16 Bad v*gin* Habits You Should Ditch As Soon As Possible

Your vagina and vulva are pretty self-sufficient, but there are plenty of things that can affect the health, comfort, and general ~happiness~ down there. So to make sure you’re taking the best care of your bits as possible, BuzzFeed Health spoke with two board-certified gynecologists about common bad vagina habits: Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Yale School of Medicine; and Dr. Sherry Ross, author of the book, She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period. Here are some of the bad habits they think you should steer clear of.

1. You attempt to clean inside your vagina, whether through douching or other means.

1. You attempt to clean inside your vagina, whether through douching or other means.

It’s self-cleaning up in there! Seriously! Because of what Minkin calls “good-guy bacteria” — aka lactobacilli — keeping everything nice and clean, you don’t have to do a damn thing to make sure you’re healthy inside your vagina.

In fact, attempting to clean in there often has the opposite effect: If you wash out all the good bacteria, you’ll be left with a more basic (meaning, less acidic) vagina, which helps promote the growth of bad bacteria, leaving you more susceptible to infections, says Minkin. Not to mention, douching tends to dry you out — and a dry vagina is not a good place to be.