Caring for and maintaining a healthy vagina is no easy task. You need to regularly maintain hygiene, choose a healthy diet, wear the right underwear, control stress. If one of these rules is violated, the vagina becomes more vulnerable to various infections and diseases, which often have unpleasant consequences for the reproductive system and the health of a woman in general. Some habits and activities can seriously harm the vagina. What should not be done in the care of the intimate part of the female body?
Douching is one of the preventive or therapeutic methods of washing the inside of the vagina. If it is prescribed by the attending physician and is carried out under the strict supervision of a specialist, then such a procedure can be done. But at home, at your own discretion and with the help of self-prepared solutions (vinegar with water or potassium permanganate, herbal infusions, etc.), douching is not recommended. In the assortment of some stores you can find different compositions for douching, but they may contain antiseptics and flavors that can harm the health of the vagina.
Many women practice this kind of vaginal care to feel fresher, get rid of bad odors, prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and even prevent pregnancy after intercourse. But health experts believe that douching in all these cases is almost useless and even harmful. This procedure can disrupt the pH level of the vagina, leading to infections. The vagina itself cleans up quite well, to help him with this, it is enough to regularly wash himself and wear clean, comfortable underwear.
2. The impact of steam and spa
Modern women often include cosmetic spa treatments in their body care, where the skin is well moisturized and cleansed under the influence of water and steam. Some beauty salons offer a newfangled method of steaming the vagina. During such sessions, women take off their underwear and sit on special chairs, from below which steam is supplied with infusions of aromatic herbs, which is directed into the vagina. Most spas claim that this treatment improves feminine hygiene and balances hormones.
But representatives of official medicine do not consider the effect of the SPA to be beneficial for the health of the vagina. First of all, this method is dangerous because under the influence of steam, delicate and sensitive skin can be injured. If the burn is severe, it can impair the function of the bladder and rectum. In addition, steam can dry out quickly and upset the balance of the natural bacteria that live in the vagina, increasing the risk of yeast infections. Finally, hormones are not produced directly by the uterus or vagina, so it is not true to say that genital steaming improves hormonal balance throughout the body.
3. Piercing on the skin of the genitals
Ear and nose piercings have been around for a long time. Many women prefer to pierce the tongue, eyebrows, lips and even the genitals. The last of the methods is used most often to improve sensations during intimacy. Someone needs such a decoration on the skin of the vagina in order to emphasize their individuality or pay tribute to fashion. Typically, there are two types of genital piercings: either on the clitoris, or on the outer or inner labia.
But on whatever part of the genitals it is done, the sensitive skin of the vagina perceives this procedure very painfully. A puncture can cause nerve damage and long-term pain, and the wound increases the chance of skin irritation, increases the risk of infections and infection of the body with such dangerous diseases as tetanus, HIV, hepatitis, etc.
4. Poorly fitting underwear
Underwear should always be comfortable and clean. Tight and overly tight underwear contributes to skin and vaginal irritation. Over time, this can cause ingrown hairs in the bikini area, which will cause pain and discomfort. And getting rid of them is not so easy. Overly tight underwear increases the risk of fungal infections, because when it is rubbed against the skin, additional heat and moisture are released into the vaginal area, which creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
Plus, tight underwear is fraught with the formation of visible wrinkles and ugly bulges on the skin. You need to know your size well and select underwear strictly according to your measurements, giving preference to organic, breathable fabrics (cotton, linen). Prolonged wearing of underwear made of synthetics and with an abundance of lace is undesirable.
5. Deep pubic hair removal
Some women find that vaginal care can be made easier by completely shaving off their pubic hair. But a 2012 study published in the international Journal of STD & AIDS suggests that removing pubic hair may increase the chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, because epilation affects the membrane of skin cells and makes it easier for bacteria to enter the body.
The hair covering the pubis absorbs moisture and protects the genitals from infections. Thus, instead of completely getting rid of the hairs in this area of the body, it is better to trim them from time to time and epilate only on the edge of the underwear. When shaving hairs, it is important to follow the rules of hygiene and safety, avoiding cuts or irritation. As skin softeners, it is better to choose products with a neutral pH level.
6. Care with scented cosmetics
In order to get rid of the unpleasant smell from the vagina, some representatives of the beautiful half of humanity prefer to use scented hygiene products and perfumes. But experts believe that such vaginal care can irritate delicate skin, as most heavily scented products contain many harmful chemicals.
It is not recommended to use scented wipes, sprays, deodorants and perfumes for vaginal hygiene. The surest way to keep your genitals clean and smell good is plain warm water. It is allowed to use detergents (but only outside the vagina) that are specially designed for intimate areas. Do not wash with very hot water, so as not to cause redness and dryness of the skin. If the unpleasant smell from the vagina has become too intrusive, then it is better to consult a doctor for advice in order to exclude possible diseases.
7. Prolonged use of a tampon or pad
Maintaining hygiene during menstruation is especially important. It is unacceptable to use a pad or tampon for a long time (more than 4-8 hours). The pH of menstrual blood is higher than that of normal vaginal flora. Therefore, the longer a pad or tampon is used, the higher the risk of a vaginal infection. Often, women catch such diseases during menstruation, because they forget to change hygiene products on time. The use of pads and tampons after the end of menstruation is not recommended, otherwise it will irritate the skin and prevent it from breathing freely.
8. Lubrication of the vagina with petroleum jelly
Until now, many believe that petroleum jelly is an affordable and safe lubricant. But doctors strongly warn about the dangers of using this well-known remedy inside the vagina. First of all, petroleum jelly can upset the pH balance and increase susceptibility to infections. In addition, this cosmetic product is inferior to conventional water-based lubricants and can cause a latex condom to break. After a while, Vaseline becomes sticky and viscous, which increases pain and discomfort during intimacy. In addition, it is quite difficult to wash it off afterwards. If additional lubrication is necessary, it is better to consult a doctor in order to individually select the most suitable option.
9. Squeezing acne in the genital area
Acne and rashes can appear not only on open areas of the body, but also in the genital area. But no matter how painful and uncomfortable pubic pimples are, they should not be squeezed, scratched, or pierced. When pus is released from the wound, bacteria can get inside the vagina or spread over the entire surface of the pubis, causing new acne. When acne breaks down, bacteria can penetrate deeper into the body, leading to profuse redness, inflammation, swelling of the skin, and even permanent scarring. If acne does not go away on its own within 1-2 weeks, you should consult a doctor.
10. Injuries and wounds
The skin of the vagina is very delicate and vulnerable, especially inside. Any microcut, trauma or scratch increases the risk of infection. The blood supply to the inside of the vagina is very active, and placing any foreign, unsanitary object inside this organ increases the risk of tearing or cutting. Even a small scratch can cause prolonged bleeding. Caution should also be observed during intimacy: insufficient lubrication of the vagina can lead to irritation and injury. If you suspect that there are cuts or scratches inside the genitals, you should not try to examine them yourself, but you should contact a gynecologist as soon as possible.
Obstetrics / Ed. Savelieva G.M. — 2000
Dermatology in clinical practice / Ed. Potekaev N.N., E. Finlay, M. Chaudhary — 2011