The female genitals are not only one of the most sensitive parts of the human body. They also have a tendency to be the home to some infections if not kept clean. Giving it the care it deserves is beneficial to men and women but it begs the obvious question- how? What exactly is the correct way to clean your genitals, especially your vagina?
Did you miss Part 1 for men…? well here’s part 2 for the ladies…
The correct way to clean the female genitals
The external female genitals include 1. The opening of the vagina. The vagina is actually the path that extends from the womb (uterus) to the outside the body. 2. the fleshy lips (labia majora and labia minora). These are the folds of skin around the opening of the vagina. 3. the perineum which is the stretch of skin between the anus and the vaginal opening. 4. the clitoris (which is a female equivalent of a penis) and 5. the mons pubis (which is covered by pubic hair).
To keep the vagina clean and normal smelling, here are some steps to take:
- Wash your pubic area, the lips of the vagina (labia majora and labia minora) and the perineum twice daily. Use unperfumed, non-medicated soap.
- When washing the opening of the vagina and the clitoris it’s not advisable to use soap. You could use unperfumed, non-medicated soap. A generous amount of water is usually suitable to keep this area clean as the vagina is mostly self-cleaning.
- Douching is a harmful practice that washes out all the secretions in the vagina. This includes healthy bacteria produced by the body to protect it. It also gives room for unhealthy microorganisms to overgrow. This can cause candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis, two very common female reproductive tract infections.
Douching is a process whereby water or some store-bought ‘vaginal cleansing liquid” is flushed or sprayed inside the vagina in order to clear out secretions in the vagina. This is not good for your female genitals.
- Keep your good bacteria alive. These good bacteria deliberately outnumber other harm-causing bacteria that might want to pass into the vagina. Therefore, they protect their territory by killing other harmful bacteria.
- It is also not advisable to use scented wipes and vaginal deodorants to avoid altering your vagina’s PH balance to prevent redness/inflammation. Your vagina is supposed to smell like a vagina, not like roses and lavender or a perfume shop.
- Wear the right panties because sometimes Sexy is not always healthy. The best panties absorb moisture from your vaginal discharge and allow your genitals to breathe. These days, the sexiest silk or lace panties have a cotton lining in the crotch area but even then you should avoid tight-fitting panties and consider changing your panties at least once a day if you can.
- For many women, a thong is a complete NO or at best should be worn for limited periods to reduce irritation between your butt cheeks and because they have less absorbent material in your pubic area.
Quick Tip about female genitals
Women’s vagina produces its own natural discharges which can change with different stages of the menstrual cycle. Normal Vaginal discharge is clear to milky white and does not smell bad, is non-itchy, and does not cause any pain. If your discharge is fishy-smelling, stinky, and/or the color is yellow, greenish, pink, or thick white or if you experience an Irritating or burning itch with or without having sex, we advise you consult a doctor #WHISPAtous. If you are worried about the way your female genital smells, #WHISPAtous by chatting with a doctor because you might have an infection.
Good female genital health is also maintained not just by cleaning correctly but by making sure you’re in good general health, including a healthy diet and exercise, and also when you avoid catching or transmitting STDs by using a condom or abstaining from sex or staying faithful to one partner.