Vaginal douching is a way of washing the vagina with a combination of water and vinegar or a mixture of fluids to clean the vagina. There are packages douches that contain baking soda, fragrances, and in some cases antiseptics. The fluids are placed in a spray bottle and sprayed up the vagina to ‘clean’ it. There are various reasons why people practice vaginal douching. Some people do it to eliminate odors and smells in the vagina, clean the vagina after menstruation or sex, and prevent pregnancies.
Is Vaginal Douching Safe?
Douching can lead to infections or make your vagina prone to infections. Vaginal douching affects the ecosystem of the vagina meaning the pH can be disrupted. This will make you prone to infections. The vagina is self-cleaning, douching can remove healthy bacteria which prevents you from getting infections. Douching does not prevent STIs and pregnancies contrary to popular beliefs.
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Disadvantages of douching
The vagina is self-cleaning. Introducing solutions that disrupt the vaginal pH increases your chances of infections. A change in the pH balance is known to cause bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial Vaginosis is caused by douching because it cleans out good bacteria.
2. Vaginal Dryness
Douching affects the production of mucus in your vagina which causes vaginal dryness.
3. Pregnancy Issues
People who douche more regularly are more likely to get pregnancy complications. Douching can cause ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and pre-term childbirths.
4. Vaginal thrush
Vaginal thrush is caused by the overgrowth of Candida Albicans yeast. The yeast lives naturally in the vagina and vaginal douching can cause it to overgrow causing vaginal thrush.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from your vagina to the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. This can be caused by vaginal douching.
6. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Douching increases the risks and chances of you getting STIs. which furthermore steals your peace of mind. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are some of the STIs that can take a toll on a woman’s reproductive system.
There are safe ways of cleaning the vagina without douching. Here are safe ways of ensuring you have a clean vagina;
1. Personal hygiene
Keep your vagina clean by washing it with lukewarm water. In some instances, you can use a mild soap recommended by a gynecologist. Don’t scrub too harshly either, your vagina is self-cleaning and is delicate.
Wear clean cotton underwear that’s not overly tight. Fabrics like silk and polyester tend to make you sweaty and restrict airflow encouraging the growth of unwanted bacteria and in some instances a foul smell. Cotton underwear helps keep the vaginal area dry by preventing too much moisture.
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