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snake oil, vagina, vaginal discharge

Don’t cleanse your vagina with a cucumber. Please.

In what seems like post #323 explaining that vaginas don’t need cleaning I present the cucumber vagina cleanse.

Apparently some women are peeling cucumbers inserting them vaginally and then twisting them around for up to 20 minutes to refresh or cleanse or flush or something. This isn’t just a weird Facebook thing one person did once. I Googled “cucumber vagina cleanse” (God help me, I did) and WAS HORRIFIED. There are even videos but I’m not giving them the traffic. If you want to watch you are on your own.


If you have a vagina you should definitely not do this.


That is in capitals because I am yelling.

This idea that some kind of vaginal cleansing is required, be it a peeled cucumber or the “feminine” washes” sold at drugstores, is misogyny dressed up as health care and I am having none of it. Vaginas are not dirty.


Also yelling.

Study after study after study tells us that douches, cleanses, steams, vinegar, ph balancing products, aloe, colloidal silver, garlic or whatever else passing as the vaginal snake oil du jour at best do nothing but have real potential for harming good bacteria and/or disrupting the mucosal surface. I mean 20 minutes of cucumber twisting? (As a side note, I don’t spend 20 minutes cleaning anything. Ever. Even a surgical scrub only takes 5 minutes!).

By damaging lactobacilli and the mucosa attempts at vaginal cleaning increase a woman’s risk of contracting HIV or gonorrhea if she is exposed. Paradoxically it will also cause odor.


Yes, I’m still yelling.

The pH in the vagina is controlled by the good bacteria, the same bacteria that attempts at “cleansing” actually damage.


I’m more speaking loudly now than yelling, but I am still definitely agitated.

Cucumbers seem prone to all kinds of nasty fungi and I just don’t think anything capable of getting blossom end rot should go in a vagina. There has been an increase over the past few years of opportunistic fungal infections, organisms that typically don’t cause human infection making the jump to humans when the right opportunity presents itself. An opportunity like say direct inoculation into a vagina. All in all I’d say it’s probably wise to not introduce an object with unknown plant microorganisms into your vagina. And no, a little wash in the kitchen sink isn’t going to sterilize the cucmber.


I’m still speaking loudly.

A case report of vaginal and bladder perforation with a cucumber has been described as has a case of a penetrating injury with a cucumber through the vagina into the abdominal cavity. These events were not due to attempts at cleaning but rather sexual stimulation. The idea of putting a phallic shaped object in the vagina for pleasure without the hassle of a penis (or penis owner) is a great one. There are many excellent vibrators for this very purpose made with substances not teeming with soil microbes. In fact, they are usually made from substances that are bacteria/fungi unfriendly and of course they can be cleaned. It is true vibrators are likely more rigid than a cucumber and vibrator injuries definitely do occur, but my point with the perforation case reports is simply that it seems possible to get carried away with a cucumber and do real physical damage.


So keep the cucumbers out of your vaginas ladies, whether for cleaning or masturbation. Vaginas are a great self-contained ecosystem and do not need any additional support from vaginal vegetables to stay healthy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed, selling a product, or both. And remember, don’t give opportunistic infections an opportunity is a good motto.








29 thoughts on “Don’t cleanse your vagina with a cucumber. Please.

  1. Who would actually think this is a good idea?
    The vagina cleans itself, leave it alone!!
    A little warm water on the outside and no underwear or tight clothes as much as possible and let it do it’s thing.
    If I find a clove of garlic or yogurt inside someone complaining of vaginal odor one more time….
    It’s getting old and is a big downside of the internet, unfortunately

    Posted by Tracic | October 11, 2017, 8:09 pm
  2. Does Gwyneth approve?

    Posted by DavidT | October 11, 2017, 8:11 pm
  3. I read this just in time, I was just about to… ; )

    Posted by Mary | October 11, 2017, 8:16 pm
  4. I used to wonder what the product was when I read the ads proclaiming “married women are sharing this secret.” I thought it was progress when we admitted that the topic of discussion was female anatomy. Now, I laugh until I cry. All women need to know the facts about vaginas. Really. Just the facts.

    Posted by Barbara Baker | October 11, 2017, 8:31 pm
  5. How can anyone think this is a good idea?!? Once again, it seems that the dumbing down of America is working! Thank you, Dr. Gunter, for getting this seemingly obvious info out to the masses.

    Posted by Laura G. | October 12, 2017, 2:57 am
  6. Although this does open the door for an entrepreneur who wants to market vegetable shaped vibrators…

    Posted by Deborah S Minden | October 12, 2017, 6:48 am
  7. whew….people sure aren’t getting smarter

    Posted by mountain time | October 12, 2017, 11:39 am
  8. Humans, in general, are fucking morons.

    Posted by Doug | October 13, 2017, 6:15 am
  9. Great article! Just a quick note: there’s a typo in the second-to-last section. It says “And no, a little wash in the kitchen sink it’s [as opposed to isn’t] going to sterilize the cucmber”. I’m not trying to be pedantic but I’ve seen a lot of people sharing it and thought you might want to fix it (and I couldn’t find private contact info).

    Posted by Anonymous | October 18, 2017, 1:33 pm
  10. I somewhat disagree with one statement: “VAGINAS ARE NOT DIRTY”

    Some *are* dirty.

    Namely, the ones into which salad ingredients have been introduced.

    A more true statement would be: “VAGINAS ARE NOT DIRTY UNTIL YOU PUT CUCUMBERS INTO THEM”.

    Posted by MMC | October 18, 2017, 8:23 pm
  11. I certainly know cucumbers are not a great idea but what would you recommend for neo-vaginas?

    Posted by Antonia Stevens | October 19, 2017, 4:21 pm


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