To douche or not to douche?
After a look at steaming vaginas, we now turn our sights to douching. It is basically the practice of spraying a solution of vinegar and water on our lady parts. Used for almost a hundred years, this takes advantage of the healing and cleansing properties of vinegar as applied to the female genitalia.
Watering the flowers
According to WebMD, douching is basically directing a spray of liquid on a certain part of the body. Vaginal douching usually involves water and vinegar to afford all sorts of benefits.
While water is usually quite acceptable for washing in any circumstance, the added vinegar does sound a bit disturbing.
With vaginal douching, you essentially spray the intended solution upwards into your vagina. That’s right—you want the solution to reach the parts inside you that usually only your IUD can reach.
If you aren’t into shooting vinegar (no matter how diluted) up your lady parts, a lot of prepackaged douching solutions also contain baking soda and iodine. Sounds like something we do in high school science lab!
Women who douche say there’s nothing wrong with it
Women all over the world, especially in the United States, attest to the following benefits of vaginal douching:
- Induces a feeling of freshness and cleanliness
- Gets rid of unpleasant odors from discharge and menstrual blood
- Helps avoid contracting sexually-transmitted diseases
- Effective birth control solution
- Reduces itchiness and swelling
- Cleans the vagina
Nothing like feeling fresh and clean.
You would think that all these benefits would have every female douching every day for better reproductive health! But if you ask medical experts and even your own OB Gynecologist, you may be surprised at how different their take on douching is.
Click ‘Continue Reading’ to find out why doctors and health professionals discourage douching.
But is douching really good for your vagina?
It’s just water and vinegar, right?
Don’t start running to the drug store to start your douche-stravaganza yet, ladies. Medical professionals seem to be in agreement over one thing: douching is not recommended.
According to WebMD and the United States Health Department, spraying anything inside your vagina on your own without a doctor’s advice is harmful. Take a look at what they say is in store for women who use this method for cleaning their genitalia:
- Your vagina can get infected
The risk for Bacterial Vaginosis or BV goes up five times more with women who douche once a week.
- Your whole female reproductive system can get infected
Douching can push the bacteria found in your vagina up to your cervix, uterus and ovaries, resulting in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
- You can have pregnancy problems
Whether you start off as pregnant or get pregnant while douching regularly, you can be at higher risk for ectopic pregnancy and preterm birth.
- Your risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increase
Depending on circumstances, you may contract STDs and even the dreaded HIV when you douche. Your vagina may be stripped of its natural defenses against bacteria, infections and viruses.
- Your vagina can get lacerated and chafed
Douching can cause dryness and irritation that can lead to your tender flesh getting abraded, red and even cut regularly.
- You may find it difficult to get pregnant
Douching upsets the natural condition of your vagina, making it even more difficult to conceive.
- You can be more susceptible to cervical cancer
Some studies have shown that douching can lead to higher risk of contracting cervical cancer.
Doctors also say that douching does not solve the following reproductive health problems:
- Thick, white, yellow or greenish discharge
- Vaginal itching and swelling
- Pain when urinating
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal irritation and swelling
Medical science also says that the vagina is a self-cleaning orifice. Unless you have certain diseases or illnesses concerning your reproductive system, you don’t have to clean your vagina beyond warm water and very mild soap.
Always ask your doctor before douching.
So why do women douche?
Depending on whom you ask, women have different reasons for douching. The practice is most prevalent in the United States where African-American and Hispanic women say they do it because their mothers taught them. Caucasian women, on the other hand, usually douche because of television advertisements.
If you still feel strongly about vaginal douching and want to know more, we urge you to consult your OB Gynecologist about how this practice can affect you as a healthy, reproductive female.
Do you have any insights about douching? Leave us a comment and let’s discuss!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dana Santos
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