Keeping your womanhood fresh and clean is a priority, but sometimes it can be a challenge. Your vagina has a very sensitive ecosystem with unique flora (bacteria) called lactobacilli. Little changes or stresses can rebound a big stink. You can experience bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections from these small disruptions. You might also have to deal with vaginal odor simply from a sweaty workout, a hot car ride or a long day. Yes, hygiene definitely has something to do with it, but you could be the cleanest person on the planet and still have a stubborn pH system down there.
To douche or not to douche? It's supposed to be one of the most practical treatments for the vagina, yet, by flushing out vagina, you could really irritate the ecosystem. "Douching has been linked to bacterial vaginosis or BV; in fact, women who douche once a week are five times more likely to develop BV," explained Mache Seibel, MD, OB-GYN. "Douching can also change the vaginal pH of the vagina and change the natural acidity of the vagina."
The pH of the vagina should be between 3.8 and 4.5. Anything lower or higher can lead to a bacterial imbalance, which causes an odor. Click here for 10 fun facts about your vagina you might not know!
Just a little spritz! There are several products on the market promising to refresh the scent of your lady parts when you're in a hurry or trying feel confident. It seems innocent and harmless, but it could be doing more harm than good. Dr. Seibel explains that these sprays can lead to irritation, and if used at all, they should be limited. Although the spray is topical, it's packed with chemicals that don't mix well with hormones or the bacteria. Even your body wash can cause this type of irritation. Not sure what's causing it? It could be one of these 10 causes.
Don't be misled by "natural" labels. The only natural thing you can do to keep your vagina in good health is to let it be. When odors or funky discharge occur, call the doc. Trying to manage it yourself may make matters worse and can be costly. "Many feminine hygiene products are marketed as being 'free of preservatives', but it's not possible to guarantee against allergy, as we cannot predict what people may be sensitive to," Austin Ugwumadu, MD, told The Daily Mail. "Over millions of years, this part of the body has adapted its own highly-effective cleaning process. As long as you're showering every day and wearing clean, preferably non-synthetic underwear, this should be enough."
Treat the stink from the inside out. "Taking a daily probiotic like RepHresh Pro-B with the two strains of lactobacilli for vaginal health will work to balance yeast and bacteria every day," Dr. Seibel said. Allow your body to rebuild a healthy level of the lactobacilli by giving it time and using a gentle approach with your daily hygiene practices. Save your money, avoid the sprays, douches and wipes unless recommended by your doctor.
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