We at Bustle love giving you tips for how to tap into your sexual potential and troubleshoot when things aren’t going your way in the bedroom. But what about finding solutions to those stressful sexual health situations that inevitably crop up when you’re getting down? Emma Kaywin, a Brooklyn-based sexual health writer and activist, is here to calm your nerves and answer your questions. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. This week’s topic: vaginal hygiene.
Q: I'm a full-grown woman, but I'm embarrassed to say that I still don't really understand how to maintain vaginal cleanliness. How often do I have to clean down there, and with what? Are there things I shouldn't be doing or using? Sometimes I feel like when I've gotten a yeast infection, the culprit is some product I'm using, or maybe some way I'm washing, but I've honestly never looked into it. Tell me how to keep my vagina clean, please!
A: Practicing vaginal hygiene is definitely important for the overall health of humans who have them. The good news is that vaginas are self-cleaning. Where things get more complicated is that there are so many products out there saying otherwise — that we need to change the smell of our vaginas, or somehow alter their natural states. This is not only a low-down marketing ploy, but it can also cause some pretty unpleasant side effects, which (not to speak on its behalf but ...) your pussy will not like. All au naturale rants aside, how do you make sure your special parts stay as healthy as possible? Here are the big mistakes to avoid.
7 Vaginal Hygiene Mistakes You Might Be Making
1. You're Wiping Back To Front
Here's hoping that someone in your life told you early on to wipe front to back. But if you missed the memo, learn this practice right now. Why? Your vagina and butt both have bacteria living in them, all of which are important to the overall functioning of those areas, but separately. The bacteria in your vagina are not the same as the ones in your butt. You do not want to get butt bacteria in your pussy! It can cause all sorts of problems, which I'll get into below. The same goes for if you’re playing around in both of those areas sexually — assign a hand to each, or wash your hands / naughty bits / toys between sessions.
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