If you menstruate, there’s a chance you’ve pondered the purpose of scented tampons, or wondered if they’re even safe to use during your period. After all, the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, and even when cleaning the vulva, we’re told to avoid harsh, fragranced products.
Well, according to an article by the Cleveland Clinic, you’ll want to pass on the scented tampons, too. In the article, Dana Leslie, CNP explained that scented vaginal care products can disrupt the pH of the vagina as well as the balance between good and bad bacteria.
As previously explained to POPSUGAR by Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn and co-founder of URJA Intimates, a disruption of the vagina’s balance could lead to issues like dryness, itching, infection, or burning.
Planned Parenthood even recommends avoiding scented tampons, pads, and all perfumed vaginal care products to help prevent vaginitis, which can consist of issues like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Moral of the story? Save the fragrance for your candles, air fresheners, and dish soap. The vagina doesn’t need to smell like a bouquet of freshly-cut flowers. In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that it’s totally normal for the vagina to have a slight smell, but a strong, abnormal scent could indicate a problem.
If you have any concerns about the chemicals inside your tampon or about the scent of your vagina, reach out to your doctor for advice.