Make-up, piercing, sequins, vabbing… Be careful not to follow the often absurd or even dangerous trends for the vagina that are shared on social networks TikTok, Instagram… sometimes even by stars like Kim Kardashian or Gwyneth Paltrow .
The vagina. We know his name, we know more or less where he is but not always what it is for and especially how much care it needs to take. Located between the bladder and the rectum, the vagina measures about ten centimeters. It ends in a “cul de sac” at the level of the cervix and is thus separated from the uterus. It is all in length, “and not like a cave” underlines Dr. Odile Bagot, gynecologist in her book “Vagin&Cie. We tell you everything” (Editions Mango). “The vagina has no cavity, its walls touch when it is at rest however their elasticity is such that they allow the passage of a baby, a penis, a tampon.” In the vagina live from many bacteria which naturally coexist very well. “The vaginal flora is home to 90% of lactobacilli germs also called Döderlein bacilli”, explains the gynecologist. They provide a vaginal pH between 3.8 and 4.5 be slightly acidic. They are also the ones who are at the origin of the White discharge. In the remaining 10% of germs : mushrooms such as Candida albicans, coli bacteria, streptococcus and gardnerella vaginalis. This balance must remain at the risk of allowing infections to develop (vulvovaginitis, mycosis…).
put some yogurt in the vagina to avoid infections or parsley to better regulate the menstrual cycle. Trends that have caused a lot of talk on the Internet. Fortunately, in reality “these cases are limited to a microcosm” reassures Dr. Odile Bagot, gynecologist. The risks : “Putting chopped parsley in the vagina will change its pH and flora. Lactobacilli (good bacteria present in the vagina, editor’s note) will decrease in favor of other germs such as gardnerella which can cause vaginosis” warns the specialist. There vaginosis is characterized by fairly fluid dischargeslightly colored, a little irritating and above all bad smells like that of rotten fish.
There are piercings that can be placed at the level of the labia minora of the vulva or the clitoris. They do not really present any risks for Dr. Odile Bagot “except for superficial infection and TO DO a bit sore during foreplay“so it’s better to think about removing them before the act. To avoid infection : wash your hands well (with soap and water) before touching the piercing, clean it with a mild antiseptic. In case of redness or oozing, consult a doctor.
“The less you touch the vagina, the better it is”
A cream to illuminate the vaginal lips Or just a lipstick? Praised by certain American personalities like Kim Kardashian, THE vaginal makeup or “vontouring” is not without risk. In addition to being useless (since it cannot be seen), it puts the components of make-up (which are not biological) in contact with the mucous membranes. The risks : “These cosmetics are full of endocrine disruptors which will pass through the vaginal mucosa and immediately end up in the blood” warns Dr. Bagot. And unlike a cream applied to the skin, there is no stratum corneum to act as a barrier. In summary: we forget!
introduce a pill in the vagina that releases “candy-flavored” flavored flakes during the act, unthinkable? No way. A American company proposed it during the summer of 2017…and was very successful. For Dr. Odile Bagot “if it pleases the couple and it’s exciting, why not”. On condition, however, of supporting the product. “A contact allergy to the passage of chemicals in the blood is not impossible. There may be a irritant and allergenic effect, the product modifies the acidity of the vagina by increasing the pH which will disturb the flora. Furthermore, nothing is known about the components which are all likely to cross the vaginal wall.”
In 2018, the Canadian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported the case of a 62-year-old woman who tested the vaginal spray (vaginal steaming, v-steaming or “vaginal sauna”) to reduce the vaginal prolapse (descent) from which she was suffering and avoid an operation. Advised by a traditional Chinese doctor, she mixed plants medicines in a pot of boiling water before sitting just above for 20 minutes. After 2 days of “treatment”, she consulted an Emergency department for second-degree burns, which are very painful to treat… Vaginal vaporization -which therefore consists of exposing your vagina to very hot steam- “is a increasingly popular method that women use to firm and rejuvenate their vagina” says Dr. Magali Robert in the newspaper. Defended by the actress Gwyneth Paltrowit is offered in certain Spas in the United States and “East long used in some Asian and African cultures“ continues Dr. Robert. On social networks, there are sites offering the sale ofvaginal herbs that “provide relaxation and rejuvenation” and women who share their techniques. Some, for example, pour boiling water directly in the toilet before sitting on it. Several doctors reacted to this dangerous “trend”. Dr Vanessa Mackay, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in England, recalled that the vagina was self-cleaning and did not require any additional treatment. “The vagina contains good bacteria, which are there to protect it. Steam in the vagina could affect this healthy balance of bacteria and pH and cause irritation, infection – such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast infection – and inflammation.”
Appeared during the summer of 2022 on the TikTok social network, vabbing (contraction of “vagina” (vagina in French) and “dabbing” (dabbing in French) consists of apply her vaginal secretions to the body like a perfume ; in the neck, décolleté, wrists… with the aim ofattract new partners thanks to the pheromones present in these fluids natural. “We cannot say with certainty, based on studies (which have been conducted only on animals, editor’s note), that human pheromones affect human sexual behavior” American dermatologist Blair Murphy-Rose commented on the New York Post. Above all “vaginal fluids can transmit germs to another person through physical contact, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis, although the risk of transmission is certainly much higher during sexual intercourse” she explained.
“We don’t clean the vagina, reminds Dr. Odile Bagot. The vaginal toilet, that is to say the fact of cleaning it inside, is to be avoided sinceit is naturally self-cleaning.” It’s necessary clean only the vulva between the labia minora. “The ideal is touse a gynecological soap suitable for daily cleansing (look on the label) but if you use another soap or shower gel and that you bear it well, you can continue with it. As long as there is no irritation or dryness, no worries.” explains the specialist. Before repeating that “the vagina the less you touch it, the better it is”.
Thanks to Dr. Odile Bagot, gynecologist in her book “Vagin&Cie. We tell you everything” (Editions Mango). Comments collected in 2019.
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