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Is A Feminine Wash Really Necessary To Clean Your Vagina?

Whether or not you should be cleaning your kitty with a feminine wash has been an ongoing debate in the feminine care world for quite some time. Some say a feminine wash is necessary, and others say water alone is sufficient to keep your lady bits clean. What’s really the best way to clean your vagina that won’t put you at risk for pH imbalance or even worse? 

What's The Difference Between The Vulva And The Vagina?

When it comes to the feminine wash debate, there’s one particular argument that is typically addressed… The idea that because the vagina is self-cleaning, a feminine wash is unnecessary to keep your genitals completely clean. Well… this is partially right.
It’s true that the vagina is self-cleaning oven, which is an amazing function of the female body! However, when referring to the vagina as being self-cleaning, this means only the inner vaginal canal. This does NOT include the vulva (your external genitalia that surround the vaginal opening).
To put it simply, the vagina and the vulva are not the same, which means they are not cleaned the same way. Your vagina naturally cleans itself with mucus that is produced internally, which can exit the body in the form of discharge. However, this does not necessarily clean your vulva the same way.

This is where many women are left confused because when we refer to the term “vagina,” we often think of the entire female genitalia as a whole, when in reality the vagina is only part of it. There’s truly so much more to the female genitalia!

What's The Difference Between Feminine Washes And Normal Soaps?

High quality feminine washes are formulated with specific ingredients and pH balanced so that they will align with women’s natural vaginal microbiomes and pH levels.  Normal soaps and poor quality feminine washes can contain a lot of harmful ingredients like fragrances, dyes and sulfates that throw off the natural vaginal environment. This is why it’s so important to always check the ingredients of the feminine washes that you are using.

Do You Need To Use A Feminine Wash?

The vulva is not self-cleaning, therefore bacteria or other impurities like sweat can build up on it and cause infection, irritation or odor if not washed away. This means you should definitely be washing your vulva with water at the least, and with soap is an even better option to make sure all of the extra residue hanging around your vulva gets washed away. 
It’s important to note that this means you only need to wash your vulva, never inside your vagina. Washing inside of your vaginal canal can lead to pH imbalance and can also affect the balance of natural bacteria. This can easily lead to unwanted infections and discomfort. 
A study regarding feminine washes used on the vulva showed that using a feminine wash for vulvar cleansing is useful for women who have recurring vaginal odor and can help prevent the recurrence of BV. For women who experience recurring vaginal issues, using a feminine wash can be a staple in your feminine hygiene routine to help keep things regular down there. On the other hand, if you’re someone who doesn’t normally experience issues, then you can probably get away with just water.

When searching for a feminine wash, look for a wash that is pH balanced and formulated with minimal ingredients like VeeGentle. Typically the washes that are labeled as “sensitive” are going to be the best that you can find and will keep you clean without causing any irritation or discomfort.

Final Thoughts

It’s never necessary or recommended to wash inside your vagina with a feminine wash because it can easily throw off your natural vaginal environment. However, using a high quality feminine wash is a great way to keep your vulva clean from any residue or bacteria hanging out down there.

If you’re someone who struggles with chronic odor, BV, or yeast infections, using a feminine wash can be a great thing to incorporate in the shower daily to help alleviate those issues. On the other hand, if you’re someone who doesn’t struggle with recurring vaginal issues and usually feels pretty good down there, you can likely get away just washing with water.