Ask Dr. Renee: Do You Really Know How To Take Care Of Your Vagina?

November 20, 2014  |  

Source: Shutterstock

I recently received several questions that pertained to the vagina and other reproductinve organs. I could answer these questions but I thought that we should call on “America’s OBGYN” Dr. Drai Chief Medical Director of DrDrai.com. Dr. Drai is a friend of mine who knows everything about the vagina.

Vaginal Hygiene

Dr. Renee: Why does bubble bath pose a threat to vaginal health?

Dr. Drai: Baths in general pose a threat. Women love taking bubble baths to relax after a stressful day. However, the bubbles can get in the vagina and cause irritation and infections. Ladies- bubbles are meant for the air, not the tub!  Instead, buy a stool for your bathtub so you can sit and relax while taking a shower.  And let’s not forget about all the chemical products we use to clean our tubs.  Where do you think that residue ends up?  You get the picture.

Dr. Renee: Now I recently addressed this question, Ask Dr. Renee: Is It Safe To Douche? I thought I would get Dr. Drai’s perspective on this very popular quesiton.

Dr. Drai: This is a generational favorite- especially among Black folks! Your grandmother told your mom to douche, your mom told you to douche, and you are planning to tell your daughter to douche. Many of you ladies are still doing this after your period or after sex. Stop the cycle! Douching washes out the good bacteria in your vagina.

Dr. Renee: We have been asked about using apple cider vinegar to clean the vagina? What about Dettol?
Dr. Drai: As far as  Apple cider vinegar- There’s no scientific evidence that proves this works. And for Dettol (West Indian cultures) – Don’t use this one at all. This is a disinfectant.

Dr. Renee: Let me make certain this is clear, it is not necessary for us to use anything besides water and washcloth to clean our vaginas?

Dr. Drai: That is absolutely correct Dr. Renee.

Fibroids

Dr. Renee: Is there a real link between fibroids and relaxers?

Dr. Drai: There’s a weak association. One study found that women who were getting relaxers had a higher rate of fibroids. Another study found that girls who had periods earlier had fibroids. The period may have occurred due to having relaxed hair. Remember ladies- hair products aren’t regulated by the FDA.

Dr. Renee: Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent fibroids?

Dr. Drai: There are no proven scientific measures you can take to prevent fibroids from developing.

Pregnancy

Dr. Renee: While we are talking about hair products and our health can you shed some light on the theory that you should not relax nor color your hair while pregnant?

Dr. Drai: It has not been proven if chemicals in hair dye can cause miscarriages, birth defects, or any other pregnancy complications. There also aren’t any studies that prove these substances are safe. Use them after the first trimester if desired. Highlighting or streaking your hair, both processes that involve less scalp contact, may be safer.

Ladies if you are someone that chronically suffers from yeast infections then perhaps it is because you are not practicing good vaginal hygiene. I know we all want it to feel and smell fresh so instead of all the fancy soaps and products eat fruits like pineapples and mangos to help with the odors in your vagina. I hope we have all learned some new information about our vaginas and other reproductive organs. Dr. Drai has a free e-book on his website called “20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina”. In the book he sheds light on some other things you may or may not have thought about. If you have any more questions Ask Dr. Renee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • KuhnTewk

    That woman in the photo…wow what a body! Now THAT’S ART!

  • Mr. G

    Ok, how did I get here?? Two clicks and I’m in the midst of a vaginal health debate. lol…only in America.

    • Ask Dr. Renee

      LOL!

      • Mr. G

        Yeah, yeah, yeah Doc, it’s all fun and games until someone loose an eye…..or come down with a case of trichomoniasis.

  • jess

    what is wrong with yall some of yall women on this post..rude for what reasons????

    • Chanda

      Vaginal Defense Mode.

      • Ajavee

        Exactly Chanda. There is no need to be rude.We are all adults.

  • Chanda

    That douching mess is so old school. I’m sure hardly any women under 45 is into that. A mild soap, water, and a trim here and there should be all it takes.

    • Ask Dr. Renee

      You would be surprised Chanda.

  • On_Point

    There is nothing wrong with douching, if you do it with boric acid. Doing so helps prevent bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, i do it once a month either before or after my period because i know my body and when my hormone levels are at it’s lowest, i am prone to developing an overgrowth in yeast. Sometimes i take empty pill capsules and fill them with either garlic or boric acid and place them in my vagina to help keep my ph balance in check.

    • jenn

      Okay this about to be a dumb question but, what’s boric acid? I know u not talking about the stuff my mama used to kill ants? Lol!

      • On_Point

        Look it up.

        • jenn

          No need to be rude. Just answer the question

      • HelloKitty

        KMSL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @disqus_D3oYxBkPTS:disqus I was thinking the same thing though!

        • jenn

          Right but instead of answering the question she had to get smart. SMH!!

      • Ask Dr. Renee

        EXACTLY not something that should be inside your body.

