Relaxing after a long week by soaking in the tub while the heavenly scent of lavender and eucalyptus from your bath bomb drifts up from the warm water is a great way to de-stress and get ready for a fun weekend. You might feel great after drying off, but your vagina certainly does not. (These are things that your vagina secretly wants to tell you.)
Sparkly, colorful bath bombs are right on trend, but the chemicals that go into them to create those crazy colors and different scents are not healthy for your private parts. Your vagina naturally has bacteria in it that works to balance it’s pH, keeping it happy and healthy. When you expose it to chemicals it throws off the pH and can cause irritation, itchiness, changes in discharge, and sometimes infection.
“[The changes in pH levels] create an opportunity for bad bacteria to overtake the vaginal atmosphere and cause an infection,” Jessica Shepherd, MD, director of minimally invasive gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told SELF.
Bath bombs were made to be able to come in contact with your external skin, but they can cause problems internally. They won’t affect your vulva, but if they get inside of your vagina it could cause an infection.
That being said, not everyone is prone to infection, so feel free to give bath bombs a try. However, if you notice things like a strange odor, unusual discharge, or irritation, check in with your gynecologist. These other everyday habits can mess with your vaginal health.
“You’re going to have some women who have vaginas that are affected by bath bombs and others who don’t,” Shepherd says. “At the end of the day, it’s up to everyone to make their own decision based on how they feel.”