A Guide to Feminine Deodorant
Feminine deodorant is not necessarily a new development, although it does come in many new and varying forms. For thousands of years women have been searching for ways to effectively feel fresh while eliminating embarrassing odors “down there.” While some methods have been proven unsafe for everyday use, there are some effective products that have been deemed safe when used as instructed. Let’s take a look as some of the different options available for combating feminine deodorant and which ones are recommended by gynecologists.
Vaginal Douche & Suppositories
The vaginal douche has been around for many years and is based on the douche bag and tube concoction of old (which, by the way, was used for all sorts of medical cleansing procedures and not just vaginal health). In fact, one of the first texts describing the vaginal douche dates back to the early 1800’s and was a scary-looking contraption consisting of a large metal bucket and tubing. Today’s modern douche consists of a sterile-packaged slotted plastic funnel and soft bottle containing a cleansing liquid. The funnel is inserted into the vagina and the liquid is sprayed against the inner walls, intending to cleanse and deodorize the area from the inside out. The typical douche contains a water and vinegar mix, but some types actually consist of antiseptic or antibacterial chemicals. Suppositories are often made up of the same ingredients as a douche, however suppositories are bullet-shaped and are inserted into the vagina where it will break down (or melt, for the lack of a better word). There is no need to remove a suppository. Gynecologists are largely against this form of vaginal cleansing because they basically do the job too well. Douches and suppositories eliminate natural and necessary bacteria that help to keep yeast and bacterial infections at bay. The vagina is essentially stripped of all bacteria—both good and bad—leaving it completely vulnerable.
(External) Feminine Wash
Feminine washes are kind of like body wash, but they are specifically designed to cleanse the outer portion of the vagina. Many body washes are heavily scented to leave the skin smelling flowery and romantic; however these perfumes can be harsh on the sensitive flesh of the outer vagina. In fact the excessive use of harsh perfumed soaps can lead to bacterial and yeast infections. When cleansing the vagina, it is a good idea to use a mild soap or one specifically designed for vaginal use. Bear in mind that no soap is safe for internal vaginal use, however feminine wash is excellent for eliminating external odors such as that caused by sweat. As long as this wash is used externally, it is considered safe and effective.
Deodorant sprays are intended to neutralize external odors and prevent sweating of the surrounding skin. Deodorant sprays, for the most part, are intended to leave the skin “down there” feeling fresh and clean, however they are not looked upon very well by gynecologists. As with suppositories and douches, sprays have a tendency to eliminate even the good bacteria which disrupts the delicate flora and fauna of a woman’s nether region.
Wipes and Powders
Wipes and powders are very effective at providing a clean feeling without causing too much of a bacterial disruption. As wipes and powders are easy to conceal, they are ideal for women who need to freshen up on the go. Wipes are particularly helpful around menstruation time when a gal needs a bit more help feeling clean throughout the day. These methods of feminine deodorant are generally considered safe if they are not used excessively.
In general, all a woman really needs to remain “clean” is to bathe the area with warm water (and a mild, unscented soap when necessary). A change of underwear each day and frequently changing sanitary items such as tampons and pads should be sufficient enough to eliminate odors and remain healthy and comfortable. If irritation occurs or a foul odor emits from the vagina, then a trip to the gynecologist is likely in order as a bacterial or yeast infection could be the cause.