When a patient comes to me complaining of vulvar pain my first question is, “Do you use soap on your vulva?” I am often met with a quizzical look and the dreaded response, “Yes, of course!” When I hear that answer my heart sinks.
Let this be my public service announcement: NO SOAP ON YOUR VULVA!
The tissue in the vulva is very sensitive and the harsh chemicals in soap and other products marketed to keep your private area “clean” can really harm you in the long term. I see it everyday. Even the soaps that are for sensitive skin or marketed as gentle should never be used on your vulva.
So what’s a girl to do?
Water. Your vulva only needs water. Put some water on your hand while you’re in the shower and wash around (no towels) or if you have a removable shower head you can give her a quick spray. That’s it. Water. Trust me, be gentle. Your vulva will thank you.