Health & Fitness

SERIOUS QUESTION: Are bath bombs bad for your vagina?!

We asked a gynaecologist.

By Erin Cook

FACT: There is nothing quite as relaxing as running a hot bath, throwing a bath bomb into the water and watching it fizzle into oblivion.

But recently, we thought to ourselves: "Are bath bombs harmful to your vagina?" TBH, we have no idea what bath bombs are even made of. For all we know, the #1 ingredient could be thrush.

If you're a woman, it's worth looking after your vagina. After all, you've (probably) only got one. So we spoke to Dr Minke Burke, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Alana Healthcare for Women to find out if bath bombs are a bad idea for your vagina.

Can bath bombs affect your vagina?

"Yes. Bath bombs contain ingredients that can disrupt the vaginal ecosystem. This ecosystem of the vagina is a tight network of good bacteria that maintain a low pH, or 'acidic' environment. It keeps your vagina healthy and prevents infections. Bath bombs contain ingredients that are 'alkaline', which is the opposite of acidic. If the pH of the vagina is altered, the ecosystem of good bacteria breaks down, leading to irritation and possibly infection."

Which ingredients are responsible for causing irritation?

"Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate), which creates the fizz in a bomb, affects the vaginal pH. Perfumes and other ingredients, like glitter or dyes can directly harm the vagina as these ingredients are too harsh for the sensitive vaginal skin."

Are any bath bombs better than others?

"I'm not a bath bomb expert but I'd recommend avoiding highly perfumed bath bombs, or ones with glitter and strong dyes. Perhaps try to aim for more natural ingredients. Remember natural does not necessarily mean that it's good for your vagina."

Should women stop using bath bombs altogether?

"No, but moderation is key. A relaxing bath every once in a while is a real treat and there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps rinse the skin with warm water after your bath."

"Also, I always tell my patients when it comes to vaginal health and hygiene that the vagina is like a 'self-cleaning organ'. Only wash with warm water, do not use any soaps or feminine hygiene products in the vagina. If any pain, itchiness or abnormal discharge occurs please do not hesitate to see your doctor."