One of my 6th grade students got me thinking about this. While teaching a puberty lesson, I was explaining that the vagina is a self cleaning part of the body and that we shouldn't use soap to wash it.
Those words were a mistake.
20 hands shot up, along with a couple side eyes. So I figured if 6th graders are giving me the side eye about their lady part cleanliness...
I figured everyone had these same questions. I'm going to do my best to break it down.
Since you're probably at home, take out a mirror and go to town and check out what you got. This will help in a few seconds.
Next, you might see a variation of this:
So the vagina, is the opening on the outside and is a tube that runs into the body. The vagina is so amazing in that it a self cleaning organ and you ain't gotta do ish to clean it!
Facts about the vag:
The vagina cleans itself. Are you amazed by this!? I'm amazed. That's so straight up ganster stuff right there.
Vaginas have tons of good bacteria called lactobacilli, they make the vagina acidic so that it makes it difficult for outside bacteria and viruses to grow.
Usually while I'm ranting about amazing vaginas in my classes, people just don't get it sometimes.
Long story short. Do you stick soap in your eye? Is that a good idea? Does it sting? yeah no. Same thing with your vag. Leave it alone. It knows what it's doing and you don't need to put soap anywhere there!
Now, when it comes to the vulva- (all these parts that you're looking at above, except for the anus) it's a different story for tons of people. Now there are tons of varying points of views when it comes to cleaning the vulva.
Here's the thing to know. Many OB-GYNs say that all you need is water, hand, wash cloth. That's the bare necessity and you're good to go.
Then there's the other school of folks who need some soap on that punani and if you choose to do this, you should use the soaps that are very mild, least chemicals, frangrances, and dyes in them. Many folks are sensitive down there and any ordinary soaps can throw off the good bacteria if you get it near your vag, can make some women itchy, dry out/irritate the skin, etc. If you're super sensitive down there- the wash cloth and the water is your friend!
Douching is washing or "cleaning out" the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids. Most douches are sold in stores as prepackaged mixes of water and vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. The mixtures usually come in a bottle or bag. You squirt the douche upward through a tube or nozzle into your vagina. The water mixture then comes back out through your vagina (womenhealth.gov).
And if you do douche or use these make-women-feel-terrible-about-their-natural-scent products....
Douching can change the necessary balance of vaginal flora (bacteria that live in the vagina) and natural acidity in a healthy vagina.
Douching can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can lead to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. If you already have a vaginal infection, douching can push the bacteria causing the infection up into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious health problem (if you don't believe me, it's on womenhealth.gov BAM!)
Here's the deal.
Vaginas are supposed to have a natural body aroma. If you have a fishy smell or abnormal discharge, you gotta get it checked out. Those things could be a sign of an infection.
Moral of the story.
The advertised products on the market to help you "feel your freshest" is crap. That shit messes up your Vagina. Your Vagina smells great. It's not supposed to smell like peach romance.
I'm done my rant. How were you taught to clean your parts? What have you heard? Share your thoughts below!