Can douching after sex prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

No. This is a myth. The only way to completely prevent STIs is to not have sex. But practicing safer sex will dramatically decrease your risk of getting these diseases. You can greatly reduce your chances of getting an STI in the following ways:

  • Using latex condoms or female condoms every time you have sex
  • Avoiding contact with sores on the penis or vagina
  • Preventing the exchange of semen, blood, and vaginal secretions
Angela Lowery
Family Medicine

No. Douching after sex cannot prevent sexually transmitted infections. In fact douching after sex may increase your risk of getting STIs, by pushing bacteria further up into the reproductive tract.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.