Ladies, it’s okay for your cookies to be a little scented no matter what a Kardashian has to say about it. Kourtney just launched the “vaginal health gummy” called Lemme Purr. The eldest of the Kardashians has been part of the wellness industry for a while now. Her latest launch under her Lemme brand – a vitamin supplement line – a pineapple gummy is designed to “target vaginal health and pH levels that support freshness and taste.”
“Your ‘cat emoji’ is going to love this…Meet Lemme Purr: our new vaginal health gummy! Vaginal health is such an important part of a woman’s overall well-being (and not talked about enough) which is why we are so excited to launch this! Give your vagina the sweet treat it deserves (and turn it into a sweet treat).
“You know what they say…you are what you eat. We combined real pineapple and vitamin C with the power of clinically-studied SNZ 1969™ probiotics to target vaginal health and pH levels that support freshness and taste,” the advertisement, which featured Kourtney, read.
Here’s what experts say
While a healthy vagina depends somewhat on a woman’s age, the vagina generally has an acidic pH, contains rich quantities of beneficial bacteria that help fend off infections, and is naturally lubricated explains Centurion-based fertility specialist and gynocologist Dr Qinisile Cele.
Popularly known as Dr Q, she explains, that the type has an absence of odour.
“[Vaginal odour] is musky and very light. The moment you find that you have a fishy smell or you feel that other people are able to pick up your scent, once it is a strong smell that is when you actually need to be concerned,” says Dr Q.
She adds that “When it [vaginal odour] is fishy that is usually when it is associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is not associated with sexually transmitted infections, so we should not be scared. It basically means that the pH of the vagina is destabilised.”
Should you be using these products?
Professor Deborah Bateson, from the University of Sydney, says that a staggering variety of so-called feminine hygiene products seek to help with “vaginal odour” and discharge, and “keep you fresh”.
From deodorants to cucumber cleanses, scented panty liners and now vaginal gummies, these products actively promote the view that vaginas should be discharge free, have no odour, and exude a whiff of rose petals and a fresh fruit salad.
In an article with The Conversation, Bateson writes, “As doctors working in sexual health, we are keen to help women work out what is normal and what is not. It’s crucial to reject practices that masquerade as clinical treatments but have no base in evidence.
“Vaginal discharge is healthy and plays an important role in the defence against infection. Trying to eliminate it makes no sense and is in fact harmful.”
No roses down below
But should vaginal discharge smell like roses? “No,” says Ridwana Jooma, a Johannesburg-based sex and relationship coach. Contrary to popular belief, your vagina is not supposed to be entirely odourless or taste like a ripe plum. It should smell and taste like a vagina, Jooma emphasises.
“The idea of how a woman’s genitals should smell like has played a part that is now difficult to unlearn.”
Cape Town-based traditional health practitioner, Nicky van Eck, believes the time of the month determines your flavour.
To make sense of odours, Van Eck uses fruit to illustrate the matter.
“We have a wide variety of flavours. We’ve got watermelon, sometimes we have guava. It depends on which time of the month somebody is having a taste because our acidic levels change, so our flavour changes.”
The notion that it is supposed to smell a certain way is simply “male privilege.” Van Eck uses the Sanskrit word Yoni, “sacred space” for vagina. “Our pH balance is more acidic than men on the inside. Our vagina throughout the cycle can be a bit more acidic or less acidic. Eat well and look at what your Yoni is showing you. Mindfulness is the big healer,” she says.
Both Van Eck and Dr Q caution against the use of vaginal washes.
“Others call it a natural odour. Some call it an earthy odour. It is like an absence of smell,” Dr Q says.
To determine your dietary needs for a healthy vagina, you must be mindful of what you put in your body, adds Van Eck. “Your body is the best indicator for you if you are doing something right or if you are doing something that can be improved.”
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