If you listen to advertisers, it seems like maintaining good vaginal hygiene requires no less than a dozen products. Do you really need a special soap to maintain your pH balance down there? And how often should you suds up that area, anyway? Fortunately, there are vagina hygiene hacks that will help you clean up in the most effective way possible. And chances are you’re doing just fine anyway.
Contrary to gross cultural stereotypes, the vagina isn’t inherently dirty at all. "It’s like a self-cleaning oven," OB-GYN Jennifer Gunter told Buzzfeed Life. It doesn’t require a tremendous amount of upkeep, and messing with too many products — or scrubbing up too harshly — can actually cause infections.
That said, there are some hygienic best practices that can also keep your vagina happy and healthy. Not hanging out in sweaty gym clothes, for instance, can go a long way toward preventing infections. (Even though it’s difficult to part with your comfy yoga pants after savasana.)
So take heart. Most of those specialized vaginal cleansers are really solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist. Just a bit of plain soap and water, and some breathable fabrics, can provide all the cleaning power you need. Here are the top tips for keeping your vagina clean and healthy.