Vaginal Douche (Douching) (cont.)
In this Article
- What is douching?
- Why do women douche?
- How common is douching?
- Is douching safe?
- What are the dangers linked to douching?
- Should I douche to clean inside my vagina?
- What is the best way to clean my vagina?
- Should I douche to get rid of vaginal discharge, pain, itching, or burning?
- Can douching after sex prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
- Can douching after sex stop me from getting pregnant?
- Can douching hurt my chances of having a healthy pregnancy?
What are the dangers linked to douching?
Research shows that women who douche regularly have more health problems than women who do not. Doctors are still unsure whether douching causes these problems. Douching may simply be more common in groups of women who tend to have these issues. Health problems linked to douching include:
- Vaginal irritation
- Bacterial vaginosis (vaj-uh-NOH-suhs) (BV)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Some STIs, BV, and PID can all lead to serious problems during pregnancy. These include infection in the baby, problems with labor, and early delivery.
Should I douche to clean inside my vagina?
No. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests women avoid douching completely. In most cases the vagina's acidic environment self-cleans the vagina. If there is a strong odor or irritation it usually means something is wrong. Douching can increase your chances of infection. The only time you should douche is when your doctor tells you to.
What is the best way to clean my vagina?
Most doctors say it's best to let your vagina clean itself. This occurs naturally when it produces mucous mucous. The mucous washes away blood, semen, and vaginal discharge. You should know that even healthy, clean vaginas may have a mild odor.
Keep the outside of your vagina clean and healthy by washing regularly with warm water and mild soap when you bathe. You should also avoid scented tampons, pads, powders, and sprays. These products may increase your chances of getting a vaginal infection and irritation.
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