Having multiple partners
Not only do more partners increase your risk of contracting an STD, but also hopping from one monogamous relationship to the next can impact your health. A new partner means new microorganisms from their body are introduced into yours, which can make you prone to bacterial vaginosis, says Dr. Goje.
No, you shouldn’t start wearing your underwear in the shower to avoid cleaning your vagina, but you don’t need to scrub it like you would your armpits or your feet—a simple splash of water will do. “I always see folks who think they need to get a strong soap and scrub it, but plain water to rinse is more than enough. Scrubbing that area can make the vulva very raw and a scented soap can irritate it if you’re sensitive,” says Tosin Goje, obstetrician gynecologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. If you do want to use some sort of cleansing agent, look for a mild unscented hypoallergenic soap and just use your hand, never a loofah or washcloth.