As a woman, you probably totally understand how it feels to have that "not-so-fresh" feeling and smell in your vaginal area. This is a common problem women have, but there are ways to freshen up that part of your body. Keep in mind, it is normal for a vagina to have a certain scent, and there is really nothing you can do to change that; however, you can try the following tips to help you stay as clean and fresh as possible.
Use The Right Type Of Soap
If you are like many women, you probably try to cover up vaginal odors by using scented soaps to cleanse it thoroughly each day. While this may seem like a good idea, it may actually be having the opposite effects. One of the reasons you may experience vaginal odors occurs if the pH level in this area is off. The pH level should be between 3.5 to 4.5. Using body wash to cleanse this area can throw the pH level off, simply because body wash products normally have a pH level of around 8.0.
To cleanse your vagina when you shower, you should either use an unscented soap product, bar soap, or a special type of cleanser that is designed specifically for the vagina. These products will help regulate the pH level, and this can help reduce vaginal odors.
Douching is a process many women also turn to for freshening up this area; however, douching may actually be one of the causes of your vaginal odors. Douching cleanses the inside of your vagina with water, vinegar, or other ingredients. The problem with this is that the inside of the vagina does not really need to be cleaned. It is set up in a way that is cleans itself, and the vagina is very good at this.
This natural cleaning occurs from good bacteria, which are called lactobacilli. Lactobacilli keeps the bad bacteria away and the balance regulated between the good and bad bacteria. When you douche, you will actually strip your vagina of some of the lactobacilli, and this can result in the growth of too much bad bacteria.
If this happens, you can experience more vaginal odors, and you will also put yourself at a higher risk for developing a yeast infection. Yeast infections form when there is not enough good bacteria to balance out with the bad bacteria.
Avoid All Scented Products
Because the vagina is a self-cleaning mechanism, the more you do to try to clean and freshen it up, the more likely you will be to experience problems, including odors and infections. This includes using scented products to help with the odors. Scented products, such as pads, sprays, or lotions, will do more harm than good. It may seem like they offer a fresher scent, but this will backfire. As soon as the scent wears off, the odors may come through stronger. You are better off avoiding all products like these. They will not eliminate any vaginal odors you have, and you will be at a higher risk for developing problems with your vaginal area.
The underwear you choose may also play a role in the odors you experience, and the frequency of changing your pads and tampons can also affect the smells in this area.
It's important to realize that vaginas have a certain smell, and this is completely normal and natural. If you experience really bad odors or discharge, you may want to visit a gynecologist, as these issues might represent a problem. To learn more about this, contact a gynecologist, such as those found at Central Iowa OB/Gyn Specialists, PLC, today.