A vaginal douche is the process of cleansing the vagina with water or some other fluid. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that a douche is similar to an enema except that the fluid is forced into the vagina instead of the anus. Douching solutions are available in the market along with the required apparatus. Saline water, water plus vinegar or chemical solutions are also often used to douche. Women who douche do it for various reasons. Most of the reasons are either myths or misinformation. There is no real reason why you should be douching.

Why Women Douche?

Cleansing: Some women douche regularly to cleanse the vagina and feel “cleaner”. But your vagina is a self cleansing organ and does not require any external cleansing.

Rinse Away Blood: Some women douche to rinse away the menstrual blood after a period. It may also be done to avoid penal contact with blood during intercourse while menstruating.

Contraception: It is a myth that douching after intercourse can rid you of the risk of getting pregnant. Douching does reduce the chances of pregnancy, but it does not completely eliminate the risk.

STDs: Sometimes women think that they can reduce the risk of contracting STDs by douching immediately after intercourse. But again, this is just a myth and has no scientific basis or reality to it.

Fix Bad Odor: Vaginal discharge can often cause severe and obnoxious odor. But this happens due to yeast or bacterial infections. Douching can only treat the odor temporarily. But the infection stays and may worsen due to douching.

Is Douching Good?

Medical experts advise women against douching for various reasons.

Douching can disturb the delicate chemical balance of the vagina. This makes a woman more prone to infections. Any bacteria or fungi introduced into the vagina through douching can even spread to the cervix, uterus, tubes and ovaries. Thus the entire reproductive tract is at risk.

Douching also reduces the chance of getting pregnant in a particular month by around 30%. This reduced fertility can be a big problem for women who may be trying to conceive. The lack of information and “cleanliness” myths may do a lot of harm to women.

It has also been found that regular douching may lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. PID can lead to infertility and may even prove to be fatal if not treated properly. If a woman is pregnant, PID may cause harm to the fetus or may lead to preterm delivery.

Experts advise that douching is completely unnecessary and uncalled for. It usually does more harm than good. A woman’s vagina is self cleansing and needs no help to clean itself. So to reduce the risk of infections and other complications, douching should be avoided.

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