The practice of douching is a fairly common vaginal cleansing method among women today. Vaginal douches are used by up to 40% of women ages 15-44. According to rumor, douching freshens the vagina, demolishes odors, prevents pregnancy, guards against STIs, and generally leaves you with that “clean feeling.”
While douching is popular today, the practice is nothing new and has been around for a few decades. In fact, back in the early 20th century, the most popular douching solution was Lysol, which at the time contained the poisonous chemical cresol. Today, douching is a method of washing out the vagina with a solution of water and some cleansing agent like vinegar, iodine or baking soda. The solution is then squirted into the vagina with a syringe or nozzle.
What’s the Deal with Douching?
As refreshing as it may feel down there after douching, this cleansing method can actually create serious health problems for women. Douching offsets the natural PH balance in your vagina, which is normally a slightly acidic environment that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria and is unfavorable to harmful bacteria.
Water alone has a higher PH balance than your vagina, but combined with the chemicals, douching raises the PH levels and allows harmful bacteria to grow where it shouldn’t.
Women react differently to elevated PH levels in their vagina, but typically it can result in an increased risk of:
- Yeast Infections
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Vaginal Dryness
- Unpleasant Odors
Read our article on the dangers of douching to learn more.
Cleansing Without Douching
Amazingly, your vagina can clean itself naturally, and douching by spraying harsh chemicals into the sensitive tissue in your body is actually quite disrupting to the natural process. Simply washing the surface of your vagina with warm water, a wash cloth, and mild soap should do the trick to make you feel fresh and clean. Let your body naturally flush out the rest.
If you feel that something is abnormal and you’re constantly dealing with a strong odor, discolored discharge, burning or swelling, these could be signs of a vaginal infection. Don’t hesitate to contact your OB/GYN and to help determine the problem.
If you’re in the Lake City/ Gainesville area, contact our compassionate care professionals today. We’re here to help in any way we can whether by appointment or through our online blog and knowledge center.