It is the holy grail, so to speak. The beginning of pleasure, of life, of enormously frustrating cramps that ruin a good few days every month. The vagina (by that we mean the vulva, the external opening of the vagina) is not a complex creature, but a body part equally important and relevant as any other. Women have waxed their private parts, put their vagina’s under the blade, used chemical products that do more harm than good. Here are a few other things to never do to your vagina.
1. Wear Tight Underwear All The Time
Ladies, let’s start with the basics. An uncomfortably-fitting underwear is likely to cause chafing of skin and vaginal irritation. It also increases the risk of yeast infection as it provides an environment for heat and moisture to start building, thus making it conducive for bacterial growth. It is preferable to avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester and lace and go with a breathable fabric like cotton.
2. Get It Pierced
Genital piercings have become quite popular for sexual enhancement, but seriously, at what cost? The areas usually considered for piercings are the clitoris or clitoris hood and the outer or inner labia. But the vagina is an extremely sensitive area and external procedures like piercings, apart from the obvious repercussion of infecting the area, can cause severe pain and even lead to nerve damage. A typical piercing shop needle also puts you at a higher risk of contracting tetanus, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other STDs.
3. Get Rid Of ALL Your Pubic Hair
It is there for a reason. The pubic hair absorbs moisture around the area and protects it from infections - including herpes and genital warts. So trimming it is always a better option than regularly getting rid of it all. Plus, if not handled carefully, it can cause icky razor burns, ingrown hair and an overall unpleasant sensation around the area.
4. Vaginal Steaming
We know that Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. The idea of sitting on comfortable chairs with herbal-infused steam blowing towards your vagina can seem like a pleasant experience. And spas promote it saying that it improves female hygiene and helps in balancing hormones. But the steam can burn the skin in and around your vagina. If it becomes severe, it can affect your bladder and rectum too.
5. Apply Chemical Products On It
Contrary to popular perception, it is not safe to use scented soaps or fragrances, body deodorants to prevent a bad smelling vagina. The artificial chemicals in these products can cause infection and irritation. In fact, a thorough cleanse with just lukewarm water is enough to keep your vagina clean. Even feminine washes are ideally for external use and not for cleaning the insides of the vagina. If you find your vagina’s odour unpleasant, it is probably due to an improper pH balance which can be corrected with a proper diet. And always feel free to consult a doctor!
6. Or Practice Douching
Some people also use douching - a mix of water and vinegar to wash their vagina. This process can hamper the pH level of the vagina, leading to infections. Again, trust your vagina’s inherent ability to clean itself and let it be. And if you're really concerned - visit your gynae!
7. Use Just Any Liquid As Lube
By that we mean, say no to petroleum jelly as it is very difficult to clean out after sexual intercourse. It is uncomfortable and can also cause pain and irritation. If you want any kind of lubrication, consult your doctor who will be able to recommend you one depending on your health conditions and the the kind of protection you use.
8. Take Sanitary Hygiene For Granted
Make sure to change your pads and tampons frequently during your periods. This is because the pH value of vaginal blood is significantly higher than that of a healthy vagina. And the longer you use a sanitary product for, the greater are the chances of contracting a vaginal infection. It can even lead to toxic shock syndrome, a bacterial infection which can become life threatening.
9. Get A Bit Too Playful
In an effort to make sex more adventurous, don’t resort to putting sharp objects inside your vagina. Even the slightest cut in the sensitive area will lead to a lot of bleeding. Also, avoid using anything you might have used for anal play. In the case of an emergency, don’t be embarrassed and consult a doctor immediately.
We all have the assumption that we know everything about our body but that especially doesn't hold true when it comes to vaginal health. Neither can Google answer your most urgent queries. It is best to consult your gynaecologist to be exactly sure of what’s wrong and the best way to fix it. Sometimes we can end up doing more harm than good when we self-medicate!