Here's a myth my mother told me growing up that taking too many baths isn't good for your vagina. Turns out, that myth might be true — at least depending on what you're dropping into the bath water.
When Fashionista writer Tamim Alnuweiri was talking to a friend about seeing bath bombs all over social media lately, her friend mentioned that her mom — a nurse practitioner — had warned her not to use bath bombs because they could mess with your vagina's pH balance.
And her friend's mom is right.
A vagina naturally has a pH level around 4 or 4.5, Michael Cackovic, M.D., an Ob/Gyn, told SELF. That means vaginas are on the acidic side. pH falls between 0 and 14, with anything less than 7 being acidic.
About 10 to 20 bacteria are responsible for keeping a vagina between 4 and 4.5 on the pH scale, Cackovic told SELF, and the chemicals used to make bath bombs look and smell so pretty can also upset the balance of those bacteria.
"The predominant good bacteria, which is called lactobacillus, produce hydrogen, which contributes the slightly acidic pH," Alnuweiri's friend's mom, Denise Poole, told her.
The chemicals that make a bath bomb fizzy and fragrant can make the lactobacillus in a vagina less effective, which means sitting in a bath full of those chemicals puts you at risk for vaginal infections, like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
And for people with sensitive skin, fragrances used to make the bath bombs smell good and irritate your vulva, Dr. Lauren Streicher, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, told Fashionista.
Still, there's no need to give up on bath bombs all together. If you've been using them regularly with no issues, then it's not likely that continuing to use bath bombs will cause any problems, Streicher told Fashionista. Just be careful about the bath bombs you buy.
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