Welp. Here Are 15 Things That Could Be Pissing Your Vagina Off.
Women's Health

Welp. Here Are 15 Things That Could Be Pissing Your Vagina Off.

Something that I’ve had for, basically what seems like forever, is a fungal sensitivity. This means that I have to stay on top of things that could trigger health-related issues like a yeast infection or a health condition known as tinea versicolor (you can read more about it here). One way that I do that is by being hypervigilant when it comes to making sure that my vagina stays at a healthy pH level (check out “Sis, This Is How To Keep Your Vagina's pH Balanced”). One way that I accomplish that particular goal is by avoiding things that I know will, quite frankly, piss my vagina off.

It really is fascinating that, with as much of a powerhouse as our vaginas are, they can still be somewhat fragile as it relates to what needs to be done in order to keep them healthy and happy. And since very few things are more annoying than vaginal itching, burning, or shifts in discharge, I’m going to share 15 things that you should take special note of — if you want to keep your own vagina from getting super upset with you.

1. Fragranced (or Antibacterial) Body Wash

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When it comes to keeping your va-jay-jay clean (check out “Are You Washing Your Vagina Correctly? You Sure?”), it’s first important to remember that your actual vagina (the muscular inner tube that connects your vulva to your cervix) doesn’t need your help; it’s self-cleaning. This means if something smells strange or there’s a lot of uncomfortable discharge going out, douching is not what needs to be done…going to see a medical professional is what your move should be.

As far as your vulva (the outer part of your vagina) goes, while plain water can get the (cleaning) job done, if you would prefer to go a few steps up from that, make sure that you go with all-natural ingredients (check out “Love On Yourself With These 7 All-Natural DIY Vaginal Washes”) and that you avoid heavy fragrances or even antibacterial soaps.

No matter how much those types of commercial brands may boast about keeping your vagina “extra clean,” more times than not, all they’re going to do is irritate your vulva and remove “good” bacteria from your vagina in the process.

2. An Unhealthy Gut

Did you know that somewhere around 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut? This is one reason to be conscious of your diet and to add a probiotic to your system. Not only will your immunity thank you for it, but so will your vagina. That’s because when your gut isn’t in tip-top shape, that can trigger gut inflammation which could cause “bad” bacteria to wreak total havoc in your gut and your vagina as the bacteria travels down to it. So, if your gut has never really been a priority to you before, there’s no time like the present to change that…right?

3. Baby Wipes

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If nothing else ends up being your “something new” in this article, this very well may be. Did you know that you actually SHOULD NOT use wipes while going to the bathroom? According to a rectal surgeon, things like baby wipes can actually get you “too clean” in the sense that they can strip away some of the good bacteria that your body needs. As a result, constant use of them can trigger a yeast infection. Plus, if you have human papillomavirus (HPV), the wipes can actually spread warts. Kind of mind-blowing. Mind-blowing, indeed.

4. Not Cleaning Out Your Clitoral Hood

I will always find it to be hella ironic that while a lot of women turn their nose up at a man’s foreskin (“uncut men” tend to give more sexual pleasure than cut ones, by the way), it’s like they forget (or maybe they don’t even know) that their clitoral hood is also a form of foreskin: it’s skin that covers up and protects their clitoris (check out “7 Reasons You Should TOTALLY Be In Love With Your Clitoral Hood”). With that said, although clitoral hoods probably get as much hygienic attention as belly buttons do, it is a good idea to be intentional about cleaning yours out at least once a month.

Things like panty lint, pubic hair, and dried discharge can get caught up in there, and when that happens, it could lead to discomfort or irritation. To get it right, all you need to do is put some olive oil on a Q-tip, gently pull back your hood, and rub underneath it. Problem solved.

5. Fast Food

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Sure, fast food is convenient. Still, when you get a chance, read “Why You Should Consider Leaving Fast Food Alone.” It’s got a few reminders in there for why we should actually be leery about an entire meal costing less than eight bucks (give or take a couple of dollars). When it comes to your vagina, foods that are high in fat, are heavily processed or fried aren’t good for “her” because they can cause bad bacteria to overtake the good bacteria that’s in there — and that could trigger bacterial vaginosis or other forms of vaginal irritation. Does this mean that you can never have a burger? Eh. The bigger takeaway is enjoying a combo a couple of times a week, every week, probably isn’t the best idea.

6. Dairy

Although I’ve never been a big milk drinker, what I will do is tear some cheese and ice cream up. I will admit that, the older I get, the heavier I feel whenever I have more than a couple of slices of pizza or scoops of ice cream in one setting — and I know that it’s because dairy isn’t the best for me…me, or my vagina. Yep, something else that can trigger your vagina is dairy. One reason is that the hormones in it can throw off your own natural hormonal balance.

When this happens, it can block estrogen from creating the mucosal lining needed to keep your vagina from experiencing certain types of infections. So, while the thought of absolutely no dairy may not be for you (hey, I get it), at least try and consume it in extreme moderation.

