September 23, 2022

To Douche or not to Douche?

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What is vaginal douching?

Vaginal douching, simply known as “douching,” is a method to wash the vagina. Generally, a mixture of water and vinegar is used, but the fluid can contain antiseptics and fragrances if purchased at a drug store. The methodology is relatively simple – the solution is sprayed upward into the vagina using a tube.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, a department in the U.S. federal government, 1 in 5 women between the ages of 15 and 44 douche. Reasons for douching range from eliminating unpleasant odors, washing away menstrual blood and semen, and avoiding sexually transmitted infections. This practice, however, is not recommended by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Douching Can Cause Complications

Douching can cause a number of complications. First, it increases the risk for vaginal infections, including bacterial vaginosis, due to the disturbance of the vaginal flora and natural acidity. In addition, there is an increased risk for transmission of sexually transmitted infections. These increased risks can lead to further complications like preterm labor, pelvic inflammatory disease, and ectopic pregnancy. In fact, though the mechanism is not known, douching has also been related to an increased risk for cervical cancer!

What’s the verdict? Douching isn’t recommended!

It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

-Written by Paavana Varanasi


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