Putting Food Inside Your Vagina Is A Bad Idea

Among other things.
PHOTO: Getty

Obviously, your vagina is a pretty important part of your body, and you want to make sure everything is status quo down there. But while you may stress about keeping things fresh and clean, the truth is, your vagina doesn't need to be pampered—there's a healthy balance going on, and too much cleansing and freshening can actually make things much, much worse. Here are a few products that you should keep out of your vagina.

1. Oils

If you're worried about vaginal odor, you may have read about a so-called remedy that involves wearing a tampon dipped in olive oil or tea tree oil. But oils can disrupt the delicate ecosystem in your vag—and honestly, most odors are normal anyway. "The vagina has an amazing ability to take care of itself," says Jenny K. Francis, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and specialist of adolescent medicine at Columbia University Medical Center at Morgan Stanley Children's New York Presbyterian Hospital. If you're still concerned, skip the homemade vaginal air freshener and call your doc.

2. Deodorant Sprays

Again, your vagina doesn't need to smell like a candle shop, and those feminine hygiene sprays can actually do more harm than good. "The fragrance and the scents associated with those products can cause an irritation to the lining of the vagina," Dr. Francis cautions.

3. Soap

A quick rinse with mild soap is all the hygiene you really need—and stick to the exterior. "It doesn't need to be scrubbed on the inside," Dr. Francis says. If you're prone to infection or irritation, showers might be preferable to baths, especially if you're tempted to fill the tub with oils, fizzies, bubbles, or bath bombs, which can irritate the delicate lining of the vagina.

4. Douches

Your vagina is home to good bacteria that help keep bad bacteria from taking over the place. Douching not only flushes out those good bacteria, it also screws up the natural balance. "When you douche, the pH can change inside the vagina, which is normally a very acidic environment," Dr. Francis says. "That can predispose you to getting vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections."

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