In French, the term Douche Translates to “washing with water” or to “absorb,” and attributes to the practice of washing or rinsing out the vaginal area with water or some other solution.
Douche sets are accessible at majority drug or grocery stores, and are sold in containers that grant the user to spray the solution inside of the vagina through a hose or nozzle. Douche solutions most often consist of a water-based that can also include vinegar, baking soda, iodine, and some type of perfume or fragrance of some sort.
Scientists conclude that 15-45% of American women between the ages of 16 and 45 douche on a daily basis. About half of these women douche weekly.
But is douching valuable for them? Absolutely not! Many experts claim that douching has no purpose and can create even more complications for women.
The Hindrance of Douching
The vagina is an organ that cleans itself. The walls of the vagina and the cervix constitute a tiny amount of mucous that transfers menstrual blood, matured cells, and other things out of the vagina. Specialized bacteria in the vagina also assist to ward off infections caused by other organisms normally not found in the vagina. The typical acidic status of the vagina is also crucial for reducing the risk of infections. The healthy vagina serve as a polished, fragile system that douching can easily throw out of balance.
Douching gets rid of the good bacteria in the vagina whose job is to fight off vaginal infections. Up till the mid-20th century, it was commonly used for medical treatment before realizing it was causing more harm than good.
Absurdly, though most women still thinks that douching will “clean out” the vagina, douching in reality increases the risk of bacterial colonies and related vaginal infections. Furthermore, douching can also account for pre-existing vaginal infections to journey deeper into the woman’s reproductive system, pushing the infection straight into the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. New studies have even found that the chances of a woman contracting an STD are increased with douching.
Tales About Douching
So, why are women still douching? Research concludes that it may be due to a number of tales that are still out there. These tales include:
- Douching is “sterile,” and should be a routine process when cleaning out the vagina. Again, that is not true. When a woman douche, the process will wash away blood from her period and other matter, as well as reverse the acidity environment of the vagina making her more susceptible to bacterial infections.
- Douching eliminates bad odors from the vagina. As a matter of fact, douching only acts as a disinfectant—meaning that it shields odors, but does not make them disappear. A strange vaginal odor may be the sign of an infection “down there” or an STD. Be sure to talk to your doctor as soon as possible to start a treatment plan. Also be mindful that it’s normal for your vagina to have a mild odor and that it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are “not clean.”
- Douching can prevent you from becoming pregnant or become contaminated with an STD. Douching does not wash off semen out of the vagina after intercourse or prevent one from becoming pregnant. Douching however has been associated with infertility and a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is serious and potentially life threatening because the fetus is developing outside of the uterus (mostly fallopian tube). As if this wasn’t enough, douching can also increase a woman’s chance of having a baby who is under-weight.
- Bacterial infection can be minimized with douching. Unfortunately, infections in the vagina can be further spread up the pelvic cavity. Your doctor may also have a hard time treating your infection since douching disturbs the vaginal environment.
Remember that the vagina has built-in abilities to clean itself out. Experts agree that douching is worthless and in many cases, may even cause an adverse reaction.