MODERN science tells us the vagina is a delicate, self-cleaning machine that generally does fine if it's left alone.
However, many women still insist on putting things near it that they shouldn't - including glitter and jade eggs.
And there are some surprising things, such as wet wipes and feminine washes, that can actually do a lot more harm than good to your lady area.
Here we talk you through the main eight items you need to avoid putting near your vagina and why.
1. Wet wipes
Women often think it's okay to use wet wipes on your private parts given their stereotypically-feminine floral packaging.
In particular, many online sites have recommended festival-goers invest in a few packets to stay clean while out camping or at a festival.
However, Dr Jen Gunter, dubbed Twitter's resident gynaecologist, says they can actually do a lot more harm than good.
She told Huffington Post: "Wipes cause skin irritation including contact dermatitis – gynaecologists see this all the time.
"Your skin is a protective layer and the more you wipe, the more you are going to irritate it.
"Why are wipes marketed to women for camping and not for men? Don’t they have asses to wipe too?
"Until they exist with men’s products, I’m going keep hammering that it is pure misogyny."
Dr Gunter instead recommends using a facial cleanser on your entire body, including your vulva, with coconut oil as moisturiser.
2. Feminine washes and sprays
Soaps, shower gels and sprays for "feminine hygiene" are a complete waste of money, and could damage your vulva - according to experts.
Dr Gunter said: "Many of them actually have scents in them. Your vulva skin is more sensitive to irritation, and fragrance is a very common trigger for irritation.
"Also, some women are using these products internally, because we don’t use the right language – we don’t say ‘vagina’ and ‘vulva’ – it’s evolved into this catch-all grey zone. If you use them internally, you can damage your vaginal ecosystem – your good bacteria."
3. CBD oil
The global CBD industry recently claimed that inserting one of their small, pill-like products into your vagina can ease period pain.
Despite this, Dr Gunter is urging women to do this with caution.
She said: "We have very little data on CBD for pain. And when there’s no data, it’s very ripe for abuse.
"What we know right now is that any cannabis product that is designed to be inserted into the vagina is untested, so you should be very wary of any company making health claims.
"How would you feel about a pharmaceutical company selling you a pill that hasn’t been tested? It’s the same thing. So I would ask people to look at it with that eye."
Dr Gunter also emphasised that research has shown that cannabis-derived products can increase risk of yeast infections.
She added: "There is some old animal data that shows it could potentially impact the sugar in the cells in the vagina, and this is super important, because sugar in the cells in the vagina is the source of food that feeds the good bacteria."
4. Cider vinegar
Women have recently started using cider vinegar, which is used in salad dressings and chutneys, in the hopes that it will tighten up their vagina.
Supporters of the method say it will not only make the vagina tighter but also shrinks the vulva - noting that it is something that women have been doing since The Dark Ages.
Unsurprisingly, however, it's a terrible idea and has prompted experts to warn women not to put vinegar anywhere near their genitals.
How to prevent yeast infections
If you do think that you have a yeast infection, the best thing to do is go to your pharmacist or a GUM clinic.
They can help work out if you really do have something like thrush and which medications might work most effectively.
You'll often need antifungal medicine to get rid of thrush.
This can be a tablet you take, a tablet you insert into your vagina or a cream to relieve the irritation.
It should clear up within a week or after you've finished your course of meds.
It's harder to get rid of an infection once you have it but there are various things you can do to prevent one in the first place:
- Only have sex when you're aroused. Having intercourse when your vagina is dry can cause irritation and in turn, trigger an infection
- Never douche or use "feminine hygiene" products - your vagina cleans itself
- Avoid strong soaps and body washes
- Avoid tight and synthetic underwear
- Try sleeping in the buff to give your vagina a little breathing space
Anne Henderson, consultant gynaecologist, told The Sun Online: "This new trend to use cider vinegar vaginally is very worrying from a gynaecological point of view.
"Because of the different constituents in cider vinegar, including potentially sensitising additives, I would advise all women to avoid this trend like the plague.
"Any tightening effect from cider vinegar is likely to be due to localised irritation and inflammation, and as such will not cause a long lasting benefit and may potentially damage the delicate vaginal skin."
And Professor Linda Cardozo, spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, added: "It is a myth that cider vinegar will tighten the vagina.
"Putting cider vinegar in your vagina would not only be uncomfortable but it also has the potential to cause damage and disrupt the natural flora of the vagina."
The most recent vaginal trend is glitter - with women all over the country glitter-bombing their bits to make them feel "soft, sweet and magical".
An online retailer, called the Pretty Woman Inc, launched glitter-filled capsules for ladies to insert into their vaginas, claiming they make your lady parts "taste" and "look" better,
However, gynaecologists have warned against the bizarre new trend - saying this could actually lead to a dangerous infection.
Doctor Vanessa Mackay, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said: "The vagina contains a delicate balance of good bacteria, which are there to protect it.
"If women place foreign objects inside their vagina, they risk disturbing this balance which may lead to infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush, and inflammation."
And consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Shazia Malik agreed, saying that the ingredients used in these capsules could cause painful inflammatory discharge and even tiny scratches to the vagina.
She added: "Using a product like this so called passion dust might actually kill off any passion at all."
6. Jade eggs
Gwyneth Paltrow recently claimed on her site Goop that jade eggs can improve your sex life and balance your menstrual cycle.
Despite this, experts say the product is a "scam" and can even increase the risk of developing toxic shock syndrome.
Dr Gunter said: "Jade eggs are a scam. Why would you trust someone who is trying to sell you an actual proven scam?
"We don’t know how to take care of it so that we’re not re-introducing bacteria into the vagina and risking toxic shock syndrome.
"If you want to strengthen your pelvic floor, there are great ways to do that. You can do kegel exercises for free."
If you do want to use a vaginal weight, Dr Gunter recommends buying a medical-grade product that’s silicone or plastic and easy to clean.
She added: "Some of them look very sexy if you want to incorporate them into sexual play.
"You can also buy a great quality vibrator for less than a jade egg – just saying – and it’s probably going to do a lot more for your sexual health."
Earlier this year, Marie Claire encouraged women to stick a sprig of parsley up there in order to induce a period.
Aside from the total lack of evidence, herbal inserts can be really dangerous.
“It’s a bad idea to insert anything not prescribed by a practitioner inside your vagina. Your vagina has a natural healthy balance which can be upset by the introduction of foreign objects," Karin O’Sullivan, Clinical Lead at FPA Charity told The Sun.
“When it comes to plants, hygiene can be an issue, with the introduction of new bacteria.
"Herbal inserts have not been medically tested and cannot be considered safe. As they’re untested, there’s also no guarantee of any health benefits.
"There is no evidence to suggest that taking parsley orally, or vaginally, will help to induce a period.
"More importantly, there is a risk that introducing foreign objects to the vagina can cause infections and even lead to toxic shock syndrome if left inside, which can be deadly."
In fact, a pregnant woman died last year after inserting parsley stems into her vagina in a botched bid to induce a miscarriage.
Bloggers, vloggers and a number of alternative health therapists have encouraged women to "cleanse" their vaginas with cucumber - but ONLY after peeling it (a thinly veiled attempt at safety advice, perhaps).
They claimed that it can "help sanitise and maintain a pleasant odour", as well as potentially warding off STIs.
More on women's health
Dr Gunter warned that "if you have a vagina you should definitely not do this".
She said attempts at cleaning your vagina in this way can actually cause more harm than good.
She said: "This idea that some kind of vaginal cleansing is required, be it a peeled cucumber or the 'feminine washes' sold at drugstores, is misogyny dressed up as health care and I am having none of it."
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