Lucknow: Neha (28-year-old), is a banker and loving mom of one and a half-year-old baby. She is stressed these days due to her vaginal itching and infection. Doctors have told her that she has a serious problem.
It's common for females to catch infections if they don't take enough precautions. But, Neha was unable to understand the cause of her problem as she was almost obsessed for her hygiene. She used to take extra care and she even used the most promising Vaginal wash available in the market. Ironically, that played against her. According to her doctor, it's her Vaginal wash that gave her itching and dryness in her intimate areas. Germs of Infection also reached to her Vulva, the internal part of the vagina which plays important role in pregnancy.
Neha Says, "Doctor has strictly asked me to not use any Vaginal Wash available in the market, she suggested to wash it with water only. At max, I use the luke-warm water to clean. I never faced such problems before."
All over the world, Millions of girls like Neha are falling prey to the illusion created by the pharmaceutical companies over TV and newspapers. The profit-driven trap that started with making the faces fair is now clenching vaginas. The discourse that started from the hygiene point advanced to woo lovers and husbands, now gives the guaranty of a flowery life. Emotional manipulation of this flourishing market is posing new challenges in front of the women.
"New Sexual Behaviour"
Chandni, a successful HR professional lives in the city of Pune, situated in the southern Indian state of Maharashtra. She feels conscious of her vaginal odour while being intimate with her boyfriend. She fears that her partner would get offended if she won't use Vaginal Wash. She says, "I buy it with the monthly grocery items without failing. I know boys don't like Vaginal odour. I also like the fragrance of my Vaginal Wash."
This is called mind-game in the terminology of the Phycology. Phycologists are analysing this new definition of love and people behaviour. Phycologist Ms Anand says, "You should not come under peer pressure. This new sexual behaviour is the result of the commercial marketing. I would always suggest taking the advice of the doctors before using any such products."
In India, it was the year 2011-12 when fairness creams started to target female intimate areas. Before anyone would react, Indian market was spoiled with the choices available for the Vaginal wash, Intimate deodorant and other similar products. With the money pouring in, Bollywood celebrities stated to advertise these products. Working urban women are their soft target.
Dr S.P. Jaiswar is a gynaecologist and she is the superintendent of a prestigious Indian hospital, Queen Merry, located in the capital of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. Gaon Connection approached her to investigate further. She says, "Vagina is a very delicate part of the female body. Any chemical product (Cream, Powder etc.) can change its natural PH level. It can cause skin diseases and Cancer as well. Vaginal skin is so thin and fragile that it can be cracked by the use of artificial hygiene products, that enhances the chances of getting bacterial diseases."
Vagina has self-cleaning tendency
She explained the drawbacks of the Vaginal chemical products. She tells, "Products claiming to retain PH level or to give fragrance can cause urinary tract infection, infertility or hormonal disorder. Actually, female intimate parts are naturally self-sufficient to maintain itself. It doesn't need any douching. Clean water is enough for that."
Female reproductive organs are vulnerable to fertility problems and skin diseases. Senior skin doctor Abeer Saraswat says, "Females should not use any intimate hygiene products without consultation. Powders, Vaginal wash or intimate deodorant can cause serious issues over there."
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Recently British newspaper 'The Guardian' reported that a court in the Missouri state of the US ordered a beauty product company to pay compensation of Billions to the 22 women because it didn't inform its customers that its powder contains Asbestos. They Sued Johnson & Johnson claiming that they got ovarian cancer by using its baby powder. Last year, a Californian court settled a similar case.
NP Verma is a professor of Economics in the Bhim Rao Ambedkar University of Lucknow, U.P. He enlightens about the socio-economic aspects of this game in Indian aspects. He says, Now Vaginal Washes are easily available in the small towns. It's available at medical stores, grocery stores and beauty shops. Artificial demand is being created in the Indian Villages. But, Regular marketing is pushing people to buy it." He also indicated towards the danger of expiry Vaginal Wash bottles as it doesn't sell that much in the rural parts of India.
It could further deteriorate the female health situation in India, as people still hesitate to talk about mensuration and discussing reproductive organ is still taboo. You can just imagine how many women would reach to the doctors for their Vaginal health.