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How to clean your vulva and vagina

BY: metro.co.uk

How should you clean your vagina?

That’s a question that’s popped up again thanks to The Sex Clinic.

Just a week after a man made people ponder why a penis might smell and what smegma actually is after admitting he never washed his penis, the Channel 4 show has shared the story of Nunu, a woman who says she sometimes forgets to wash her vagina.

 Nunu came into the clinic suffering with bacterial vaginosis (BV), which caused her vagina to have a ‘fishy’ smell.

She said she noticed the smell happened when she occasionally forgot to wash her vagina.

 Viewers were shocked by the idea that someone could ‘forget’ to clean themselves, but there’s actually an important thing to note here: A lot of people don’t know the ins and outs of the correct way to care for the vagina and vulva.

So, first things first, you do not need to clean the vagina – meaning the internal parts of the genitals – in any way.

No douching. No detoxing. No putting anything up there, not even soap or water.

 The vagina is self-cleaning, keeping bacteria levels healthy with its own natural discharge.

 Trying to clean internally can upset the balance, causing irritation and infection.

 Discharge is not ‘dirty’, but is a natural byproduct of the vagina’s cleaning process.

It’s worth keeping an eye on discharge for any changes in colour, texture, and smell, as this can be a sign of infection.

While you shouldn’t clean the vagina, what you should keep clean is the vulva – the external parts of the genitals including the labia and pubic area.

The NHS recommends avoiding perfumed soaps as these can cause irritation, and instead using plain, unfragranced cleansers or just warm water.

 Don’t try to cover up your vagina’s natural scent with deodorants or scented products.

Your vagina isn’t supposed to smell of roses. If you’re worried about the way your vagina smells, talk to your GP as they can suss out if you have an infection.

Dr Narendra Pisal from London Gynaecology told Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s important not to be too enthusiastic about cleaning.

 ‘One shower a day should be fine.

It isn’t really necessary to use any specific cleaning products. Water should be enough.

‘What’s important is not to be too concerned about how it smells but be aware about out of the ordinary smells – and that can be different for different people.

Certainly if there is a strong, unpleasant smell then that could be a sign of infection.

 And if the discharge changes colour, or appearance or is troublesome, then could also be sign.

 ‘Fishy or pungent smells, and yellow, pink or even green discharge, can be indicators of a problem.’