The vagina is designed to clean itself with natural secretions. Douching, putting herbs in the vagina or using yoni steamers can mess with the healthy balance of bacteria that live up there, leading to infections like bacterial vaginosis and thrush.

Most OB-GYNs agree that a healthy, well-oiled machine doesn’t need to be detoxed. But there are some simple hygiene practices like wearing cotton underwear, changing tampons and sanitary pads regularly, and avoiding scented products that can cause irritation.

1. Drink lots of water

Your vulva is a self-cleaning machine with a natural low pH, which discourages the growth of outside organisms and keeps it pretty clean on its own. Soaking it in soaps can actually strip the area of its good bacteria, increasing your risk for yeast infections and vaginitis, explains Dr. Natalie Crawford, an OB-GYN.

The simplest thing you can do to detox your vulva is to drink lots of water. It will keep the mucous membranes healthy and lubricated, which helps diminish odor.

You can also add neem bark, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties, to your water, as well as eat more fermented foods like kimchi, miso, tempeh and pickles, which contain acid to help balance the pH of your vulva. And, of course, ditch the caffeinated coffee — it can cause dehydration, which reduces the amount of lubrication in your vulva.

2. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet is a must for vagina health. Foods like cranberries, pineapple, garlic and tea tree oil are great for fighting off infections and eliminating odor.

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Probiotics, such as those found in yogurt, are key for vaginal health. Lactobacillus bacteria prevent infection-causing organisms from taking over, and they help maintain a balanced vaginal pH.

Limiting highly processed foods is also a good idea for vaginal health. Processed foods often contain preservatives, thickeners and artificial sweeteners that can interfere with your body’s natural bacterial balance. Add in lots of kale, low-oxalate greens and other nutritious vegetables to your meals.

3. Exercise

People who sell yoni pearls claim that the little bags of herbs can do everything from cleanse your uterus and vagina to shrink fibroids and treat bacterial vaginosis. But the ob-gyns SELF spoke to are pretty skeptical of these products and practices.

The main thing to keep in mind is that your vagina does most of its own cleaning down there, thanks to healthy, natural bacteria. Douching, for example, is unhealthy for your bacteria levels, and can lead to a loss of beneficial yeast and a shift in pH that may contribute to an infection.

So if you want to detox your vagina, stick with washing it twice daily (at least) and use a fragrance-free soap. Try a yoni steam (like a facial for your pussy) once a month or so, too.

4. Get plenty of sleep

Your vagina is designed to naturally clean itself. It has an acidic environment that protects it from unhealthy bacteria and other germs, and it regularly produces healthy discharge.

Douching (washing your vulva with water or solution) can disrupt this natural balance and cause infection. Women should avoid it, as can tight underwear that traps moisture against the skin, which can also contribute to a pH imbalance.

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In addition to avoiding foods that alter the smell and taste of your urine, sleep is essential for vaginal health. When you get plenty of rest, your body is better able to produce the lubrication needed for sex and to prevent infections.

5. Stay away from feminine sprays

The vulva (aka, lady parts) can be sensitive to fragrances, and using products that are too harsh isn’t good for the area. Instead, experts say washing with plain water and mild unscented soap is all you need to keep the area clean.

Those so-called feminine sprays can also mess with the vagina’s natural pH, which helps regulate healthy bacteria. Similarly, yoni pearls—small suppositories that are inserted and left in the vulva for purported health benefits—are unnecessary and dangerous. This is because they can disrupt the delicate epithelium of the vulva, which can lead to irritation and an infection.

6. Avoid alcohol

Between scented tampons, feminine sprays and vaginal detox pearls (also known as yoni beads), there’s no shortage of products claiming to clean up down there. But the reality is that your vagina does a pretty good job of cleaning itself thanks to its unique acidic pH and healthy bacteria, experts tell SELF.

Plus, products like yoni pearls can actually do more harm than good by disrupting the vaginal flora and throwing off the natural balance. So, skip them. Instead, focus on strengthening your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises and using lubricant to help prevent dryness during sexual activity.

7. Don’t smoke

When it comes to the uterus and vagina, most doctors recommend keeping things simple. For example, perfumed soaps can irritate the sensitive area and disrupt the healthy balance of pH levels inside.

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Also, never smoke down there — it’s bad for lung health and can throw the bacterial ecosystem out of whack. It’s also associated with weakened pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to problems with the bladder, rectum or vagina.

The most important thing to remember is that your vagina and uterus don’t need “detoxes” — there is no such thing as a vaginal cleanser, and using any type of vaginal detox pearls can actually be harmful.

8. Avoid cigarette smoke

Smoke irritates your skin and causes cancer, so it’s definitely not something you want to put in your vagina. Plus, it can upset your vagina’s pH balance and make you more susceptible to infections like bacterial vaginosis, Grover tells Romper.

Vaginal “detox pearls” (also known as yoni pearls) have been making the rounds as yet another product that claims to cleanse your vagina. The suppositories are filled with herbs including motherwort, wild celery and oak galls and are inserted via an applicator.

But gynecologists and doctors warn that vaginal detox pearls are unnecessary and could be harmful. Plus, they can also cause a painful burning sensation in the vagina and irritate the sensitive tissues, which can lead to itching, discharge and irritation.

9. Don’t use scented products

From jade eggs and yoni pearls to douching and vaginal steaming, there are plenty of trends that are promoted as healthy for your intimate area. However, many of these practices can actually do more harm than good.

The truth is, your vulva does not need special detox products or treatments. In fact, trying to clean it with scented products can cause issues, as the sensitive skin of the vulva can be irritated by fragranced soaps or sprays. In addition, scented products can disrupt the normal pH balance of your vulva, leading to bacterial overgrowth and yeast infections.