    • shii

      Okay i feel dumb asking this question but……what is douching exactly used for and how does it work,

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        i remember when i was little my mother had what looked like a hot water bottle with a tube attached & she would fill it with water & vinegar and douche at the end of the tube was little openings that would let the water flow out like a mini shower head…now most people use disposable douches you can purchase at anywhere like target walmart etc…some are flowery some have baking soda vinegar etc…the general consensus is this practice is unhealthy & unnessesary because it disrupts the natural cleansing process of your vagina.

      • bigdede

        Douching is suppose to help keep your vag extra clean. Don’t do it. I became addicted to it. After every period I would douche because you can just feel it cleaning you out but I use to get the WORST yeast infections. That’s when my doctor told me I was getting rid of all my good bacteria. Gay men douche. I went to my gay friend’s house and saw some douche in his bathroom. It cleans out their bootyholes.

      • Ask Dr. Renee

        It was sold to people that think they need to wash their vagina with more than just water they have other ingredients and they come with an applicator to clean the vagina. SAVE YOUR MONEY. Don’t buy any douches and you will save money from not having to see the GYN for the aftermath from changing the pH of your vagina.

    • Barleans Olive Leaf Complex is a liquid that, when taken daily; can reduce and/or eliminate the candida in your body causing the yeast infections. It’s something I learned when taking Tamoxifen and became very prone to yeast infections.

    • Ask Dr. Renee

      OMG please do not put BORIC ACID ( the same acid people use to kill roaches) anywhere inside your body!!

      • On_Point

        Um boric acid powder is not a problem when you get 00 empty capsuls and put the in the vagina. You can alsonuse boric acid powder mixed with water to get rid of pink eye. Boric acid is a home remedy for lots of things not just for killing roaches and ants. My gyno as well as my grandmother recommended that for vag health.

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    So wash ur vag with soap & water…okaaayyy i really learned something

    • NewYorkBunny

      Lol. Did you even read it?

      Dr. Renee: Let me make certain this is clear, it is not necessary for us to use anything besides water and washcloth to clean our vaginas?

      Did you not learn that as an adolescent? The vagina is self-cleaning. Never use soap. It disrupts your pH.

      Now you’ve learned something.

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        R u really responding to me…im being sarcastic & yes u do need to clean the outside of ur vagina with a gentle soap like dove for example if u don’t at least i hope u have the decency to keep ur legs closed

      • HelloKitty

        Nah….if it’s after Aunt Ruby has visited or a good workout….or any day in general…..*this girl* is using soap. #stinkStankAlert

        • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

          lol i don’t get these warm water washcloth chic’s is warm water and a washcloth enough to clean ur hands, underarms, or any other part of ur body? no then why would it be enough to clean ur vag

          • MEME

            Because unlike the hands, underarms, and other parts of the body, the vagina is self cleaning, and uses it’s own lubrication to clean itself. That is why many gynecologists suggest only using water and wash cloth to clean it. If you do use soap, it has to be mild or unscented so it won’t disrupt the pH levels in the body.

            • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

              The exterior of the vagina is not self cleansing

              • MEME

                Of course not, I’m talking about the interior of the vagina.

                • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

                  How do u wash the interior of the vagina with a warm wet washcloth? smh ok ur contradicting urself is it self cleaning or do u need to wash the interior with a wet wash cloth? i was never referring to the interior of the vagina to be perfectly clear so there’s no confusion ok…have a nice day

                  • MEME

                    No I am not contradicting myself, the article is clearly talking about cleaning the interior of the vagina.

                    Yes the interior vagina is self cleaning, that is a scientific fact which is why most OBGYN’s advise against using soap(or anything loaded with chemicals like douches) to clean them, and only recommend just simple water. It’s to keep the body’s pH levels balanced.

                    I never said anything about the exterior of the vagina, which is perfectly fine to use soaps on.

                    • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

                      & i never said anything about the interior u can clearly see i said exterior still trying to figure out how u get a washcloth into ur hole to clean it but ok to each is own

      • Ask Dr. Renee

        CORRECT!

    • MEME

      You are only supposed to wash your vag with water and a wash cloth or a soap with low PH. Heavily scented soaps will imbalance your PH.

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        Who’s using heavily scented soaps…

        • MEME

          I don’t know. I’m just saying that they imbalance the ph levels.

      • Rory Triskaideka

        Medium pH (ideally as close to 7 as possible). A low pH would be acidic. 😉

      • My GYN says either use no wash cloth or be very careful when using one as they can cause small tears in the labia and clitoral area. He suggests using ones hand instead. Also a 50/50 mix of Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle is an effective way to wash and cleanse the vagina; especially during your period or a particularly sweaty day at the gym. Simply spray, rub, and rinse

        • Ask Dr. Renee

          Smart GYN!!

    • That_girl

      Warm water and a wash cloth…

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        Girl please use a gentle soap to clean the exterior of ur vagina it’s skin just like anywhere else on ur body & it’s a moist environment bacteria go thru the life cycle of eating multiplying & dying which causes odor

        • That_girl

          Why so testy…all I said is use water and cloth only and u get upset with a girl… Dang

          • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

            where did u read that i was upset…i thought i was being nice…don’t use soap on ur vag i don’t care it’s ur vag

    • Cort Markham

      Taneesha,

      You appear to be a well informed source. If you get a chance please respond to my post:
      Thanks,
      Cort

      Note:

      Upon the Matter of Vaginas?

