We live in a society where talking about female hygiene and intimate care is still considered taboo.. (remember, how your chemist still gives you sanitary pads wrapped in paper? Or how shy you are when you have to buy intimate care products?). Well, this taboo has created a lot of mysteries around women’s intimate care. This has resulted in a lot of women believing and following some unhealthy intimate care practices.
Below are a few such myths that are quite popular among women and what’s the reality behind them:
Myth 1: You need to wash your vagina every day with soap
Washing up with soap is good. But using soap to clean your vagina is a bad idea! The truth is that your vagina is made up of a fine balance of friendly bacteria. Soaps are harsh and have a different pH than your vagina. Avoid using perfumed washes, bubble baths or shower gels to clean your intimate area. This will only disturb the microbiome and cause damage to your vagina.
Myth 2: You need to clean inside the vaginal canal
This one is a big no-no! The inside of the vaginal canal cleans itself and produces a vaginal discharge that cleans it from the inside out. You do not need to force any spray of water or any other liquid inside your vagina to keep it clean (this activity is also known as vaginal douching). It can disrupt the microbiome and can lead to irritation and infections such as thrush, bacterial vaginosis, and so on. Our advice: Let nature take care of the insides of your vagina! Stay away from those fancy and fragrant ‘intimate hygiene products’ that are mostly just fads.
Myth 3: Your intimate area requires no cleaning
This one might come as a surprise to some after the above 2, but there are some people who find this to be true. Well, while your vagina is a self-cleaning organ, it does require some hygiene checks. While using soap is completely not okay (as stated above as well), you must gently clean it using some soft, pH-balanced intimate wash or intimate wipes.
Myth 4: Vaginal discharge = Yeast infection
Yeast infections are very much common. And one of the most common symptoms of a yeast infection is vaginal discharge. But you need to understand that some vaginal discharge is normal. The amount and consistency of this discharge can vary as per your hormonal cycle but it doesn’t mean that you have an infection. But if you notice that the discharge is thick like cottage cheese or smells fishy, then you should visit a doctor.
Myth 5: Removing pubic hair is more hygienic
This is another common myth! A lot of people consider waxing, shaving or epilating their pubic hair means that you are being more hygienic. The truth is that doing all of it (or not doing it at all) has nothing to do with hygiene. It is more about a personal choice. Scientifically, pubic hair is designed in evolutionary terms to prevent friction and infection of the genitalia. In fact, shaving or waxing pubic hair comes with its own risks like ingrown hair, infected hair follicles and scarring. But if you still choose to remove your pubic hair, be careful about not sharing your razors, applying a soothing cream, and keeping the area irritation-free.