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Women's Health

Does Your Vagina Prefer You Take A Shower Or A Bath?

So I know I’m not the only one who’s been seeing an uptick in articles about it not being necessary to bathe on a daily basis (chile…CHILE). What certain researchers claim is cleansing your skin in that manner every day not only dries it out, it could potentially compromise your immunity too.

Personally, I don’t know what I’m more skeptical about, that part or reading thatonly half of Americans actually bathe on a daily basis in the first place (don’t even get me started on the fact that45 percent of folks in the United States will go two days or longer before putting on some fresh drawers). Listen, when you think about all that your cootie cat and behind go through on a daily basis, that’s enough of a reason to run to the tub at the end of a long day if you ask me.


That’s actually what we’re gonna get into today. If you’re someone who is all about hygiene, and so you’re not gonna depend on some type of body deodorant (some of those commercials are so gross; I won’t name no names about which ones, though) to cover up stank and bacteria, you might have found yourself wondering before if it’s better for your vagina if you take a shower or a bath. Although, at the end of the day, it’s not the biggest deal in the world if you already have a certain preference, I did want to bring up some things for you to think about — just as an FYI.

Benefits of a Shower

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There’s a guy I know who has always said that if he ever takes a bath, he’s going to get into the shower first. LOL. Although that might sound like a lot of extra work to some of y’all, believe it or not, he’s actually onto something. Even health experts will say that if your ultimate objective is to get your body as clean as possible, you’re going to be better off taking a shower (they also say that if you’re focused,5-10 minutes should be all that you need).One article that I read said that the two main reasons are 1) you’re able to get a fairly even distribution of water dispersed onto your body and 2) the dirt and ickiness flow right off of you and into the drain — when you’re in a bath, the dirty water is floating all around.

Now when it comes to your vagina, specifically, there are some perks to “her” taking a shower as well. For one thing, because the vagina is self-cleansing, it doesn’t need any of your help via washing products. And so, when you’re in the shower, it’s easier to wash your vulva only, so that your vagina doesn’t come into contact with any of the stuff that you use to wash the rest of your body with.

And since, yes, you can totally get a yeast infection from the bath products that you use (because they can potentially throw your pH down there off), all of this is definitely something to keep in mind.

Gee, after saying all of this, is there any benefit at all to taking baths? Actually…there are.

Benefits of a Bath

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If I’m gonna be real, if getting thoroughly clean is your (ultimate) goal, showers are going to win every time. On the flip side, though,baths are hella therapeutic. If you’re looking to soothe sore muscles and achy joints, strengthen your immune system (because apparently hot baths help to improve how your immune cells operate), make it easier to breathe if you have a cold or respiratory infection, decrease stress and anxiety levels; soften your skin; burn a few calories (because soaking in hot water can actually uptick your metabolism a bit), and/or improve your quality of sleep (especially if you do itno more than two hours before turning in) — taking a nice hot bath can make all of this happen for you (interestingly enough,a cold shower can accomplish many of these things too).

And vaginally? Is taking a bath any good at all? Well, stress does play a role in suppressing the good bacteria in your vagina, which means that if a bath reduces stress, it can indirectly help you to have fewer vaginal infections (like a yeast-related one). Also, if you have eczema or psoriasis on your vulva (or hemorrhoids due to things like recently giving birth), soaking in an oatmeal or sitz bath can relieve the discomfort.

Not to mention the fact that, if you have a yeast infection, soaking in a tub that has some baking soda in it, can help to kill some of the fungus that is irritating your vulva and the discharge that may be bothering your vaginal opening.

Still, you need to be careful to focus on the outside of your vagina, not the inside of it (if you have an infection, contact your doctor; they will probably give you something that will treat it from the inside out). Otherwise, the baking soda could irritate your vagina and not much else.

Either Way, 5 Cleansing Tips to Keep in Mind

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When you take all of this into account, it seems like the conclusion is that whatever your vulva (the outer part of your vagina) needs at any given time, that is what should help you to decide if you should hop into the shower or soak in the tub. However, as a general practice, because the less “stuff” that gets into your vagina, the better, a shower is always going to be your safer bet. Whichever way you land, though, there are some cleansing tips for your vagina that you should always keep in mind.

1. Use a Gentle Vaginal Wash

I don’t care what article you read on how to clean your vagina — which, again, needs to be your vulva — if it’s worth its weight, it’s gonna say to avoid scented products; many will also say thatjust water alone will do the trick. Me personally, I use something calledBoric Fresh PH Balancing Daily Feminine Wash. It contains boric acid, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and some essential oils and works wonderfully. Sometimes I’ll play around with a DIY feminine wash, too (check out “Love On Yourself With These 7 All-Natural DIY Vaginal Washes”). Those are fun because you can literally customize the ingredients to make a wash that is best for you at various times of the month.

2. Know How to “Wash Your Vagina” Correctly

It’s kind of wild, the things that we think we are masters at that we very well might not be. For instance, did you know that when it comes to washing your vagina (which, again, is more like your vulva),your hands are actually best because loofahs (and even certain washcloths) can be too harsh for the inner parts of your vulvar skin? Yeah, cleaning “her” is one thing. Cleaning her properly? That’s another matter entirely. That said, check out “Are You Washing Your Vagina Correctly? You Sure?” for some additional tips in that department.

3. Pat “Her” Dry

If you’re not someone who pays much attention to drying your vagina off after bathing it, please make sure that you start.There are experts who say that an unsung reason why some women get yeast infections (or recurring ones) is that their vulva/vagina stays too moist throughout the day — and that’s because some women do not make sure that it’s dry after washing. Air drying is good (if you have time); if not, pat it dry with a clean and dry towel. Yes, pat—rubbing is totally unnecessary.

4. Take Showers on Your Cycle

Let me just say that when it comes to taking a bath when you’re on your period,there is nothing “wrong” with it. Actually, hot/warm water can help to relieve menstrual cramps. All I’m saying is, if that’s the time of the month when you want to feel particularly clean, for all of the reasons that we discussed, a shower is probably gonna be your better bet. Plus, if you’re someone who hastension headaches during that time of the month, a hot shower could help to decrease your discomfort.

5. Put on Clean Underwear. ALWAYS.

I once read a quote that said, “Having sex with an ex is like getting out of the shower and putting the same underwear back on.” While I’m not sure if it’s THAT extreme (LOL), I do think that the saying is a good way to close all of this out. Back when I wrote, “When Should You Replace Underwear, Make-Up, Bedding, Washcloths & Towels?” for the platform, a part of the reason why is because some of us will hold onto panties for literally years at a time. Yeah, that’s not good because, for one thing, tiny parts of fecal matter store up in undies.

That’s why it’s important to get new ones — because why put a fresh body in 6-12 months’ worth of little stored-up poop pieces (yuck!)? So, whether it’s a shower or bath that you land on, please have some clean panties awaiting her at the end, aight? That way, your vagina will remain as clean as possible until the next time you get into a shower…or a bath.

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Featured image by Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

 

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