More than half the population of women use a vaginal douche. There’s usually a much higher percentage of “douchers” among the African-Americans, teenagers and hispanics. It is said that it (douching) makes them feel and smell fresh down there. Some other women say they use a douche after sex to wash away semen and avoid getting pregnant . Some even say they use it after their menstrual periods. Long and short is, people think douching is a good thing and why shouldn’t they? What could possibly be so wrong about making sure your vagina feels and smells fresh?
What exactly is Douching?
“Douche” is a French word that means to wash or to soak. It’s the name given to a method of washing the vagina, usually done with different substances or mixtures. Simply put, vaginal douching is a method of cleaning the vagina which involves the use of mixtures and products to get rid of odours. These mixtures usually contain vinegar ,baking soda or iodineas a result of their antibacterial properties. The ones sold in stores contain other antiseptics and fragrances, with the idea that it would help the vagina smell better. They usually come in fancy containers with a tube-like part for spraying upward into the vagina. Although douching appears harmless, it is warned against by all medical experts. This is as a result of a lot of its ineffectiveness in what it’s been famed to be used for. They say contrary to popular opinion, it indeed is harmful and comes with lots of potential risks. Its burning and irritations alongside some complications which we will see below. These complications they say, could aggravate whatever it is you were douching to avoid ,e.g foul odour. Still, are they just bluffing? Douching can’t be utterly useless right? Well, let’s find out
Why Do People Douche?
Douching is said to have a few pros. However, it is important you know that these said pros are not confirmed by any scientific research. You may have heard some of them or douche for those reasons as well. Time has been taken to find out some of the reasons people douche. They’re stated below:
To Feel Clean
Douches are made to clean the vagina easily. It is not hard to see why they’re used then. With its properties, you’re bound to feel cleaner and much fresher inside.
To Get Rid of Bad Odour and Smell Better
Vaginal douches usually come with beautiful fragrances. This is to get rid of the bad vaginal odour and give your vagina a sweeter smell thereby boosting your confidence.
Makes Vaginal Washing Easier
As a result of the douche’s antiseptic properties along with other chemicals and fragrances, vaginal washing is made easier. It especially comes in handy when you need to wash off menstrual blood and not feel disgusted.
It is true that the above are reasonable enough. However, what do the medical experts say about douching? We’ll find out. Some of these points will open your eyes to just how much damage you might be causing.
Why Douching Is Risky
Your vagina has a bacterial balance that is completely natural. It is known as the normal flora of the vagina. Normally, in the natural bacterial balance of the vagina, the good/healthy bacteria is usually more than the harmful bacteria. Whatever upsets this natural order will be doing more harm than good. This is what is so wrong about douching. It tends to wipe out the healthy bacteria that keeps the vagina protected. The harmful bacteria on the other hand begins to flourish as they’re introduced. This could be likened to an attack on the immune system that makes the body defenseless against infections and diseases. With the flourishing of the harmful bacteria comes bacterial infections. This is ironic because people douche to feel and smell fresh, but with bacterial infections gaining grounds,you have a more terrible vaginal odour. These infections could sometimes lead to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) is an infection that usually attacks the ovaries,the uterus and the fallopian tubes. The risk of this infection doubles the more you continuouly douche.
Cervical cancer is a kind of cancer that affects the cervix. The risk if developing this complication could skyrocket as a result of douching. This is the case especially if you douche at least once every week.
According to research, it was found that the majority of women who engaged in douching more than once a week had more issues getting pregnant compared to those who did not engage in douching at all. This is ironic as people erroneouly douche to avoid getting pregnant. It is sad that conceiving becomes a problem when it’s time to conceive.
According to studies, the ones who eventually conceive have more pregnancy complications. An example is ectopic pregnancy. It is a kind of pregnancy complication in which eggs fertilized remain outside of the uterus. Most of them are usually found in the fallopian tube. Women who engage in douching have greater risks of having such complications.
With all of these, you have seen that douching is not as glamorous as it is made to look. Infact, it is downright unsafe, its cons outweigh its pros. If you have been douching, you’ve been doing yourself more harm than good.
How Then Do I Cleanse My Vagina?
It is likely that you have asked this question. Don’t worry, we’re not leaving you aloof. There are much easier and safer ways to clean your vagina without douching. The safest and easiest way is to simply wash with clean water. If you’re going to use a soap, make sure it’s not heavily scented. A soap with a mild scent is just right. Using chemicals and fragrances could cause irritations to your vaginal skin as it is extremely sensitive.
Here’s how to conduct a simple wash:
- Spread out your vaginal lips using your left hand, more specifically your index finger and thumb such that it forms a V.
- Using warm water, splash the area a few times. Then wash with your hands. You could use a mild scented soap too, but make sure you do not use soap that is heavily scented.
- It’s best you use your hands to do the scrubbing as harsh materials could cause harm to the vaginal area, its skin is delicate.
- Avoid letting soap get into the vagina. If you’re using a soap,do so only for the skin surrounding the vagina.
- Rinse the area gently with water until you’ve gotten rid of the soap. Afterwards use a clean towel to pat dry.