Let me clarify: the vagina is intended to keep itself clean through natural bodily fluids (discharge). In general, good vaginal health is maintained by maintaining good overall health. Inside the vagina, there are numerous bacteria that serve to protect it. Infection and inflammation can occur if the balance of bacteria is disrupted. You might have seen advertisements for scented pads with words like ‘odour lock technology’ when as mentioned the vagina is fully capable of hiding the odour naturally.
It’s a sensitive environment down there, and using perfumed feminine hygiene products can disrupt the fine balance of different strains of bacteria. These products’ chemicals can also throw your pH balance out of whack. There are good vaginal bacteria that safeguard against infection and disease-causing microbes like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. A bad bacteria overgrowth (usually caused by a disruptive foreign source, such as a scented tampon) can cause irritation, itching, infection, or an allergic reaction.
Scented feminine products
So, the frightening truth is that putting chemicals and fragrances in one of your body’s most sensitive areas is a recipe for disaster. So, why, are scented feminine products a thing?
Because they prey on women’s fears that there is something wrong with them and that they stink. Another example of how women were constantly told something was bad in order to exploit our insecurities. Our olfactory senses are finicky when it comes to everything from room fresheners to fragrance. We want to be able to smell good at all times. We also want to conceal anything unpleasant that cannot be concealed. Not far behind is the feminine hygiene care industry. To remain relevant, large corporations are constantly churning out variants of existing products. Because of competition, not only scents but also prints and colours have made their way into feminine hygiene products.
If the odour is a major issue for you, scented tampons or pads are probably not the way to go. If something doesn’t seem right down there, whether it’s inflammation, pain, or odour, make an appointment with a doctor rather than trying to mask it with fragrance.
What to do?
Avoid perfumed soaps, gels, and antiseptics because they can disrupt the healthy balance of microbes and pH levels in the vagina and irritate. Every day, gently wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) with plain, unscented soap. Natural vaginal secretions will help the vagina clean itself inside your body (discharge). Body fluids combined with chemical scents produce a foul odour. As a result, the top layer of a sanitary pad should be fragrance-free. No doctor would ever advise you to conceal the symptoms of a disease, would they?
They will delve deep to find the root cause. Instead of masking the odour, why not stick to the standard recommendation of changing pads every 6-8 hours? On high-flow days, you’d be forced to do so. Why not do it on light flow days as well? Rather than masking the odour, get rid of it.
Allow nature to take its course. Do not let fads influence your decisions. Take charge of your health and make an informed decision.