Can You Over-Clean Down There?

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Browsing though Facebook, I saw an article headline titled “Your Vagina Doesn’t Ever Need Soap, And Other Honest Advice From Dr. Jackie” by Charli Penn. You might know Dr. Jackie from her occurrence on the Bravo TV show, Married to Medicine, where she is shown as an OB/GYN. But the real point is can it be true? After all, she is an OB/GYN and should know best. But since it’s not something that I’m accustomed to hearing, I can’t help but wonder if it’s possible to over-cleaning the vaginal area by using soap?

The article featured on Essence’s website, included a Q&A session with the Doctor in which they asked, “How do you keep your vagina as healthy as possible in your 30s and beyond?” Her answer prompted the eye-catching name of the title along with the many Facebook comments that ensued. Her answer was this:

First and foremost, quit putting soap down there and don’t douche. The vagina is a self-cleaning oven. The vagina has it’s own pH level, so it’s supposed to be acidic [and the level should be] no less than 4.5. When we start adding all of the antibacterial soap what happens is you kill off the bacteria that is supposed to be there that creates the eco-system for the vagina and controls the acidity. When you destroy the normal pH of the vagina then you now have vaginal dryness and you’ve allowed yeast and bacterial vaginosis to overgrow, which of course creates discomfort and in a lot of cases odor.

I will admit that Dr. Jackie makes some very interesting points and has a lot of evidence to back up her claim. Most of us are aware of the fact that the vagina cleans itself, but if you’re like me, you thought that it was still necessary to clean the outside. I must admit, I find this new information very interesting. I prefer to have as much information as possible so that I may be free to make my own decisions wisely and with all things considered. She also puts a lot of other things into perspective when she responded to their question, “So you just need hot water to keep your vagina clean?”.

DR. JACKIE: Well, not hot; lets make it warm. Just really clean the exterior of the vagina and in the crevices and folds. What I recommend is to make [your vagina] the first thing you clean when you get in the shower. Before you get the soap or the sponges out, just self clean the vagina with your hand and water only. The vagina was never designed to smell like a flower or fruit. We’re really big on putting smell-goods in the vagina. It’s supposed to have a particular odor, but not an offensive odor, and as women we really want it to smell like perfume. Don’t try to change the odor of the vagina; it is a God-given odor. Throughout the day yes we sweat and you notice it more, but please don’t use perfumes and especially powder. Powder creates an increased risk of ovarian cancer. So keep the powders out of the vagina too.

Yet, more good points. Our vaginas aren’t supposed to smell like what they’re not, like flowers, perfume, and lilies in the summertime. Can we and should we just stick to using water on our lady bits? Should we just throw out the Summer’s Eve and stick to using body wash on the other parts of our bodies? Well, that’s up to you to decide. Read the article here.

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