Vaginal cleansing is essentially vulvar cleansing. Cleaning down there should include the external parts, such as the vulvar area, clitoral hood, the creases between the thighs, and THOSE lips. Douching is the actual act of cleaning out the vagina (the internal part) by using water or a mixture of fluids. Douching products sold in stores contain, but are not limited to, vinegar, water, sodium chloride, sodium benzoate, and citric acid. The douche comes in a bag or bottle with a tube or nozzle that is inserted in the vagina. The douche mixture is squirted into the vagina and then flows out of the vagina. But is douching safe? Doctors have found no benefits to douching and do not recommend it for any reason.

For good reasons, you should avoid anyone who recommends douching to clean or ‘cure’ infections. Here is why douching is bad for you. By douching (cleaning the inside of the vagina), good bacteria and yeast that help protect the vagina and maintain its pH balance are disturbed. When this occurs, ‘Down There” becomes prone to yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, vaginal infections, and sexually transmitted infections. So it is best to stay clear of any douching products and avoid the health issues that come with it.

In the early 19th century, douching was popular amongst women. There were not many studies that opposed it or advised women about the health risks douching posed. Though fewer women douche now, according to the Office on Women’s Health, “one in five women in the US between the ages of 15-44 years old douche”. Those who douche, even if done infrequently, are paving the way for many health risks. Infections are some of the problems that arise with douching because it disrupts the vaginal flora and the acidity. However, douching can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, preterm birth, ectopic pregnancy, HIV, and vaginal dryness.

Simply put, the vagina is a self-cleansing organ. It cleans itself through the mucous that it secretes and gets rid of vaginal discharge, blood, and semen. Often, when something “down there” is disturbed, the vaginal discharge will give a hint. Most women are aware of what their normal vaginal discharge looks and smells like before and after menstruation. The bacteria in the vagina maintains the acidic environment that keeps it healthy. When women douche, they may end up with an overgrowth of bacteria, resulting in different vaginal infections and other disorders. Some people douche because they have an infection and hope to “flush out” the bacteria with the mixture. But in reality, by douching, the bacteria is pushed into the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. Douching may lead to serious health complications like pelvic inflammatory disease. To restore your vagina's pH balance and bacterial flora, try using natural vaginal probiotics.

When looking for cures to cure vaginal infections or finding relief for vaginal issues, always check with your physician about what to do. Douching is not a solution; it is a problem. Avoid it at all costs!

The Office on Women’s Health. (2009, April 1). Douching. U.S Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Written by Kushae Health
August 11, 2021

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.