By Jennifer Aldrich, February 25, 2021

“The vagina is a self-cleaning organ,” explains Kecia Gaither, M.D., a physician who’s double board-certified in OB/GYN and maternal fetal medicine and the director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “Often, feminine products used to ‘clean’ or ‘perfume’ the vagina can alter the microbiome, or the natural bacterial milieu, specifically the Lactobacillus species. This natural microbiome serves to keep pathogens away,” she adds. Basically, the vagina doesn’t want to be messed with because it can clean itself.

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