There are two things in the world that can scatter a gathering and end a meeting, a bomb and a stinking vagina. I may be wrong on this one, but I challenge anyone to provide evidence to the contrary.
Anyway, about a month ago, a reader sent me an email asking for solutions to getting the stink off this very important part of the female anatomy. “Even before saying the word, the mind goes numb with emotion,” a colleague commented when I shared the nature of my next project.
Hopefully, today no mind will drift to numbness. This might as well be God answering so many men’s prayers and offering our womenfolk the best news since the arrest of Mugo wa Wairimu.
I, for once, have come to appreciate the sacredness of the female private part.
Guess how doctors call this (as we have agreed) very sacred part of the female anatomy?
‘A tube of muscle inside a woman’s body that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vaginal opening,’ goes one definition. It is a heavy and dull definition that takes away the sanctity.
The vagina is designed to keep itself clean with the help of natural secretions or discharges. That would mean that if you have been scrubbing the hell out of it, you haven’t only been unsuccessful at cleaning it, but have also contributed in enhancing the tragedy down south.
“The vagina has bacteria which occur naturally and which are meant to keep the area clean without outside interference,” says Dr John Ong’ech, a seasoned contributor on this page. “Using anything – soaps, douches, perfume, and oil – disrupts the natural existence of the good bacteria,” the doctor explained.
Good bacteria outnumber other potential harmful bacteria, hence acting as biological control for such germs. They also keep the vagina’s pH balanced and produce naturally occurring antibiotics to reduce or kill other bacteria entering the vagina.
“If the balance of bacteria is disturbed, this can lead to infection and inflammation,” says Dr Ong’ech. “In many cases, no chemical of whatever kind should come in close contact with the vagina. Even water can only be used on the external parts – vulva – and not inside,” advises the doctor.
According to Dr Suzy Elneil, a consultant in urogynaecology at the University College Hospital, London, “Generally, good vaginal health is maintained by making sure you’re in good general health. This includes healthy diet and exercise. Normal exercise helps maintain good vaginal function, as walking and running helps the pelvic floor to tone up and helps ensure good general health.”
Normal vaginal discharge, says Dr Ong’ech, is anything whitish to cream. However, any yellow discharge is a red flag, requiring prompt check-up by a gynaecologist.
Healthy discharge doesn’t have a strong smell or colour. The vagina should not be scrubbed since friction would cause tiny wounds which can be infected. As Dr Ong’ech says, leave the organ alone and it will clean itself.
And in case things have gotten worse to the point that the woman leaves a trail of foul odour in her wake, using perfume is not recommended, it would only make things worse. A professional should be able to diagnose and treat the problem.