Douche is a French term for “wash” or “soak”. It is a method of cleansing your genitalia using a solution of water mixed with another fluid – vinegar, baking soda or some sort of perfume. Nowadays, there are many douches available in drugstores and supermarkets that contain antiseptic and other fragrances. These ingredients could trigger an adverse or allergic reactions that can be harmful for the reproductive health.
Why women douche?
According to medical experts, women douche for they are concerned about odor. A lot of women tell that douching makes them feel fresher and cleaner as it eliminates unpleasant odor and protects them against infection. Health experts reveal that douching is not effective for any of these purposes. In reality, what douches do is they flush out the normal, healthy microbes as well as temporarily changing vagina’s pH level. Doctors warn women that frequent douching may cause them harm than good along the way.
Gynecologists tell that it is normal for female genital to have some odor. Change in odor is also normal because of the nature and intensity brought by women’s menstrual cycle.
Food intake can cause odor down there. Some women notice that when they change their diet or eat garlic, tuna or taking dietary supplement, odor occurs. When they stop eating those food or taking those supplements, the odor fades.
Washing the genital area with soap can decrease its natural odor, so doctors advise women to do it with caution. Washing your genital area with water is the most recommended especially if women are experiencing dryness, itching or burning.
When odor becomes alarming
Some odors can cause health concerns. If these become persistent, too stinky or accompanied by thick, greenish discharge, you may have infection. These odors and accompanying symptoms can arise due to the following conditions: gonorrhea, trichomoniasis or chlamydia.
Odor occurence are not all infection related. It can be caused by bacterial imbalance such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast vaginitis.
For young girls who have not started their periods yet noticed odor, consult your doctor for treatment. Avoid self-medication.
For women who are past their menopause stage and experience vaginal odor, the cause of it can be lack of estrogen. Still, it is better to ask your doctor for accurate diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
What does douching do to female’s reproductive health?
Using douches allows your vagina to be susceptible from developing infections and other illnesses. A study showed that douching during the six months before pregnancy reduced the risk of preterm delivery but the same study revealed that douching during pregnancy was linked to increased risk of preterm birth.
Here are other harmful effects of vaginal douching to female reproductive system.
- It causes vaginal infections.
Douching disrupts the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. When this happens, these changes make the environment more prone to bacterial growth that cause infection. Studies have discovered that women who do not douch were less likely to have vaginal infection. Having vaginal infection increases risk of preterm labor and endometriosis.
- It affects your pelvic.
Women who douche are at high risk of getting pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
- It leads to pregnancy complications.
Women who douche more than once a week are at high risk of having difficult pregnancy or not getting pregnant. Douching may also accelerates your risk of ectopic pregnancy by as much as 76 percent.
- It may cause cervical cancer.
Douching at least once a week has been linked to a possible chance of developing cervical cancer.
Now that you are aware of what douching can do to your vagina, avoid the use of douche to keep it clean. Your vagina cleans itself. The acidity of the vagina naturally controls bacteria so washing it with warm water and mild soap is enough to keep it clean. This helps maintain your vagina’s health in good condition.