The vagina is a muscular tube located inside a woman’s body, it runs from the opening of the womb (called cervix) to the opening of the vagina. The external sex organs of the woman called the vulva surround the vagina.
The vagina can clean itself, it does this by secreting natural fluids. We see this in the form of a discharge. Though the vagina is self-cleansing, there are still thing we can and should do to keep it clean and healthy.
Good vaginal hygiene and routine care will keep it in good health and shape, a healthy diet and regular exercise is also needed for optimal vaginal health.
Note that douches and vaginal wipes are not healthy for the vagina and most of these feminine washes are also not healthy because most of them are chemical-based.
It is safer and better to wash your vagina with warm water only, and if you must use soaps, it should be unscented.
I will also show you how to make you own natural vagina wash in the comfort of your home using only natural ingredients, this will serve as a healthier and safer alternatives to those store-bought ones that are chemical-based.
But before we do that, let me answer some frequently asked questions about the vagina.
Are vaginal secretions healthy?
It is normal for the vagina to produce a clear liquid or white secretion, this is different from your monthly period and this mucus is produced in the body, from the neck of the womb (the cervix) to be precise and vaginal discharge is not always a sign of something bad.
There is a widespread myth that ample clear or white discharge is a sign of sexually transmitted infections. This is not true in all cases and in the case of infections, the colour of the discharge changes yellow and it can also be accompanied with a foul odor.
The amount of discharge produced can vary from time to time, this is completely normal and your hormones are responsible for these changes. This can be noticed more during your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause.
The amount of vaginal secretion produced can vary throughout your menstrual cycle, it is much and thicker during your ovulation (when the ovary releases eggs) and it is also stretchy like the white of egg around this time.
A healthy vagina discharge is colorless and odorless, it also doesn’t cause soreness or itching around your vagina, and it is normal to feel an uncomfortable wetness.
Is vaginal steaming healthy?
Vaginal steaming involves steeping some herbs in hot water and you sit over it so that the steam can penetrate your vagina.
This is not yet accepted as a safe procedure by experts because they believe the heat can damage delicate tissues in the vagina. Also, some herbs can cause miscarriage in pregnant women.
Are there bacteria in a healthy vagina?
Yes, there are lots of healthy bacteria inside the vagina and their main function is to protect it. After the bowel, the vagina is the second part of the body containing more friendly bacteria than any other parts of the body.
The friendly bacteria in your vagina serve a lot of important functions and some of them are:
- They outnumber harmful bacteria that try to enter the vagina and uterus, they fight these harmful foreign invaders and keep your vagina and womb safe
- They maintain the natural pH level of the vagina thereby making it inhabitable for harmful microbes
- They produce natural antibiotics in your vagina (bateriocins), this kill harmful bacteria and prevent them from entering the vagina
- They produce substances that stops invading bacteria from sticking to the walls of the vagina, this, in turn, prevents these harmful bacteria from invading the tissues of your vagina
An infection can surface if the natural balance of these healthy bacteria is affected. It also leads to an inflammation and the population of harmful bacteria will increase and they will be able to invade the vagina.
This can lead to infections such as thrush with discomforting symptoms like abnormal discharge, foul smell, itching, and irritation.
Are scented wipes and vaginal deodorants safe?
These products are not safe, they reduce the population of the healthy bacteria in the vagina. The natural scent given to the vagina is OK if not nature would have made the vagina to scent like lavender or roses.
It is normal for the vagina to have a scent so far it is not foul smelling, and the scent of the vagina can change during different times in your reproductive cycle and this shouldn’t be confused as a sign of infection.
It is not possible for a vagina to be odorless, and the scent of your vagina is influenced by your menstrual cycle and the type of foods you eat.
If you have vaginal odor, see a doctor for treatment and you can also try some effective natural remedies for vaginal odor.
Are vaginal douches safe?
Some women clean their vagina using a douche, this involves flushing water up into the vagina to clean out the healthy secretions inside the vagina.
Vaginal douches are not safe because they disrupt the normal level of healthy bacteria in the vagina and by now you must have known the importance of these organisms.
They are not healthy and neither are they helpful in any situation because they wash out everything in the vagina including the good bacteria and it also increases the risks of vaginal infections because there are no good bacteria to protect it.
Douching also increases your risks of pregnancy complications and it raises your risks of contracting human papilloma virus. In fact, douching is not healthy for your reproductive system.
How to wash the vagina?
Avoid antiseptics, gels, and perfumed soaps when washing your vagina. They disturb the healthy balance of the friendly bacteria in your vagina, they also disrupt the pH balance and cause other problems.
Wash your vagina with plain water and if you must use soap, use un-perfumed ones and wash around the vulva, not inside the vagina gently. Remember the vagina cleanses itself with the natural secretion it discharges.
Wash your vagina when having your bath, you can also wash it at any time of the day. You can wash it more during your period especially when you are changing your pad or tampon.
And always remember that your vagina thrives best when it is left alone. This means it just needs only water for cleansing, keep all those products at bay.
