No, bathing with vinegar will not tighten the vagina or eliminate vaginal odour
Several “solutions” to “vaginal odour” are offered in a message posted on Facebook in Uganda. These at-home “remedies” include taking a bath with apple cider vinegar to cure bacterial vaginosis.
“The presence of bacteria is one of the reasons why there is vaginal odour that’s why you need something with antibacterial and antiseptic properties such as apple cider vinegar,” the message claims.
“Try mixing two cups of apple cider vinegar in warm bath water and soak for 20 -25 minutes to kill the bacteria.”
Can bathing with vinegar tighten the vagina and eliminate its odour? We checked.
Vinegar baths not supported by evidence and potentially dangerous
Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition that causes a strong vaginal odour.
“No studies have been conducted that support the use of apple cider vinegar for BV treatment,” the website says.
Dr Denise Armatas, gynaecology and obstetrics specialist at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, told Africa Check that bathing with vinegar can be dangerous. Vinegar is acidic and can disrupt vagina’s pH balance, killing the naturally occurring bacteria that protect it. This leaves it more susceptible to infections like thrush and sexually transmitted infections.
“You’re really running the risk of damaging that internal flora which will then lead to more infections. Using products that have vinegar can damage the vaginal mucosa,” she said.
She added that vinegar baths cannot tighten the vagina.
“Absolutely nothing will tighten your vagina unless you are doing plastic surgery or you are going through menopause and you are using estrogen cream and that will maintain what is there,” she said.