Q & A With Dr. Paola: "Should I be washing my vagina?!"

By Dr. Paola Bordoni, OBGYN based in Miami, FL & MOONS Medical Advisor
Listen to Dr. Paola answer the question posed by one of our community members "should I be washing my vagina?"
OR read the full transcript below. 


Hi everyone! My name is Dr. Bordoni, also known as "Dr. P." I'm coming to you on behalf of MOONS. I am an OBGYN located in Miami, Florida and today I am answering one of the questions that MOONS received. 

The question was: "Should I be washing my vagina?" 

So, the answer is...not really the vagina. But yes to the vulva! So, the vagina is known as a microbiome, you can think of it as having many bacteria and many different types of chemicals in that zone that are secreted by our body and it's needed for protection. So, there's good bacteria in there!

Yes, sometimes you can have overgrowth of certain types of bacteria that can be bad to the body, but in those situations there might be an infection or something that needs to be seen by an OBGYN. And you can't necessarily wash those things out. The body does have its own natural ability to cleanse itself!

So the way you can think about it is, the vagina has its own microbiome that will cleanse itself when needed and will treat itself as needed. So, you don't need to be douching and you don't need to be cleaning the inside of the vagina.

The external area, also known as the vulva, is a little bit different. So the vulva is kind of like where the labia majora, the labia minora, the lips, if you will, are located. You also have the urinary tube, which is known as the urethra, and the clitoris. So all these structures have folds and sometimes you can have an accumulation of certain bacteria that will reproduce in these zones. 

So what you want to do is when you bathe or when you shower, you do want to cleanse these zones. You don't need to use any harsh chemicals or products with large amounts of perfume because that can be inflammatory, it can cause an allergic reaction. All you really need is water, if you want to use a little bit of light soap, place it in your hands, cleanse off most of it, but it's mostly water that you're supposed to be cleansing the area with. With some cleansing motions and a little bit of rubbing in the area just to cleanse off any of the bacteria, and that should really do it. 

So, the short answer is: should you be washing the vagina? NO. Should you be washing the vulva? Yes! 

Appreciate the questions and keep them coming! 

To ask Dr. Paola a question, please email hello@ourmoons or DM us @RespectTheMoon

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