      This really
      needs more discussion. I have a PERSONAL OPINION (AND I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS
      OPINION (A recent survey in Penthouse & GQ) [5000 sampled] found that 68%
      of men OVER 30, ARE NOT ATTRACTED TO and further DO NOT LIKE “SHAVED” VAGINAL
      AREAS. A bikini wax is one thing. BALD is something altogether different.

      The
      overwhelming general explanation of men’s responses to the multi choice 10
      question survey was itself a question. “WHY DO GROWN WOMEN WANT TO LOOK LIKE 10
      YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRLS”??
      Consider this simple evolutionary, biological, anthropological truism; The PRIMARY
      PHYSICAL DESIGNATOR between a “MATURE GROWN WOMEN” and a “GRADE SCHOOL FEMALE
      CHILD” IS VAGINAL PUBIC HAIR.
      Another consideration: “Women’s
      Vaginal Pubic Hair” is the “PRIMARY” CREATION SITE AND RELEASE MECHANISM FOR
      MORE THAN 75% of the MATURE FEMALE’s sexual pheromones, created to naturally
      attract Males.

      Women with
      shaved pudenda [entire vaginal areas] run the risk of making themselves “LESS
      SEXUALLY ATTRACTIVE” to MALES by stunting or completely eliminating the
      development and emanation of their sexual pheromones.

      An
      anecdotal observation is that, psychologically and sociologically many “REAL
      MATURE MEN” are made to feel like “PEDOPHILES”, even viewing, yet alone having sex
      with what truly amounts to a “CHILD’S” LACK of vaginal pubic hair.

      I have asked MANY Women, (friends, coworkers
      or close acquaintances) “WHY” women shave. Frequently “shavers” really don’t know why
      they started shaving.

      Overwhelmingly
      when an answer is offered, it is a “RATIONALIZATION” for participating in this
      “SHAVING FAD”!! I have heard every explanation in the book, from women that
      participate in this “UNAPPEALING CULTURAL FAD”.

      As if it
      was a CULT MANTRA, THE PRIMARY REASON GIVEN IS ALMOST ALWAYS “PERSONAL
      HYGIENE”. This idiotic answer as justification for
      shaving most assuredly was “NOT” information or recommendation from their
      physician or any other healthcare provider

      The largest part of the Western Hemisphere and
      Western Europe are “NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES”. Unless a woman is
      unfortunately homeless, a women’s personal, unimpeded, perpetual access to
      showers, tubs, clean water plain soap, and special soaps, make this response a
      REDICULOUS UNFOUNDED UNTRUTH, AND AN EXCUSE FOR THEIR PERSONAL HYGIENIC
      LAZINESS or justification for being sucked into a “FAD” behavior.

      As a nurse,
      we catharsize women frequently, rarely do “we” encounter a NON HYGENIC,
      unclean, poorly washed vagina, where that female did not present an overall and
      total lack of any hygiene, usually for a reason and period of time beyond their
      control.

      Interestingly,
      the very few that I have encountered unclean and not properly washed vaginas
      have been “SHAVED”. They have all been in the demographic age group of between
      14 and 30, mostly Caucasian, and sporting tattoos in that general
      vicinity.

      I have yet
      to encounter an unclean vagina with intact natural pubic hair. These WOMEN are
      of a wide group, aged 16 to 85, all ethnicities, all walks of life and seldom
      appear to be tattooed. Women have
      excellent PERSONAL HYGIENE, because they shower or bathe EVERY DAY, wash
      carefully and thoroughly, and douche if necessary. All known habits and rules
      of good personal hygiene; habits that are much less “time consuming and
      dangerous” than shaving one’s genitalia.

      I do
      sincerely, hope that this “FAD” passes away very soon. I am quite tired of the
      “SURPRISE”. and deliberately having a short “one nighter”.

      I have come
      to the personal conclusion that many if not most women are clueless in this
      matter or any of the potential ramifications. My conclusion is based upon the
      fact, that while most will address the question… “WHY I ASKED” IN THE FIRST
      PLACE?”

      The truly
      best answer, that woman has ever given me for “why” is that they swim or play
      volleyball, in very brief bottoms, it’s comfortable and I LIKE IT!

      Okay,
      that’s great:” Hey it’s getting kind of late…I have an early meeting
      tomorrow…”I’ll call you…”!

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        I see & agree with most of ur points…it’s interesting coming from a man…i think shaving started with porn…porn from the 70’s & 80’s women had hair then as it went from landing strips to total baldness everyday women followed suit because they wanted to be as attractive & desirable as they could be

      • Ask Dr. Renee

        You should do a blog post!!

    • Ask Dr. Renee

      It is self cleaning so just water should be just fine.