Even if you want to experiment this New Year, it’s important to be careful about what you put in your vagina. Credit: Getty
Of course, there are some things you can do in your vagina that can benefit your health and well-being.
A tampon can be used in the vagina to stop the flow of blood during the menstrual cycle.
Lubricants are also allowed, and there are some medications for treating nipples that need to be inserted into the vagina afterwards.
During a Pap smear, a mirror will be placed in the vagina to help detect abnormal cells.
Here are the things experts should never do to the vagina.
- Soap and body wash
Intimate health expert Stephanie Taylor of Kegel8 says to avoid scented products when cleaning your vagina.
She explains: “The inside of the vagina is self-cleaning, and poo is your body’s natural way of ridding your body of bacteria. But using anything to wash your vagina can upset your natural bacterial balance, leading to bacterial vaginosis, thrush or even cystitis.”
“At the same time, vaginal douching, which consists of spraying vaginal fluid into the vagina, is equally harmful.
“Adding excess fluid to the mix can alter the natural acidity of a healthy vagina and encourage bacterial overgrowth.”
“When cleaning, use warm water, washcloths, and mild soap to prevent irritation and infection,” she says.
It is okay to clean your vagina with water, but you should stay away from inserting or washing it.
It is not recommended because it can disrupt the normal bacteria in the vagina.
Professor Ronnie Lamont, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “I can’t think of a situation where bathing would be helpful because all they do is wash away everything in the vagina, including all the healthy bacteria.”
- Lemon juice
Stephanie says that some previous trends recommended using lemon juice to clean the inside and outside of the vagina, but this is very dangerous because of its high acidity, which can upset the natural PH balance and flora.
“It can irritate the inside of your vagina and your genitals.
“Not only can the acidic lemon juice sting your private parts, or in more serious cases, cause burns and chafing, but the risk of infection is very high.
“The vagina already has a natural PH level of 3.8 to 4.5, so it has its own natural bacteria to clean itself,” says Stephanie.
It adds that adding lemon juice can cause small tears, which can make you more susceptible to thrush or bacterial vaginosis, an infection.
- Impure sex toys
Before using a sex toy, double-check that it’s clean before using it, or clean it again to be extra safe, says Stephanie.
According to her, getting dirty things into the vagina can cause a lot of problems, especially with many toys made of synthetic materials, which, if not washed properly, can rot and leak chemicals into the intimate area.
“In addition, the accumulation of bacteria destroys the incredibly delicate flora of the vagina, causing yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and, in the worst cases, sexually transmitted diseases,” he added.
- Sharp objects
Stephanie says putting anything sharp in her vagina is a big no-no.
The vagina has few nerve endings for childbirth, but putting something sharp into it is sure to tear the sensitive genital tissue.
“Symptoms of a vaginal cut include stinging, pain, discomfort, itching, burning when urinating, or in the worst cases, excessive bleeding, numbness, tingling, or even fainting.
“If you don’t want a trip to A&E or an unpleasant conversation with your doctor, keep sharp objects out of your reach!” he explained.
Stephanie explains that some people think of petroleum jelly as just another type of lubricant, but getting petroleum products into the vagina can cause infections.
“Unlike lube, jelly stays in the vagina for a long time, and the residue can build up bacteria, increasing the chance of bacterial vaginosis or a nasty yeast infection.
“Furthermore, during intercourse, the oil molecules break down the latex of the condom, causing it to break down, which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancy,” she said.
Like soaps and body washes, wipes can disrupt the pH of your vagina.
Professor Lamont said: “If nature intended for the vagina to smell like roses or lavender, then the vagina would smell like roses or lavender.”
If you’re concerned about how your vagina smells, talk to your doctor.