There is much pressure for perfection in modern-day society, especially for women. From social media to marketing ads, women are often inundated with unrealistic expectations.
This pressure for perfection can also translate to women’s physical hygiene, particularly the way they smell down there.
Therefore, in your quest to fit in, you may search for information on how to keep your vagina clean and smelling good.
While there is much information regarding this topic, there are also many misleading myths floating around regarding vaginal health.
Here, we discuss some dos and don’ts on how to keep your vagina clean and smelling good.
How to Keep Your Vagina Clean
Marketing campaigns and social media often target female insecurities, hyping unnecessary cleaning products to keep women’s vaginas clean.
However, maintaining a clean vagina can be a delicate process, especially since even the smallest change can alter its pH.
Follow these tips to keep a happy, healthy, and clean vagina without the need for expensive products.
1. The Vagina is Self-Cleaning
Yes, you may experience vaginal discharge, but that does not mean you have a vagina in need of cleaning.
Fluid discharge from the vagina is normal. In fact, it can be a form of self-cleaning. Vaginal discharge also helps with lubrication, which eliminates dryness and itchiness.
While every woman is different, vaginal discharge is typically clear or white, with a slight yellow tinge when dry.
Vaginal discharge can have a mild odor and can vary in thickness and color throughout the menstrual cycle.
Learning your discharge patterns is important in understanding your body and knowing when something might be askew down there, which will ultimately help you keep your vagina clean and smelling good.
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2. Nothing Inside the Vagina
With some many feminine products out there, it is difficult to know which to choose, if any.
However, you should steer clear of any internal feminine washes, like douches, scrubs, and body washes.
Such products claim they remove “bad” bacteria, but they don’t really discriminate and often destroy the “good” bacteria that are supposed to protect you from infection.
Even unclean sex toys, fingers, and scented tampons can harm the healthy bacteria in your vagina.
Additionally, do not put food, such as garlic cloves, cottage cheese, or yogurt inside the vaginal canal.
3. Hygiene and Sexual Health
Not cleaning yourself after sex can also lead to infection. A lack of proper cleaning can lead to a build-up of shedding skin cells, oils, and moisture, all of which can collect around the clitoris and labia.
Simply peeing and rinsing with warm water after sex can keep your vagina clean and smelling good.
How to Keep Your Vagina Smelling Good
No, vaginas are not meant to smell like a flower bouquet, a meadow, or an expensive perfume, despite what marketing campaigns may lead you to believe.
As a Washington Post article elegantly puts it, “Vaginas should smell like vaginas – not creamsicles.”
While each vagina has a smell of its own, it can be affected by infections, hormonal fluctuations (menstruation, pregnancy, menopause), diet, and hygiene, here we list a few hacks on how to keep your vagina clean and smelling good.
1. Wash After You Pee
Popular bath salts and feminine washes are no match for plain old water.
Wash your vulva (the external genital area around the vagina), gently with warm water each time you go pee or take a bath to remove residual soap, body wash, or bath salts.
You can also use unscented soap when you wash after you pee. Doing so will remove urine that can make you smell bad down there.
2. Avoid Junk Food
Too much junk food can alter your vagina’s pH balance, especially if it has too much sugar. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Instead, focus on consuming more fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. Salads and yogurts should also keep you healthy down there.
Also, stay away from strong-smelling foods, such as asparagus, garlic, and onions as they can keep your vagina from smelling good.
3. Change Undies Often
It should go without saying that part of good hygiene and smelling good down there is changing undies often and staying dry.
If you happen to sweat too much on any given day, change your panties as often as you need. Too much sweat can cause infection and a foul-smelling feminine area.
Opt for cotton panties over synthetic ones. Cotton undies’ moisture-wicking properties will help you smell good and stay fresh throughout the day, especially during the summer months.
4. Drink Water
Staying hydrated helps your overall health, including your vagina’s health.
The more you drink water, the more urine you will pass and the better smelling you will be – your urine will be less concentrated and strong smelling.
Therefore, staying hydrated is an easy way to keep your vagina clean and smelling good.
5. Pee and Clean After Sex
Semen, latex from condoms, and the use of lubes and sex toys can change your vagina’s pH balance and lead to bad odor down there.
To avoid this problem, clean your feminine area with water or a sensitive skin wipe after penetration.
Better yet, go pee immediately after sex. You will flush out any foreign bacteria and you’ll have privacy to clean yourself properly.
6. Consider Medications
Bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis, BV, UTIs, yeast infections, and menopause can all affect your vaginal scent.
All these conditions can be cleared up or managed through prescription medications.
Talk to your physician if you are experiencing any of the listed conditions to help you manage them and keep your vagina clean and smelling good.
While there are many myths and advice about how to keep your vagina clean and smelling good, it is important to learn the facts about how to properly care for your most sensitive area.
Learn your biological patterns and understand your body to stay healthy.
Consult your doctor when you suspect something is amiss or if your vagina has a foul, fishy, or yeasty smell.