7. Condoms

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Although latex allergies are a very real thing, reportedly, between 1-5 percent of the population actually have one. And even if you happen to fall within this small number, there are quite a few alternatives to latex condoms these days, including polyurethane and polyisoprene ones (and let’s not forget the female condom) — so there really is no excuse to go without using one.

So, why is it that some condoms can irritate the vagina even if you’re not allergic to what it’s made out of? Charge it to either the spermicide (which may be too strong for your vagina) or the need for lubrication (to reduce friction). The thing to remember here is not to go without condoms; just be more thoughtful about what your vagina needs when purchasing them.

8. Dirty Fingers or Fingernails

Business Insider once published an article stating that you can easily have anywhere from “100,000 to a few million germs” on your hands at any given moment (eww). Now add to that the fact that your fingernails tend to hold those same germs along with the type of bacteria that can make you vomit or get the runs (especially if you wear nail tips) and the moral to the story is this: whether your partner plans on putting his fingers in your vagina or y’all have some mutual masturbation plans going on, washing hands and using a fingernail file to get any reachable “gunk” out is most definitely a good idea. So is doing this before inserting a tampon or menstrual cup because the less bad bacteria that gets into your vagina, the better.

9. New Sperm

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It’s not uncommon for some women to go through a season of abstinence, return to sex and end up with some sort of vaginal infection. Actually, a similar thing can happen if you start sleeping with someone new (unprotected) as well. That’s because, while sperm/semen is usually alkaline, your vagina is acidic. This means that your partner’s fluids can throw your vagina’s pH way off until it adjusts to it. Hmph. Another reason to be pro-condom usage, if you ask me.

10. A “Wet” Penis

If you’re out here having unprotected sex, please make sure that your partner “wipes his Willy” well before engaging in intercourse with you because another thing that can irritate your vagina is urine. Since it contains a pretty high amount of acid, when his urine comes into contact with your vagina or your vulva, it can lead to burning, itching, and even something known as vulvar contact dermatitis. Honestly, even your own urine can do these things, which is why it’s so important to wipe thoroughly and to clean your vaginal region consistently.

11. An Alcohol-Filled Mouth

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Aside from the fact that consuming alcohol increases your chances of having bacterial vaginosis (who knew?!) and can also make it harder to naturally lubricate and/or climax, you might want to pay attention to how much liquor is in your partner’s mouth before he attempts to go down on you.

Back when vodka tampons were all the rage (chile), some warnings were sent out about them due to the fact that alcohol is highly acidic and can actually damage the mucous membranes of your vagina if you’re not careful. So, if you’ve ever had a super drunken night, some pretty good sex (which included oral sex), and then ended up with a case of vaginitis or yeast infection — the dranks could very well be why.

12. Synthetic Fibers 

Like every other part of your body, your vagina needs to breathe — and that’s hard to do when you’re wearing synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and spandex. That’s why you should immediately remove these types of fabrics after working out; otherwise, all of the sweat could cause bacteria to take over. By the way, if you’re wondering what some workout material alternatives are, moisture-wicking cotton, bamboo fiber, and poly-dri are far better options.

13. Thongs. Sometimes.

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Thongs are something that I’m gonna let y’all have. Although I get the sexiness factor that they bring, I’ve personally never found them to be comfortable (at all). Plus, my vagina doesn’t seem to enjoy them very much either. That makes sense when you factor in that they can cause a lot of friction, make it hard for your va-jay-jay to breathe, and they can also make it easier for infections to spread up into your vaginal area. Listen, thongs aren’t the devil. All I’m saying is, in the pursuit of not pissing your vagina off, when it comes to using them, specifically, it’s probably best to take a “less is more” approach.

14. Polyester or Rayon Sheets

Some of the cheapest — meaning most economical — bedsheets around are ones that are made out of polyester and/or rayon. Come to think of it (because I’ve owned a few sets of them in my lifetime), they are actually pretty comfortable, too. Problem is, both fabrics can trap moisture, and since our bodies tend to change temperatures throughout the night, you don’t want to get all sweaty and create a super moisture-filled environment for the not-so-good bacteria to thrive. Yeah, organic cotton sheets (or even bamboo ones) are always gonna be your better bet.

15. An Unsterilized Menstrual Cup

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One of the best things to ever happen to my life (at least as far as my period is concerned) is a menstrual cup. It’s comfortable. If you’re not a heavy bleeder, you can put it in for the day and almost forget that you’re even on your cycle. And, because you can use it over and over again, it’s good for the environment too. Just make sure that you sterilize it by boiling it after each and every cycle ends. Simply running it under some hot water is not good enough if you want to remove all of what remained from your period before — germs that could definitely piss your vagina off.


There you have it, y’all: 15 things that our vaginas would prefer us not to do (or do often). So, if you want you and your vagina to get along, please take heed to each and every one because, when you take good care of her, she definitely strives to take stellar care of you. Amen? Amen.

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This article is in partnership with SheaMoisture

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