The Myth of Bad-Smelling Vaginas


Vaginas are self-cleaning, beautiful, and majestic organs that only need water, mild, unperfumed soaps, and a gentle pat dry to maintain their cleanliness-- so why are there so many products that insist on doing our vaginas’ job, promising “fresh” and “flowery” genitals? Practices like douching, vaginal steaming, and products such as jade eggs, talc, perfumed soap, and internal glitter bombs, are constantly advertised and sold by an industry that shames women’s natural scents, while at the same time jeopardizing their health. Research has in fact found that these so-called feminine hygiene products disrupt the healthy balance of bacteria and PH levels in the vagina and can be linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. An industry that relies on women’s fears proves once again how women are expected to sacrifice their health and natural state to conform to an idealized version of womanhood.  

For Further Reading:

Here you can find out more about NHS’s studies linking douching to ovarian cancer.


Discussion Question:

Have you ever thought there was something wrong with your vagina after seeing ads for this kind of product?


Action Item:

Something as easy as normalizing conversations about vaginas and hygiene can have an impact in the way we relate to and understand these products. Talk to your friends and family about this issue, and start making a change for women’s health!



Read more on The Guardian | Image: Barbara Malagoli