Douching Does More Harm Than Good


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Douching Does More Harm Than Good

Due largely to societal expectations and pressure from the media, douching was once considered a healthy, hygienic practice. However, current medical evidence emphasizes that douching may actually increase a woman’s chance of vaginal infection.

Most women who douche claim it to be a necessary aspect of good hygiene. Douching is often practiced before and after *** intercourse. Some women douche after their menstrual cycle, and many use it as a means of covering up odor. It is always done with the intent to cleanse, yet in many cases, douching can actually make a woman more susceptible to odor-causing diseases. In other words, douching can cause the very problems it is intended to fix.

The bacteria which naturally exist in a woman’s vagina keep it healthy and fight infection. Douching removes all of these bacteria, destroying the vagina’s defense mechanism against dangerous bacteria (pathogens). When they are removed, the vagina may become more susceptible to pathogenic bacteria, leading to conditions like bacterial vaginosis. Additionally, douching may transport these pathogens farther up the vaginal cavity, which can lead to infection of the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, or abdominal cavity. Several studies of women with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) showed that frequent douching was prevalent among them. PID often causes scarring in the upper reproductive tract; this scarring is one of the chief causes of ectopic pregnancies, early miscarriages, and infertility.

Many women are unaware that some vaginal discharge and odor are normal. Vaginal discharge removes old cells and keeps the vagina healthy and clean. During ovulation, discharge may become thicker. As long as the discharge is clear or milky and does not have an extremely strong odor, it is completely normal.

The best preventative measures a woman can take against vaginal infection include:

  • Only use mild soap and water to wash the vagina

  • Frequently change tampons, pads, and panty liners

  • Select cotton underwear, or underwear with a cotton crotch

  • Do not wear tight clothing or clothing which traps moisture and sweat (swimsuits, exercise pants) for long periods of time

  • See a gynecologist on a regular basis

    Helpful information on vaginal health may be found at

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