holistic, best-selling Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories.
Myth #3: Itching and burning are signs of a yeast infection, which I can treat myself.
Itching and burning are common symptoms for women, but they are not specific to any one vaginal infection and can be signs of many different vaginal issues. It's important to be evaluated by your healthcare provider to determine the correct treatment. As tempting as it is to try multiple home remedies, your comfort and vaginal health are best left up to the experts.
Myth #4: I should douche after sex to prevent STDs or pregnancy
This myth can be dangerous because there is no evidence supporting douching as a reliable form of contraception or STD (sexually transmitted disease) prevention. When it comes to sexual health, It’s best to stick to your usual form of contraception, and wear a condom to prevent STDs.
Myth #5: Vaginal discharge means something is wrong
Many may believe that vaginal discharge means something is wrong, which may not always be true. Discharge can be normal and can vary throughout the menstrual cycle. If you notice an abnormal change in your discharge, such as grayish green color or more watery than usual, then it may be time to see a doctor.
Vaginal Health with pH-D Feminine Health
Many of these vaginal myths could be the reason you're seeing excess discharge, have vaginal dryness, or bacteria imbalances perhaps. Debunking the many myths about the vagina is a huge undertaking, because there are so many! Hopefully providing the answers to some of the most common myths can give you the tools to properly care for yourself and your vagina. For more info, you can check out some of our other blogs on vaginal odor.