Natural Vagina Wash
If you love vagina washes and still think you need them to keep your vagina clean and healthy, then I will be showing you healthy natural vagina wash you can make at home.
These are made using natural ingredients only and they do not give side effects like vaginal infection, disrupting the levels of good bacteria, itching, and irritation.
Homemade vagina wash
Below are some recipes for wonder homemade vaginal washes you can make and use.
Lavender and rose water wash
You will need the following: a cup of distilled water, 6 drops of lavender essential oil, 1/3 cup of rosewater, a tablespoon of rosemary essential oil, and ¼ cup of witch hazel.
Mix all this ingredients in a bottle and shake thoroughly so that they mix well. It can be stored at room temperature for a couple of months. You can use this natural vagina wash daily.
Benefits: Rosewater is full of antioxidants, it treats infections and soothes irritated skin and it is also helpful to the labia. Lavender essential oil gives a calming effect and soothes inflammation and irritation, thereby fighting the symptoms of infection.
Witch hazel, a storehouse of tannins tightens superficial cells and heals swellings. Rosemary essential oil boosts the circulation of blood and also reduces stress.
You will have better organism if sufficient blood is flowing to your genitalia.
Aloe vera wash
Get a large fresh leaf of aloe vera and extract the gel, add a cup of warm water to the extracted gel and mix thoroughly. Use this to wash your vagina.
Benefits: This vagina wash treats vagina dryness by lubricating the tissues of the vagina and it also treats infections and relieves itching.
Add a drop of this oil to 2 cups of warm water and wash your vagina with this solution.
Benefits: This natural vagina wash fights vaginal odor.
Baking soda wash
Add one or two tablespoons of baking soda to a cup of water and wash your vagina with this natural vagina solution. You can also add baking soda in your bathing tub and soak in it in 20 minutes.
Benefits: It restores the pH balance of the vagina and fights vagina odor. It also treats infections and whitens the vagina.
Add half cup of white vinegar to your bath water and soak in it for at least 15 minutes or you add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to 2 cups of water and wash your vagina with this solution.
Benefits: It removes unpleasant smell.
Apply some curd in your vagina and leave it there for at least one hour. Do this twice daily if you have a yeast infection (candida).
Benefits: This contains probiotics (healthy bacteria) which replace the good bacteria killed by those chemical based vagina washes and douching. It also helps in maintaining the balance of healthy bacteria in the body.
It helps treat infections like yeast infections and improves the overall health of your vagina.
Juice the leaves of gooseberry and mix it with equal part of water. Use this as a natural vagina wash.
Benefits: It treats infections and fights odor.
You can make use of lemon juice or lemon leaves.
Lemon juice – extract the juice of a whole lemon and add the juice to a cup of warm water, use this solution to wash your vagina.
Lemon leaves – boil a handful of lemon leaves in 2 cups of water, sieve it and discard the leaves, use it to wash your vagina when warm.
Benefits: Lemon is a powerful remedy for vagina infections and odors, it keeps the vagina healthy and has powerful antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-allergic properties.
It contains limonene, a powerful compound that improves the overall health of the vagina. It also whitens the vagina and maintains the natural pH of the vagina.
Tea tree oil
Add few drops of this essential oil to 2 or 3 cups of water and wash your vagina with this solution.
Benefits: This natural vagina wash fights infections and odors, if you are fighting an infection, apply few drops of tea tree oil on your pant or panty liner. It will heal and disinfect your genital area when it gets hot.
Apple cider vinegar and water wash
Add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to ¾ cup of distilled water, use this natural solution to wash your vagina.
Benefits: It balances the pH of the vagina, it increases the amount of good bacteria and it also fights infections.
Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with 3 cups of water and wash your vagina using this solution.
Benefits: It fights infections, odor, and the growth of candida.
Harmful Ingredients in Chemical-based Feminine Washes
Disodium EDTA: This harmful chemical bond with mineral and carry them out of the body, it reduces the levels of sugar in the bloodstream and it also react with insulin and create blood sugar crises in the body.
This unhealthy chemical also binds with calcium and expels it from the body thereby leading to calcium deficiency which can trigger weak bones and seizures. Loss of calcium in the blood causes seizures.
It also binds with iron and expels it out of the body, this raises your risks of anemia and affects the rhythm of your heart. It binds to other important minerals like magnesium and potassium and it can interact with medications like Coumadin and blood thinners.
- Sodium benzoate: Mostly used as a preservative, this chemical is a known carcinogen and it’s not good for the body.
- Citric acid: This is potentially dangerous especially when mixed with other chemicals, it is allergic to those with citrus sensitivities and it causes burning and itching.
- Octoxynol-9: This dangerous chemical is a known endocrine disruptor, it is also a potential carcinogen for breast cancer and it causes hives, burning and itching.
A good feminine wash should not contain any of these chemicals.
If you notice abnormal changes in your vagina such as colored discharge, odor and itch, contact a doctor immediately, this is a sign of infection.