Did you know there are 39 trillion bacteria IN our bodies? What about that there are another 1.5 trillion that live ON your skin? Yep, not only do we need bacteria IN our bodies, but we also need them ON our bodies too to help us prevent infection. So why are we still using soap on our genitals? Soap is designed to be antimicrobial (kill bacteria), but we shouldn’t want to kill the bacteria on our vulvas. They are self-cleaning machines that have an entire microbiome to protect them from infection. When we kill the good stuff, the bad stuff has an opportunity to take over–say hello to BV, UTIs, foul smells, etc. A lot of the push-back I get when I tell women to stop using soap is “but won’t I smell???”. Here’s the thing–your genitals were not meant to smell like lavender and vanilla. Once you stop using soap, your microbiome will be able to do its job, and hopefully that means preventing any foul odors.
To bring this idea to postpartum women…vaginal tears rarely rarely rarely ever get infected (because of the vulvar microbiome preventing infection), but a very common complication of c-section scar is infection (because the abdominal microbiome was not designed to keep the bad guys away like the vagina). When we kill these microbes and disrupt the system by using soap, we are not doing ourselves any favors.
These videos are meant to be educational and instructional. They are not able to diagnose or treat a specific issue and are definitely not a substitute for a professional evaluation.