Feminine hygiene products – are they any good?
Practicing good feminine hygiene is vital to ward off infections and maintain overall health, say experts. However, the vagina has the ability to “self-clean” and does not need any extra cleansing.
Dr Karan Raj, a London-based NHS surgeon who has become a TikTok sensation, agrees to this and states that women don’t need to use fancy lotions and potions down below. In fact, he has now warned that many women have been showering wrong.
The Sun informs, that posting to TikTok, Dr Karan Rajan has said, “Women don’t need specific cleaning products for down below.
Feminine hygiene products include different types of intimate washes, shaving gels, wipes, lubricants, and also intimate douches.
Douching involves “flushing” the vagina with water or various cleansers, including homemade solutions of water and vinegar, said Medical News Today in an earlier report. Though this technique is widespread, it’s reported to be unhealthful.
According to Medical News Today, in medical terms, the vagina refers to the internal muscular tract extending from the cervix to the vaginal opening, while the vulva is the external part of the female genital tract.
To maintain vulvar and vaginal health, it’s important to ensure that two important aspects remain balanced – their pH, which is a measurement that denotes something’s acidity or alkalinity, and their bacterial balance.
Dr Karan explains, “A vagina’s Ph is around 4.5 and is a little more acidic than it is basic, which helps to limit the growth of harmful bacteria and it makes its own antibiotics to stop external bacteria from entering the system.
“Douching, feminine hygiene products, all that kind of stuff, disrupts the balance of the vaginal microbiome, leading to infections and all sorts of badness.”
In the comments section, Dr Karan is reported to have added that consumers ‘shouldn’t trust random faceless companies selling garbage on TikTok’.
He adds, “Our consumerist society has become an expert in creating products that we don’t need and then making us think that we need them.
“Specifically, when it comes to feminine hygiene products, they perpetuate this myth that women’s bodies are dirty and need to be clean and fresh.
“Doing so can actually upset the delicate bacterial balance down below, increasing the risk of yeast infections, vaginosis and other conditions.”
According to an earlier report by the National Library of Medicine, the non-profit Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) stated that feminine hygiene products may be using ingredients that are known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), carcinogens, or allergens.
Also, while nearly all women use sanitary pads and tampons, Black and Latina women reportedly use douches, powders, wipes, and deodorizers more often than women of other races – this puts them at a greater risk of potential chemical exposures.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Sarah Welsh, NHS Gynaecology Doctor and Co-Founder of HANX (sexual health and intimate wellness company) had previously said that there’s a lot of misinformation out there on how women should be caring for their private parts.
She is quoted as saying, “Many of us didn’t learn how to take care of our vaginas during biology or Sex Ed classes.
“It’s so important to be open and clear about how we can take better care of our intimate health, and that means not being shy to talk about vaginas.”
Dr Sarah reportedly added that just using water will do the job fine.
“The natural balance of the vagina can be affected by synthetic sprays, which can cause irritation of the delicate skin of the vulva,” Stephanie Taylor, Intimate Health Expert at Kegel8 told The Sun.
She adds, “Much like deodorant, this won’t remove the smell, or make things better, it will only mildly disguise it for just a few hours.
“Not to mention the harmful chemicals that are often in spray products. Many of these products aren’t good for our bodies generally – let alone spraying them directly onto one of the most sensitive parts.”