• Give Your Vulva Some Love

October 31, 2019

Quick refresher: the vulvar refers to the outer portions around the vagina, which includes the inner and outer (labia), the clitoral hood, the clitoris, pubic mound and the urethra. The vagina refers to the inner “tunnel” made of a short muscular tube responsible for holding your tampon in place and helping to birth your baby. See? Different.

Now that we’ve cleared that up...on to the topic at hand.

We’ve been told time and again that douching is unnecessary — unless prescribed by your gynecologist — because the vagina maintains a natural and delicate pH balance.

In fact, you might even think of the vagina as a self-cleaning organ; she knows what to do. 

But does the vulvar area need to be cleansed to achieve a higher degree of hygiene? Should you moisturize your vulvar area? The answer lies somewhere in between “nah” and “yeah.”

  • Cleansing the area with water and a wash cloth should suffice, but we’re part of a culture that’s used to an array of soaps, I mean, there are entire aisles and stores devoted to soap.
  • From heavenly scents and natural formulas to antibacterial types — some of us only feel really clean if we use soap down there, even if that isn’t the case. Those soaps are great options for treating your body, but your vulvar area is delicate.
  • Some women can’t even take a bubble bath without irritation, which could lead anywhere from irritation to a yeast infection.

What should you do to cleanse your vulvar?

A better choice of soap includes unscented or for “sensitive” skin, easily available pretty much anywhere you buy groceries.

As for moisturizing...some of us moisturize our bodies and faces faithfully every day … why leave your vulvar skin out? There is also evidence to suggest that moisturizing the perineal area while you are pregnant may help protect the area from extra tearing during childbirth.

You’ll just have to let your body tell you what it needs or doesn’t. Every woman is different depending on age and body chemistry and what she thinks is comfortable — or learns is actually comfortable.


If that’s you, gynecologist-formulated moisturizers may open a whole new world to you (and your partner). And you may just wonder how you’ve gotten this far without it.

-Dr. Jessica


Dr. Jessica Ybanez Morano Dr. Jessica Ybanez Morano is a leading doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and expert in women’s reproductive health issues.

Dr. Jessica is internationally recognized and speaks regularly about gynecological single incision surgery at conferences throughout the world.

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