If your vagina were a song, she would be Destiny's Child "Independent Women, Part 1" – she can take care of herself. Despite the truth, we insist on tidying up down there with the most, creative of ways. We like to wax it, douche it, and sometimes get too adventurous with the sex toys.  Certain things can seriously hurt your vagina and the areas around them - and can even lead to permanent damage. Here are certain things you should never do to your vagina - if you want to keep it intact, pain-free, and healthy.

1 Steam It

We know that Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan of V-steam but that doesn’t make it a good idea. The idea of sitting on comfortable chairs with herbal-infused steam blowing towards your vagina can seem like a pleasant experience, but it doesn't do anything to your hormone levels as promised by the spas.  Putting high-pressure steam on your vulva (the outer part of the vagina) can be completely dangerous. The steam can burn the skin in and around your vagina. Think about the analogy of opening a bag of microwave popcorn.

2 Get It Pierced

If you are getting your clitoral hood pierced, you would want to think twice before going for that sexy secret under your pants. While your vaginal tissue will heal well after piercing, the risks include infection and scar tissue formation that could block the urethra and obstruct urination. You may also have an allergic reaction to the jewellery especially if it is made of nickel. However, if you still choose to go for the piercing, clean it regularly with saline solution and be gentle with the surrounding area as it heals.

3 Get It Waxed

Getting your pubes waxed can make you look fresh but the waxing session may not have a very happy ending. Pubic hair protects the sensitive skin and mucous membranes in the genital region but getting waxed strips away that layer of protection. Waxing can also pull off tiny pieces of the skin's outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body. What's more, waxing can lead to inflammation, which can trap bacteria beneath the skin. All of this sets the stage for skin infections, folliculitis, and ingrown hairs.

4 Douche It

If you are douching your vagina, stop immediately. Vaginas are self-cleaning, so there is zero need to do any extra washing up there. The vagina already has healthy bacteria that maintain its harmony. Introducing new chemicals can disrupt that harmony.  A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that using intravaginal hygiene products can put you at increased risk of infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and STDs. Putting Garlic into Vagina to ‘Cure’ Yeast Infection is a BAD Idea Says this Doctor, Here’s What You Should Know

5 Self-Medicate

Those over-the-counter vaginal creams or suppositories for yeast infections have their place, but we are talking about the more homespun approach people sometimes try. Never try to self-medicate with home remedies like garlic or tea tree oil, even if that word of advice comes from your mother. At the very least, they won't make a dent in your misery but those chemicals can have side effects like rashes and irritation and even cause burns and a chemical burn inside your vagina is not something you would like.

6 Insert Unnecessary Objects

Tampons, fingers, sex toys, a penis, lube, birth control, menstrual cups, are all allowed into your vagina, but not everything shall pass. Keep cucumbers, bananas, that phallic-looking device in your kitchen, far away from your lady parts. Even if you sanitise the heck out of them, their textures alone can cause some serious irritation. Also,  ensure that you clean your menstrual cups and sex toys after use. Here are things you should never insert in your vagina. 

Stop getting too adventurous with your vagina!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 12, 2019 12:11 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).