|There's nothing wrong with the way your body smells. Bathing and
reasonable hygiene are all you need to stay healthy. But the fact is, there may be times
when you'd prefer to control unpleasant odor. If so, feminine deodorants can give you the
freshness you're seeking.
How to Choose Feminine Deodorants
There are several types of feminine deodorants and perineal washes, with brands
including Bidette, FDS, Massengill, and Summer's Eve. They range from wipes and washes, to
suppositories and sprays. In choosing a product, consider convenience and how long you'd
like the product to be effective. Some hypo-allergenic products are available, too.
- Washes and wipes can cleanse, freshen, and deodorize the outer vaginal area quickly,
safely, and effectively. Use wipes during your menstrual cycle, before bedtime, or after
moments of stress and strenuous physical activity. You can use medicated wipes like Rantex
and washes like Betadine before medical examinations. And wipes and washes are also handy
alternatives to bathing, for women who are bedridden or can't bathe regularly.
- Vaginal suppositories such as Norforms are designed to cleanse and deodorize the vagina.
Suppositories contain many of the same ingredients as douches.
- Feminine powders like Summer's Eve absorb odors and moisture and give effective,
refreshing deodorant protection that lasts for hours.
- Sprays are for external odor protection only. They can be applied to underwear,
pantiliners, or pantyhose in addition to the skin. Some contain powders that absorb odor,
such as talc or cornstarch.
How to Use Feminine Deodorants
Follow these guidelines to ensure you use each product correctly and
- Use sprays at least eight inches from skin.
- Carefully apply wipes by wiping from back to front to avoid spreading bacteria from the
anus into the vagina.
- Pour a small amount of wash into the palm of your hand or washcloth. Lather into your
wet skin, and then rinse.
- Apply powder liberally to the vaginal area.
- Follow the manufacturer's recommendations to use vaginal suppositories.
Keep in mind
- While most feminine deodorant products are used as a matter of personal preference, some
brands are designed for treating health problems such as minor vaginal redness or itching.
But they haven't been proven effective at curing bacterial imbalances or yeast infections.
Frequent use is not recommended.
- Overuse of feminine deodorant products has been shown to raise the risk of contact
vulvitis, a condition that causes burning, itching, and irritation of the vulva, or
external vaginal area.
- Never apply feminine hygiene products to broken, irritated, or itching skin.
- Except for suppositories, use all feminine deodorants externally only.
- Stop using if rash or skin irritation develops.
- Don't use feminine deodorant products as treatment for symptoms of such conditions as
yeast infections, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or vaginitis. Consult your doctor if
you have strong odor or discharge.
- Concentrating and inhaling spray contents can be harmful or fatal.
- Use wipes only once. Don't reuse them.