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The 6 Weirdest Things Women Do to Their Vaginas
January 30, 2010
What's wrong with your vagina? If you answered "nothing," you're probably wrong. According to the beauty-industrial complex, it's ugly, and it smells bad. But don't worry-- there's nothing that money can't fix.
1. Problem: Your Vagina Smells Bad
Solution: Vaginal Deodorant
In the seventies, Massengill tried to marry feminism and its vaginal deodorant spray ("With Hexachlorophene") in an ad that declared the product to be "The Freedom Spray." It was "...the better way to be free to enjoy being a woman. Free from worry about external vaginal odor." Because you're going to need that time you used to spend worrying about your vaginal odor to flirt your way through the glass ceiling. Oh, and Hexachlorophene? It's a disinfectant that can be lethal when absorbed through the skin. In 1972, it was added to baby powder in France due to a manufacturing error and killed thirty-six children.
In case you think vaginal deodorant is a relic of the past, just take a trip to the drug store. (I did, and I took notes. The staff of my local Walgreens is convinced that I'm both very thorough and that my vagina smells really bad.) There are several kinds of vaginal deodorants still for sale (Walgreens even manufactures a generic version). You can buy scented vaginal suppositories called Norforms in Island Escape and Summer's Eve Deodorant Spray in Island Splash. (Norforms contain something called Benzethonium chloride, which is also used as a hard surface disinfectant for fruit and classified as a poison in Switzerland. Exotic!) And you can buy FDS (Feminine, Discreet, Sensual) Spray ("For the woman who cares.") in a myriad of scents including Sheer Tropics and Fresh Island Breeze.
Because if you really cared, you'd make your vagina smell like a poisonous island.
2. Problem: Your Vagina is Dirty
Douching, the act of forcing a mixture of fluids up into the vagina with a tube and pump, was first promoted as a form of birth control (it doesn't work) and has continued to be used for vaguely medical reasons: to prevent STIs (sexually transmitted infections), to clean the vagina after menstruation and, of course, to rid it of that disgusting vagina smell. Douching has been repeatedly discouraged by the medical community, which not only doesn't attribute any health benefits to the act, but believes that it can actually harm women. A government Web site run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discourages douching by answering a series of hypothetical questions, one of which is: "My vagina has a terrible odor, can douching help?" The answer: No. Get thee to a doctor.
Despite health concerns, manufacturers still churn out vaginal douches. Pick up a box of Summer's Eve Douche, and you'll find warnings that douching has been associated with PID (Pelvic Inflamatory Disease), ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Right next to the suggestion that women douche after their menstrual period, after using contraceptive jellies and creams and to "clear out any vaginal secretions." So basically, any time your vagina isn't as dry as a British sitcom.
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