What is Douche (Douching)? Effects, Safety and Alternatives

Might not be a rescue for all your intimate hygiene woes.
People with vaginas often opt for douching. In fact, 1 in every 5 people douche. It makes them feel fresher, cleaner, helps eliminate any unwanted odour and protects against any infections or sexually transmitted diseases. However, almost no doctor recommends douching. Why is that so? And what is "Douching" in the first place? Let’s find out!

Douching is the process of cleaning the vagina. No, it isn’t the external cleansing of the vulva, it is the internal cleansing of the vagina itself. One could do this using various techniques and products like plain water, or water mixed with vinegar, or use various antiseptics or other solutions. It may involve simply washing with a cleaning liquid or it could involve forcing liquid at high pressure into the vagina using a bag which is available in the market for douching. 

You can get premixed douches in the market which contain baking soda, vinegar, antiseptics, and fragrances. It comes in a bag-like bottle and is sprayed through a tube upward into the vagina. The water then comes out of the vagina. 

Depending on the technique and product used, the possible risks of douching will vary. Using plain water and simply rinsing are the safest, yet it is not recommended by most physicians. Douching with any technique where liquid is forced into the vagina is likely to cause the liquid to enter the cervix and up into the uterus.  This method is particularly risky. 

WHY IS DOUCHING BAD FOR YOU?

Even though many people swear by this method of keeping their vagina clean, there is little to no evidence that douching is beneficial. 

Douching can disturb the natural balance of the bacteria and pH of the vagina which can lead to severe problems like Bacterial Vaginosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, pregnancy complications, vaginal irritation or dryness, STI’s, and sometimes, cancer. 

The imbalance in the natural pH and flora of the vagina is known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). People that douche are five times more likely to develop a BV than people that do not. 

Douching can also lead to pregnancy complications like having trouble conceiving, ectopic pregnancy and preterm birth. 

Pelvic Inflammatory disease causes the reproductive organs to swell up and is an infection linked to infertility. Douching can force microorganism into the vagina which can cause inflammation and eventually lead to secondary infertility. In fact, douching is a major cause for secondary infertility. Secondary infertility is when a couple who conceived earlier is no longer able to conceive. 

So why do so many people choose to douche despite it being so harmful? 

People often choose to douche because they believe it’s beneficial, that it protects against infections and STDs, prevents unwanted pregnancy, cleans leftover period blood or they’re just concerned about the ‘odour’. While some odour and discharge are normal, if it gets too strong, if it is persistent, fishy accompanied by thick discharge and/or pain, you might have an infection. 

So how should you wash and clean your pubic region to keep it fresh and free of odour?

Opt for a mild, fragrance free, pH balanced intimate wash like Pee safe’s Natural Intimate wash. This wash is enriched with Tea tree oil, Lactic Acid, Witch Hazel extracts, and Palasa which help soothe, rejuvenate, and protect the delicate region. It is recommended to use the wash twice to keep yourself absolutely free of any odour!

Another great way to prevent infections and odours is to use Pee safe’s Natural intimate wipes to clean the area during the day or after using the toilet. The wipes too, like the wash are pH balanced and are free of Alcohol, SLS and Parabens. 

Maintaining proper hygiene is a must if one wishes to lead a healthy life. So, choose the correct method to keep yourself clean and… don’t douche, just rinse! 

 

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