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Your Vagina Is Self-Cleaning, But Your Vulva Is Not

Your Vagina Is Self-Cleaning, But Your Vulva Is Not

Your Vagina Is Self-Cleaning, But Your Vulva Is Not


Did you know your vagina cleans itself? Yes, your vagina is a self-cleaning canal. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take baths; let’s not get extreme. Your vulva isn’t as independent as your vagina. It needs to be washed. 


Can you name and identify your lady parts? If not, that’s totally fine. No shaming here, but it would be helpful to learn them before moving on. 


Your vulva describes the outer part of your genitalia. It covers all of the structures, from your labia to your vaginal opening. 


While your vagina is internal, it’s the tube that leads from the external genitalia or vulva to the cervix of the uterus.  


The labia are the inner and outer folds of your vulva, located at either side of the vagina. The inner folds are called the labia minora, and the outer folds are called the labia majora. They are there to protect the opening of the urethra and the vagina. 


Now that we have gotten that out of the way, back to the point, your vagina naturally cleans itself, but your vulva does not. However, natural soaps or cleansers should be used to clean the vulva and labia. Soap should not go inside the vagina. This could cause irritation and set-up of infection. Uncleaned vulvas can also cause infection and odor.


Tips for vulva and vagina cleaning and maintenance:


  • Use natural, unscented soaps. (Try our Keeping It Simple Fem Wash)
  • Wash your vulva with warm water.
  • Separate your labia and let the warm soapy water run through the folds.
  • Rinse thoroughly and pat your vulva dry with a soft towel. 
  • When on your period, be sure to change your pads/tampons often.
  • You should NEVER douche or use any sprays inside your vagina (unless your health care provider prescribes) The cells in the vagina keep it at a normal pH. 
  • Wash all new underwear before wearing.
  • Be sure to use mild detergent for undergarments and rinse the detergent off well.
  • Wear cotton underwear and try to stay away from thongs.
  • Don’t wear tight-fitting clothes.
  • NEVER douche or use feminine "deodorant"  bubble baths, wipes, bath oils, or other scented products on your vulva or in your vagina. This can cause irritation, allergic reactions, or remove the natural fluid that keeps your vagina clean.
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