While douching isn’t as popular or well known as it has been in decades past, it still exists. In French, “douche” means “wash” or “soak”. Douching is a method of cleaning the vagina, usually with a water and vinegar mixture. A douche comes in either a bag or bottle and is sprayed up into the vagina through a tube. Most douches sold contain fragrances and antiseptics.
There is very little scientific evidence that links to any health benefit that results from douching. Any evidence that has been shown, comes with a downside. On the other hand, some women say they feel more clean after douching.
The risks and disadvantages of douching outweigh profoundly outweigh any benefits. Here are a few problems associated with using a douche:
Infections – Vaginal infections (bacterial vaginosis) can be caused by douching because the natural balance of vaginal flora (bacteria in the vagina) is disrupted. According to studies, women who put a stop to douching were not as likely to have bacterial vaginosis.
Issues with pregnancy – Women who douche once per week or more experience more difficulty becoming pregnant than those who do not douche. The risk of ectopic pregnancy (when the embryo implants outside the uterus) is increased by up to 76 percent in women who douche. The more a woman douches, the greater her risk.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – This is when the uterus, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries are infected. Research shows a possible 73 percent higher risk of PID in women who douche.
Cervical cancer – A link has been discovered between douching at least once a week and an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.
As you can see, there are plenty of disadvantages that are associated with using a vaginal douche. According to health experts, you should not douche. It’s normal to have some vaginal odor and if it’s too strong of a smell, that might mean you have an infection that needs to be treated. Using warm water and mild soap on the vagina is the best way to maintain cleanliness.