It’s important to take care of the health of the female organs all the time. A fair number of women choose to use feminine hygiene soap to keep Miss V healthy. Even so, there are still a lot of people who aren’t sure if using feminine hygiene soap is safe or not.
Are feminine hygiene products dangerous?
There isn’t much information about possible side effects on the labels of many over-the-counter products for women’s health. Even though some of them have ingredients that can kill the normal bacteria in the vagina.
One of them is Lactobacillus crispatus, which helps the female reproductive system keep making mucus. So, you shouldn’t use feminine cleansers or only use them in small amounts, right?
Changing the vagina’s immune system is a dangerous side effect of feminine hygiene. The job of L. crispatus is to keep epithelial cells alive so that the female area stays healthy. If epithelial cells can’t stay healthy, the vagina will be more likely to get sick.
Why is feminine hygiene dangerous?
Because it has soap and some perfumes, feminine hygiene will make you feel clean. But the soap, which is the main thing that goes into it, has a bad effect on the vagina.
By using soap, the vagina’s acidity balance (pH) is thrown off. Your intimate area has a pH that is made by your body to keep the microflora in that area healthy. The acidity, or pH, of the vagina must be a little bit low. If the pH gets too high, some good bacteria or microorganisms won’t be able to live. Bad bacteria that cause infections can also grow in the vagina if you use soap.
Verawaty’s (2011) study found that using soap and other feminine hygiene products for douching can cause irritation of the genital organs and lead to vigismus, a condition that makes it hard for a woman to engage in a form of penetration. This statement is backed up by the study’s results. any kind of vaginal discharge, such as from sexual activity, putting in a tampon, or even gynecological exams that involve penetration, as well as pathological vaginal discharge that needs special care.
Septian (2013) says that women who use fluids to clean their vaginal canals often tend to have more problems with their vaginal health. Using vaginal cleansers can cause irritation in the vaginal area, which can lead to vaginal discharge. So, the use of vaginal cleansers has a lot to do with how often vaginal discharge happens.
Lusianto (2009) says that using cleaning fluids for the female organs can increase the chance of getting an infection in the vagina. This is because these fluids can kill the natural bacteria that clean the vaginal area and mess up the pH balance in the vagina. Of course, there are good bacteria in every vagina (normal vaginal flora). There are both good and bad bacteria in a healthy vagina. The balance between these two types of bacteria helps keep the level of acidity in the vagina so that it doesn’t need “help” from the outside. From the outside, engineering can actually cause a lot of bad bacteria to grow, which can lead to an infection or bacterial vaginosis. Vaginal discharge is one of the things that can cause an infection in the vagina.
Leucorrhoea is a condition in which the discharge from the vagina is both runny and thick and looks like yellowish white or cloudy white. Most women have trouble with leucorrhoea at some point. In a strange way, most women don’t know what vaginal discharge is or what causes it in themselves. Instead, they treat it like it’s nothing to worry about. If vaginal discharge is not taken care of properly, it can be fatal.
Side effects of using feminine wash
Some women still use soaps or cleansers made just for them. Be careful, because you can’t always avoid certain effects.
- Vaginal infection
There are many good bacteria in the vagina that can protect the body from getting sick. Soaps made for women that have fragrances and colors can change the acidity level of the vagina, which can cause fewer of these good bacteria to live there.
When the acidity or pH level is off, bacteria or fungi are more likely to get into the vagina. One of the symptoms is that the vagina will itch and burn, and sometimes a lot of discharge will come out of the vagina.
- Pelvic illness
When you use feminine soap, you may also feel pain in your pelvis, which is a sign of an infection in your uterus or ovaries. Several studies have shown that this disease is more likely to happen to women who use soap to clean.
It can be hard to tell when pelvic disease starts from the symptoms. Most of the time, the first signs of an infection won’t show up. Some symptoms, like a fever and pain when urinating, didn’t show up until the disease started to spread.
Other signs include pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, abnormal vaginal discharge, bleeding after a sexual encounter, or an irregular menstrual cycle.
- Chance of things going wrong during pregnancy
Women who use feminine hygiene soaps a lot are more likely to have problems with their pregnancy. This problem is an ectopic pregnancy, also called a “molar pregnancy,” in which the embryo grows outside of the uterus.
- Disturbed vaginal moisture
It is very important to keep the vaginal area moist for comfort and to keep bacteria away from the vagina. If you use feminine soap, it will dry out your vagina, making it uncomfortable and making it more likely that you will feel pain when you have sexual relations.
- The chance of getting an STD
Less bacteria will be in the vagina if you use feminine hygiene soap, which makes it easier to get sexually transmitted diseases (STD). So, people who use feminine soap are more likely to get diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea.
Feminine hygiene hacks
Now, let’s talk about something every woman does every day: cleaning the outside of the vagina. If using vaginal cleansers actually upsets the vagina’s natural pH balance, what is the right way to clean it? Here’s the right answer:
The best way to clean the female area is with clean water. When washing the female area, it’s important to work from the front to the back. If we use soap to clean our intimate areas, it’s best to use soft soap with a pH of 3.5, like baby soap, which is usually neutral in pH. We shouldn’t use vaginal douches or cleaning fluids because they can change the pH of the vagina.
Use the right underwear after that. Cotton underwear is the best choice because it won’t get in the way. Also, don’t forget to change it at least twice a day so that it doesn’t get too wet and become a place where bacteria can grow.
Lastly, don’t get rid of the hair in your pubic area. This is because pubic hair is important for the health of the vagina and the area around it. For example, it keeps bacteria from getting into the vagina and makes it less likely that the outer vaginal skin will get irritated.
If you do the things above, your vagina and vulva will stay clean and healthy, which will make you less likely to want to use feminine hygiene products.
Cohut, Maria 2019. Are feminine hygiene products really necessary? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325360
Damico, Erina, 2021. Intimare washes- are they safe and should we use them? https://thelowdown.com/blog/intimate-washes
Lusianto. 2011. Produser penelitian. Soekarno: Rineka Cipta
Septian. 2009. Cara merawat Organ Intim dengan Baik dan Benar. Jakarta: Ercon
Verawaty. 2011. Kesehatan vagina. Jakarta: Erlangga
Penulis: Imarotuz Zulfa
Editor: Desy Putri R.