There’s no end to the list of bizarre and downright dangerous methods women have used to change and “perfect” their bodies over the years, but the most recent one has doctors freaking out and warning of serious potential damage. Ladies, please don’t use toothpaste to try and tighten your vagina.
The practice is huge in Nigeria. According to The Sun, there’s been a “recent obsession” with using toothpaste in an attempt to remedy a “loose” vagina. Oluwole Yusuf, a medical doctor in the country, told the News Agency of Nigeria, “Toothpaste is caustic and too abrasive for a sensitive body part like the vagina and can destroy the organisms meant to protect the vagina from possible infections. When the vagina can no longer protect itself, the body is prone to infections which could later destroy the tubes and block the chances of getting pregnant.”
Beyond infertility, it can cause other nasty issues too. It should perhaps go without saying that putting toothpaste—which is meant to clean your teeth and then spit out—inside your vagina is going to mess things up in a big way.
No seriously, you’re going to get infections. As Vanessa Mackay, consultant gynecologist and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, explained, “It is a myth that toothpaste will tighten the vagina. Putting toothpaste into the vagina, or on the vulva, would not only be uncomfortable but it could also cause serious damage and disrupt the natural flora of the vagina leading to the potential for infections like bacterial vaginosis and thrush.” Ain’t nobody got time for that.
“Loose” vaginas are not a thing. Having a child will not make your vagina “loose.” Having lots of sex will not make your vagina “loose.” That’s not a thing, seriously. The vagina is an elastic organ that is designed to stretch and then return to its normal shape. While it does lose elasticity over time as you age, this is a completely natural process and isn’t nearly as extreme as you might believe.
There are plenty of ways to strengthen your vaginal and pelvic walls. The most obvious way to “tighten” things up downstairs is to do Kegel’s, which not only strengthen pelvic floor muscles but also aid in bladder control. “There are various different ways in which women can carry out pelvic floor exercises but the easiest is to sit or stand comfortably with knees slightly apart and then engage and draw up the pelvic floor muscles as if trying to avoid passing urine or flatus,” McKay explained. “Women can build up the strength of their pelvic floor muscles by doing ten slow contractions and holding them for about 10 seconds each.”
Ladies, love your vagina as-is. It’s amazing! Seriously, stop doing harmful things to your body in the name of “perfection” (which doesn’t exist, by the way) and learn to love it as-is. You’re amazing, so don’t let anyone or anything make you feel otherwise.
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