Is douching safe?

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Douching has been a common practice for feminine hygeine for centuries. When used after menses or intercourse it should not be harmful. Douching can be harmful if a patient has an STD or bacterial vaginosis. In these situations the fluid can "push" the abnormal bacteria into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause a severe infection that could lead to infertility. I recommend my patients to only use vinegar and water douche.
To "d" or not to "d" -- that is the question that obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher answers in this video in which she explains why douching can be dangerous.

Most doctors and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest that women steer clear of douching. All healthy vaginas contain some bacteria and other organisms called the vaginal flora. The normal acidity of the vagina keeps the amount of bacteria down. But douching can change this delicate balance. This may make a woman more prone to vaginal infections. Plus, douching can spread existing vaginal infections up into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information.

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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.