Vaginas are pretty self-sufficient and generally need next to little maintenance. Now, while vaginas are resilient enough to fend off most minor infections and imbalances, there are certain practices and foods that can ultimately lead to a rather unhappy nether-region. Here’s a list of the most popular culprits:

Sexy Panties

Now, while lacey thongs and sheer boy shorts are not necessary to feel sexy, they sure do help. However, it may be best to save these synthetic undergarments strictly for bedroom play and to stick to more conventional cotton drawers for your everyday activity. The synthetic material of which most sexy underwear is made from traps in moisture and leaves a woman more prone to vaginal infections.

“We should all be wearing cotton underwear,” Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, an OB/GYN at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut told The Huffington Post. It’s not just the material of sexy underwear that has doctors wary of possible infection in patients; their shape also exposes the vagina to much more friction than traditional underwear, which can cause embarrassing skin tags on the vagina and anus. “I sometimes will be mid-pap and ask a patient, 'So you wear thongs a lot?' … It's because of the skin tags, small 'piles' of soft tissue that occur from the skin being constantly rubbed in the same spot,” Ghofrany added.

Hair Removal

Pubic hair removal is extremely popular among women recently, but the practice is linked to a long list of unforeseen possible complications. First off, pubic hair is there for a reason. Other than working as a personal amplifier for sexual attraction, it also protects the vagina from friction and infection. Therefore a bald vagina is a vulnerable vagina. The most common infection that gynecologists are observing in hairless vaginas are Streptococcus and MRSA.

The hair also acts as a woman’s final defense against some rather nasty STDs. “Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals," Dr. Emily Gibson wrote in her recent piece against the popular “fashion” trend.


The word douche can have many meanings. For the French, it means “to bathe,” for the American millennials, it’s a less desirable man, and for the pharmacists, it’s a method of shooting liquids into one’s vagina. The practice is surprisingly popular in the United States, with around 20 to 40 percent of the U.S. female population admitting to indulging in the archaic practice.

Douching can mess up the natural balance of good bacteria in the vagina, and doing it regularly can leave a woman open to a number of ailments, including: yeast infections, STDs, and even infertility. Also, since the vagina is already resilient and in need of little maintenance, and incredibly good at self-cleaning, it makes douching pretty obsolete. But if you don’t believe me, ask a doctor. “There is no good reason to douche and many good reasons not to," Johns Hopkins gynecologist Jean Anderson told Psychology Today. "Douching should be discouraged."

Strong Smelling Foods And Too Much Sugar

Apart from odd smells resulting from STD infections, a change in your vagina’s odor is not exactly “bad” for you, but still it’s a side effect most would try and avoid. Strong-smelling foods, such as garlic, asparagus, and curry, are known to change your overall body odor, your vagina being no exception. "It has not been extensively studied, it’s been inferred from other research. … If you ingest foods with very strong odors like asparagus or garlic or curry, it’s possible that that can translate to a smell in your vaginal area,” Dr. Djinge Lindsay, a D.C.-based family physician told BuzzFeed.

As sad as this may be, too much sugar is also found to be bad for your vaginal health and can make you more prone to yeast infections. “The idea is that the yeast will eat off of the sugar and that’s how they’ll grow,” Lindsay explained to BuzzFeed. “I commonly see infections in my diabetic patients that don’t have good control over their blood sugar.”