Of all the crazy fads I’ve ever come across, this is the craziest. Please don’t do it!
The current trend sweeping across the internet encourages you to clean your vagina by inserting a cucumber (peeled), twisting it around for about 20 minutes – longer if you can bear it.
This, the proponents claim, will give your vagina a “facial”.
I’ve rarely come across such utter nonsense. A cucumber damages vaginal pH (acidity), which protects us from infections. And that’s all down to a girl’s best friend, the lactobacillus, a natural inhabitant of the vagina.
Lactobacillus bacteria pump out lactic acid, which keeps the vagina at a low, healthy, acidic pH which kills or discourages other bacteria, yeast and viruses from thriving.
Dr Jen Gunter, a Canadian gynaecologist, insists that “vaginas are not dirty”.
Study after study after study tells us that douches, cleanses, steams, vinegar, pH-balancing products aloe, colloidal silver, garlic – or whatever else passes as the vaginal snake oil du jour – at best do nothing but have real potential for harming good bacteria or disrupting the mucosal surface.
By damaging lactobacilli and the mucosa, attempts at vaginal cleaning increase a woman’s risk of contracting gonorrhoea or HIV if she is exposed.
But cucumbers aren’t the only strange thing women have been putting in their vaginas. “Glitter bombing” your vagina is also dangerous.
Dr Gunter says: “Cucumbers seem prone to all kinds of nasty fungi and I just don’t think anything capable of getting blossom end rot (a type of vegetable rot) should go into a vagina.”
That the vagina is in need of cleansing is a dangerous myth.
For 50 years, I’ve been saying the vagina is a self-cleansing organ.
Dr Gunter points out that douches are unnecessary as vaginas are designed to clean themselves.
One of her tweets says: “A vagina takes care of itself. Like a self-cleaning oven.” Soap is only for the outside of your genital area.
Women who douche are twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer, a national US study in 2016 revealed.
Previous research found that women who use shower gels and soaps in intimate areas are exposing themselves to higher risk of getting sexually transmitted infections.
Furthermore, researchers at California University say that soaps and lubricants can raise a woman’s chance of becoming infected with herpes, chlamydia and HIV.
Study leader Joelle Brown said there is “mounting evidence” that using these products internally can increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis – a condition that occurs when the bacterial balance becomes disrupted – and sexually transmitted infections.
Only put cucumbers in your mouth.