Safe Bathing Advice: Protect Your Vagina From Heat

Often gynos get questions on vaginal bathing, heating, cooling, cleaning, and although it’s never been a recommended medical practice, we get questioned on the need for vaginal steaming.

Although in truth the answers should be customized to your age, your hormones, whether you are pregnant, and other medical information, we do often have basic answers to the use of various types of soaps, or lack of soap, or frequency of washing the vulva and the vagina.

Any lumps, bumps, infections, rashes, irritation or discharge, really any new symptoms at all, don’t just switch up the vaginal washing, come in for a check up.

Douching is a form of vaginal wash, and generally the recommendations are that douching not only is not necessary, but douching with the wrong substances at the wrong time can be detrimental and potentially cause PID or other infections.

Often just washing with plain water is all that is recommended as our natural body balance is designed to keep those tissues clean and healthy. But we also get questions on the health consequences of too much heat (hot tubs, hot baths, hot steam) on the vagina. In a word, you do need to protect your vaginal and vulvar tissues from heat.

In a much popularized discussion Gywneth Paltrow in a post discussed on the Glamour health site has recommended ‘steaming your vagina.’ We do want to respectful, but we did sort of wish we could have offered Gywneth a gyno anatomy refresher course, she’s really discussing the vulva, as her steam will not affect the vagina or the uterus, a thought echoed in the blog post of Dr. Jen Gunter. Other news agencies have weighed in on the vaginal steaming topic’s inherent errors, as well as a bit about it’s history.

Knowing how our female fore-bearers used nature to clean, has been an interesting subject as well. They were not likely to use heat either. While historical gyno trends are fascinating, they aren’t always safe, effective, or practical… as with the historical contraceptive sponge-like use of crocodile dung pessaries. Whether laced with some sterilizing honey or not, it cannot be endorsed!

If you have soreness, if you have discharge, vaginal dryness, anatomic changes, or irritation, come visit the gyno to discuss personally, but don’t risk burns, allergic reactions, or disruptions to your normal chemistry by trying this vulvar spa treatment without consultation. If you have chronic problems then we can offer other types of solutions, even energy based treatments. Come in for a consultation.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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