You won’t believe the questions I receive about having a clean vagina: “How do I clean all my girl parts?” “Do any of these products actually work to clean my vagina?” “Why do I feel dirty after my period?”
I’ll get right to the point because it only takes one quick Google search to hear all the voices against douching. Count mine among them.
Douching causes infection and, more importantly, a recent study has shown that douching is proven to double the risk of ovarian cancer. Those pretty boxes on the feminine care aisle aren’t even tested OR regulated by the FDA!
Do. Not. Douche.
That said, what can you do? Our vaginas are self-cleaning ovens, but some girls and women legitimately deal with lingering odors and discharge after their period. What causes this? And, if you can’t douche or use feminine sprays, what are your options? If water or the mildest of soaps, used only on the outside, doesn’t work for you, you could consider the use of a new genre of feminine care. You may have seen an ad circulating recently about RepHresh feminine care products. Questions about this are already flooding my inbox. Naturally, I’m concerned about anything that goes inside our vaginas. With women turning to me for answers, I turned to Dr. Lauren Streicher, world-renowned gynecologist.
PH Balance is Key
In Dr. Streicher’s book, SexRx, she dedicates an entire chapter to the pH balance of our vaginas. An off-kilter pH in your vagina is often the cause of post-menstruation odor and discharge. We hear a lot about the pH balance of our bodies, our sweat, our shampoos. It shouldn’t be a surprise that our vaginas have their own pH, but many women aren’t aware of it. Dr. Streicher also authored a detailed blog explaining the ideal pH of your vagina and which things can throw it off balance.
Douching and vaginal “cleaners” top the list, followed by tampons and fluctuating hormones. Back to the questions I’m receiving… RepHresh is a line of probiotics that address feminine care issues like odor, yeast and bacteria. I was surprised and interested to learn that Dr. Streicher recommends this product on a daily basis. The key difference between RepHresh and many other over-the-counter remedies is that it addresses your vaginal pH instead of “cleaning,” aka “perfuming,” your vagina. Roses over funky smells just create rosy funky smells. Probiotics come in many formulas and varieties, and it’s nice to see one focused on women’s health. If any symptoms persist, a visit to your gynecologist is always in order. If you’re interested in learning more about your vaginal pH, visit Dr. Streicher’s website.