Rolling Out

Vagina: To clean or not to clean

woman in tub
Photo credit: Dewayne Flowers /

Recently, I received an email from a woman who said that she does not believe in washing her vagina because it is self-cleaning and using soaps can kill off all the good and healthy bacteria. Her theory is that the vagina is self-cleaning and insisted that her doctor told her not to wash it on a regular basis. So she takes birdbaths and only cleanses her vagina once a month. She expected me to cosign on that and agree with her theory. Um, no, that is a no-go.

While douching has long been a no-no according to most doctors, and there is some truth that the inside of our vaginas are self-cleansing, that has nothing to do with the outside. It is unfathomable to me, and the majority of the women on my social media page, that someone would not believe in bathing that way. Yet, there were also some women who agreed with her … to an extent. Many said they only used water and no soap but they did that on a regular basis. I have a couple of friends who only wash theirs every few days. I have never understood the logic, so I decided to go on a search for actual information pertaining to this topic. The consensus was that women should wash their vulva but not the inside of their vaginas because introducing chemicals inside can cause infections. Now that makes more sense. Not washing your body is a totally different story.

A plain, unscented soap should be used to clean your vulva. Heavily perfumed soaps could cause irritation and often dryness. You should clean the folds around your clitoris by using your fingers to pull the labia away. Obviously, you also need to cleanse the rest of your private area, always washing your backside last. It is suggested that you should clean your vulva daily, more than once if you want to feel fresh after sex or a long day in the heat. Keeping your pubic hair trimmed cuts down on sweat and germs. It is best to wear cotton underwear so your vagina can breathe and it is imperative that you stay clean during your period by following the recommended change frequency of your sanitary products and washing several times a day as needed.

It is amazing how so many women are not sure about the proper hygiene routine. But please wash yourself down there. Going a month at a time without your vagina seeing water is not acceptable. What are your thoughts on this topic?

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