Vaginal douching is done to “Clean” the private parts. It is said to get rid of the unpleasant odor, remove menstrual blood after the period ends and ultimately leaves the woman feeling fresher.
Douching is also known to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and decrease the chances of getting pregnant if it’s done after having sex.
Douche means ‘wash’ or ‘soak’ in French. Vaginal douching is a practice of washing the vagina with water or a mixture of fluids. Most often it’s water mixed with vinegar, baking soda or iodine that is used. A tube is used to spray the fluid upwards into the vagina. There are also douche products available in the market that contain similar ingredients with the addition of fragrances and antiseptics.
It all sounds wonderful and amazing, right? Yet, there are a lot of people who debate that douching is not as safe and frankly not as necessary as it sounds. All of the advantages of douching mentioned above are not scientifically proven, they’re just things that women who practice douching, believe in.
On top of that, the risks of douching outweigh the benefits extensively. A few of them are:
1. Vaginal Infection - Douching will affect the natural environment inside the vagina which will encourage bacterial growth eventually leading to infections.
2. Trouble getting pregnant - Douching frequently decreases the chances of you getting pregnant. It also increases the likelihood of having an ectopic pregnancy by 76%.
3. Pelvic inflammatory disease - Research shows that women who douche have a 73% higher risk of getting PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), which is an infection of the reproductive organs such as uterus, ovaries or the fallopian tubes.
4. Cervical Cancer - Certain studies show that vaginal douching increases the chances of being diagnosed with cervical cancer.
What should you do?
It is not recommended that you douche just so you are “clean”. In fact, vaginas are designed in such a way that they cleanse themselves. The bacteria in your vagina is needed to maintain a healthy pH balance so it’s not advised to do things that might affect this. A little odor is normal, but if you feel a strong smell, it could be an infection. Do get it checked out by your doctor.
Washing your vagina with warm water and a mild soap should suffice to maintain your intimate hygiene.