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Sex + Relationships

5 Feminine Hygiene Products You Shouldn’t Purchase

Society polices the color, size, shape and smell of vaginas, and companies profit off of the insecurities that women develop as a result. There are many products on the market that say they improve vaginal health, get rid of vaginal odor and balance pH. These products often do not do what they advertise and just end up harming the fragile pH of the vagina. The feminine hygiene industry makes women feel like they need certain products to be sexually appealing and sexually healthy. In reality, people are capable of having a healthy vagina without the use of any of these products. It can be difficult to know what products are not ideal for vaginal use, so here are five relatively popular products I've seen that I would not recommend anyone use! 

Vagisil Products

Vagisil products advertise that they will help block vaginal odors and balance the pH of the vagina, but they do not actually do those things. The company feeds into the notion that vaginas have a smell that people should try to hide if they want to seem desirable. The natural smell of the vagina is not supposed to smell like flowers. Each vagina has its own unique smell, and if there is a smell that seems troubling, then that's something to visit a gynecologist about. According to the UK National Health Service, "If you're worried about the way your vagina smells, the smell is unpleasant or you're using perfumed products to cover up your vagina's smell, you should see your GP. You might have an infection that needs treatment." Using Vagisil won't fix whatever is causing the unnatural smell; if anything, the smell might just temporarily be masked by the scent of the product used. Using scented products in the vaginal region can cause irritation and exacerbate any issue that may be causing a change in smell. According to the UK National Health Service, "It's a good idea to avoid perfumed soaps, gels and antiseptics as these can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina and cause irritation." This product should never be used in the vagina, and I wouldn't recommend anyone use it on the external parts of the vulva either.

Summer's Eve Products

Summer’s Eve products claim that they will get rid of the “everyday odors” in the vaginal region and that they will help keep the area “fresh.” This implies that the natural smell of the vagina is not normal and should be masked. They try to force people to believe that how they are naturally is not sexually appealing or hygienic, so that they’ll buy their products. Most of the products are scented which can cause irritation in the vaginal region, and even the unscented products have oils in them that could be irritating. According to the UK National Health Service it is advised that people with vaginas, “Use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) gently every day.”  This is not a product that will help improve vaginal health; in fact, it could actually cause irritation or upset the pH balance of the vagina.

The Honey Pot company Products

Honey Pot products also are not a great choice when it comes to products to use in the vaginal region. The products are known for being natural and unscented, but they do still have a scent since it contains essential oils. Essential oils, just like any other scents, can be irritating if used in the vaginal region. It’s not necessary to use scented products to clean inside or outside your vagina. Vaginas are self-cleaning and don’t need anything inserted to clean them; the external vulva should be cleaned using unscented soap. According to the UK National Health Service, “The vagina will clean itself inside your body with natural vaginal secretions (discharge).”

Vaginal Douches

Vaginal douching is completely unnecessary. Vaginas are self-cleaning, and putting something inside of the vagina that doesn’t belong there will do more harm than good. Some people think that using a douche can help lessen the chance of pregnancy, prevent STIs or clean out the vagina, but it can actually do quite the opposite. According to an article in the National Library of Medicine, “Vaginal douching is a common practice for women in the United States. Douching is associated with adverse reproductive and gynecologic outcomes including bacterial vaginosis, preterm birth, low-birth-weight infants, pelvic inflammatory disease, chlamydial infection, tubal pregnancy, higher rates of HIV transmission, and cervical cancer.”  

Queen V

Queen V products are supposed to help keep the vaginal area “fresh” and “clean.” Their products contain fragrance and essential oils that could irritate the vagina. Although their products are “pH-balanced,” they could still end up messing with the pH of a user’s vagina.

The best products to use for external vulva cleaning are unscented mild soaps. That accompanied by water is all it takes to keep the vaginal area healthy. The natural odor vaginas have is nothing to be ashamed of, so no one should buy products that make them feel like they have some reason to be ashamed.

Britney Simmons is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University who is majoring in Mass Communications with a Concentration in Print/Online Journalism. She has loved reading and writing since she was a child, and is an animal lover. She loves to travel whenever possible, and you can usually find her binging some new series or napping.
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