You've been washing your vagina all WRONG – and it’s raising the risk of nasty infection

YOU'RE in the shower and you've squirted the most delicious smelling scent onto your sponge.

While it's easy to get carried away scrubbing everywhere clean, experts say the way you shower could raise your risk of a nasty infection down below.

You don't need to go over the top when it comes to cleaning your vagina, as it actually naturally cleans itself, says gynaecologist Anne Henderson.

Anne, who is Canesten's gynaecologist said: "Being overly hygienic such as showering twice a day can completely disrupt the natural bacterial all over the body, but particularly on the vulva and in the vagina.

"Being too hygienic is not good. Showering is probably much more hygienic than having a bath because you’re not sitting in your own bacteria, there's no chance of the water being flushed up the bath into the vagina, which can cause irritation”.

She added that scented washes can also disrupt the vaginal pH so you should stick to either water or something gentler like a soothing feminine wash.

Studies have previously revealed that vaginal douching increases the risk of STIs, ovarian cancer and even blood infections.

Vaginal douching is most common in the US and involves washing or cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids.

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Most douches are sold in stores as pre-packaged mixes of water and vinegar, baking soda, iodine or other chemicals.

The lead researcher Ning Ding said: "While researchers are more concerned about vaginal douches disrupting the balance of bacteria in the genital area or interrupting the pH level, they have not focused on the toxicity of those endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which is really important and need to be highlighted.

"I would recommend women not to douche."

There is no reason to go overboard when it comes to cleaning.

You only need warm water to wash your vagina, says intimate health Expert Stephanie Taylor at Kegel8.

She explained that the inside of the vagina is self-cleaning and that discharge acts as a natural way to cleanse your bod of bacteria.

Stephanie added: "Using any to wash the vulva can disrupt your natural bacterial balance and result in bacterial vaginosis, thrush or even cystitis.

“Meanwhile, vaginal douching, which consists of spraying a mixture of fluid up the vagina is equally as harmful.

“Adding excess fluid to the mix can change the natural acidity of a healthy vagina and can even spur an overgrowth of bacteria.”

"Stick to warm water, a washcloth and mild soap when cleaning to avoid irritation and prevent infections.”


Doctors have previously had to warn people to not use lemon juice to wash their vagina, after the trend took off on social media.

Dr Shree Datta, gynaecologist for intimate wellbeing brand INTIMINA, said nothing beats warm water and drying gently with a soft towel.

She added: "This can lead to a higher risk of vaginal irritation and infection. Some studies have suggested washing your vagina with lemon or lime juice can also affect the cells on the neck of your womb, or the cervix.

"For a healthy happy vagina stick to warm water and avoid internal douching.

"If you find you’re uncomfortable or itchy down below, with a change in vaginal discharge make sure you consult a doctor early so that if there’s a problem it’s identified and treated early."

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