Applying VapoRub to the vagina is hazardous for the organ’s natural flora.
In the latest strange vaginal trend of 2017, people are reportedly using Vicks’ VapoRub — an ointment and topical cough medicine primarily used to relieve coughs, nasal congestion, and muscle aches and pains — on their vaginas. Whether to soothe itches, bring down swelling, cure thrush, or boost sex drive, medical professionals warn against using VapoRub for anything other than its intended use.
Dr. Senait Fisseha, an obstetrician-gynecologist and professor at the University of Michigan, explains that using Vicks’ VapoRub can impact the vagina in significant ways.
“[The] vagina is extremely sensitive,” explains Dr. Fisseha. “It’s important to do a risk-benefit analysis of scientific data. The harm outweighs the benefits.”
When it comes to using VapoRub to treat infections, itchiness, and swelling, Dr. Fisseha advises against this.
“[VapoRub is] topical and not meant to go into the system,” explains Dr. Fisseha. “The vaginal mucosa is very sensitive and vascular and chemicals can cause damage by negatively impacting the natural flora. As the vagina is absorbent, these chemicals can be absorbed into the body’s system.”
For instance, for those who considered VapoRub a viable solution to something like vaginal thrush — a common yeast infection — it’s best to err on the side of safety and seek a prescription straight from a medical professional instead.
“The vagina is self-cleaning and should not have a strong odor,” says Dr. Fisseha. “There are normal bacteria present in the vagina that protect it from infection.”
The vagina’s self-cleaning properties are why Dr. Fisseha opposes the use of VapoRub as any form of vaginal cleaner, emphasizing that such a practice could have more harm than good.
If you are considering using VapoRub on the vagina, consult a doctor first. While people allege that the benefits of using VapoRub on the vagina include a boost in sex drive, a cure for thrush, a reduce in itchiness, swelling and irritation, and even, a way to freshen up the organ’s scent, medical professionals disagree and do not recommend using the topical ointment.