Have you all been reading about the bizarre and ill-advised things women are buying to rejuvenate and clean their vaginas? It started with inserting special $60 stones for extended periods of time, as recommended by a certain celebrity, and now the new fad is inserting the powdered contents of wasp nests. Yes, wasp nests.
Our advise is, you know…don’t. This June 2nd article in Popular Science, entitled “Please Don’t Put Ground-up Wasp Nests in Your Vagina” does a really nice job of spelling out the risks of using unapproved substances internally and also gives the recommendations for proper care of this delicate organ.
The vagina is self-cleaning and efficient. We don’t recommend douching or any other method of internal cleansing. Daily showering with a neutral cleanser to the external pelvic organs is sufficient. Otherwise, you risk irritation and altering your normal flora, making you more prone to infection. Some vaginal discharge is natural, and will vary with your cycle and pregnancy. If you are having symptoms of unusual discharge or odor, or itching/burning/redness, please see your provider, as it may be a sign of infection that needs to be treated. Otherwise, just leave it alone.
As far as trying to tighten the vaginal tissue, the best method is using Kegel exercises (attached is link to Mayo Clinic’s how-to guide) which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. If you are concerned that you may be experiencing weakness in your pelvic muscles or change in the structure of your vagina, see your provider for an assessment. In addition to Kegels, there are other ways you can safely and effectively improve vaginal tone without causing yourself harm. Never leave anything inside your vagina for extended periods of time.
In general, we recommend caution and care regarding the vagina. Keep the area clean naturally, by doing things like emptying your bladder after intercourse and showering daily. Always follow instructions carefully for any feminine hygiene or prescribed medical products you are using. Make sure that tampons not stay in for more than 4-6 hours at a time, of you can run the risk of serious infection, or even Toxic Shock Syndrome.
As always, if you have any specific questions about your health, please contact your provider. Be well!