Douching: More Harmful Than Helpful
TUESDAY, April 2, 2019 -- Douching is the age-old practice of using a solution to attempt to clean the vagina, but there's only downsides to it.
Beyond having no proven benefits, douching can cause many health problems, including bacterial and yeast infections. And if you already have a vaginal infection, it can push bacteria up into your reproductive organs, causing pelvic inflammatory disease, which in turn can lead to fertility problems.
Douching has been linked to premature births and ectopic pregnancies. Research has also found that it can double the risk for ovarian cancer in women who had a sister with breast cancer. For all these reasons, doctors have been recommending that women not douche. Yet it's still done by many, including teens. In the United States, almost 20 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 douche.
Why isn't douching needed? The vagina is designed to clean itself naturally. Rinsing the outside area is safe, and warm water might be all you need. In fact, if your skin is very sensitive, using even a mild soap can be irritating. So can all scented products, including tampons and pads, so you might want to avoid them.
If you're douching because of hygiene concerns, know that a mild odor that changes throughout the day is normal. It can even become stronger after exercise, but a quick rinse is still all you need.
On the other hand, a strong and unpleasant odor is often a sign of a health issue, such as an infection. Douching won't correct it and is more likely to make the problem worse, so see your doctor to find out the cause and the right treatment.
© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: April 2019
Read this next
THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2020 -- Breast cancer in men is rare. But because it's not often suspected in men, diagnosis often comes only after a tumor has begun to spread throughout the...
MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2020 -- Young women with cancer are at a high risk for employment and financial consequences, a new study finds. "Our study addresses the burden of employment...
MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2020 -- Research following patients for nearly three decades finds that surgery plus radiation beats surgery alone for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
- Monthly Update Archive
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.