Question

Women's Health

Why do women douche?

A Answers (2)

  • Women douche because they mistakenly believe it gives many benefits. In reality, douching may do more harm than good. Common reasons women give for using douches include:

    To clean the vagina To rinse away blood after monthly periods To get rid of odors from the vagina To avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIS) To prevent pregnancy This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center
  • AMarcy Holmes, MSN, Nursing, answered

    Douching has been marketed to women as something to improve vaginal odor and vaginal health. Women who douche do so because they are fooled to think it is necessary, such as after sex or menstruation or to curb vaginal odors- which is incorrect.

    Studies have shown that Douching can do more harm than good, as it strips away the natural ecosystem and defenses of the vaginal lining and can propel bacteria up thru the cervix and into the uterus, where it does not belong. In the uterus it can cause serious problems and infections.

    I teach women that the vagina is like a “self-cleaning oven” - it should take care of itself! Staying well hydrated, eating a healthy balanced diet, and using key nutrients daily- helps all your body defenses work better, including the vagina!  Using condoms 100% of the time protects you from contact to semen, helps to prevent sexually transmitted infections, and can help keep the vagina in harmony as well. Vaginal discharge or odors can be a sign of bacterial or yeast infection that require evaluation and short term treatments, but not douching.

    After menopause, lower estrogen can also hinder the natural defenses of the vaginal lining, alter the pH and contribute to a prevalence of odor causing bacteria. The remedy for this is to re-estrogenize the vaginal tissue & normalize the pH, both often achieved with just localized low potency estrogen therapy a couple times a week.

    If you think you need to Douche, don’t!  If you have a discharge or odor, see your local Nurse Practitioner or Physician for a proper evaluation, help is available.

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