I recently was forwarded the following link. At first I laughed it off… how silly. Everyone knows that no special products are required for vaginal hygiene??? Right? Perhaps not. At least the advertising execs at Summer’s Eve would have us believe that not only are the lady parts “dirty” in need of special cleaner much like my complicated granite, but also in need of hourly ’touch-ups’ in case they get to stinkin’ in the middle of a business meeting.
The ad, (which if you haven’t followed the link, please do so now) which originally ran in Women’s Day has now been pulled from circulation. To list feminine hygiene in the list of “keys to success” in business is not only offensive, but also feeds into long held myths concerning vaginal health.
So what is normal? Let’s talk a little about vaginal discharge (Bye Dad! I’m assuming he just clicked off this link… if you made it this far) Vaginal discharge is produced by glandular secretions from the cervix, which sits at the tops of the vagina. These glands are similar to the glands in your nose that make snot. (Aren’t you so glad you subscribe to this blog?) They consistency changes during this cycle from thin watery discharge to a thicker discharge, to more like an egg white. This is the body’s way of making a female reproductive tract more accommodating for the sperm. The discharge also helps to flush unwanted bacteria and yeast out of the female reproductive tract. That’s right the vagina is in essence a “self cleaning oven.” Simply needs its outside washed off here and there and then to be left alone. No douches, special sprays or complicated washes needed.
Now, there are a lot of bacteria that make their home in this environment. So, yes much like your arm pits after a couple hours at the gym the area may have odor, but remember external cleaning only is needed. Yes, there are yeast infections and bacterial infections that can occur when the bacteria and yeast get out of their normal balance. What’s a good way to get the bacteria out of balance? Douching and using excessive vaginal cleansers. Yes, douching actually CAUSES infection not the other way around.
That brings me to my final topic: what actually does stink? When women come in for their pelvic exams they almost always say two things as they ‘assume the position’:
#1 “I really hate this”
#2 “I am sorry I didn’t ‘shave my legs’ or ‘get a shower before coming’ ect. Essentially they make some apology about hygiene that is almost always unwarranted.
Generally, all women (myself included) hate getting a pelvic exam, this is understood. Also, due to the design of the exam table my nose is usually quite a distance from your ‘nether regions’. What my nose is right next to is your stinky feet. I think women get so concerned with their ‘Summers eve’ products they don’t realize is that their odorous toes are right next to my nose.
So next time you are running late for your pap appointment, pass on the feminine wash and head to the foot powder instead.