For many, taking a lot hot bath or a relaxing shower is a great way to unwind after a long day. Not only that, but no one likes to feel dirty or have to deal with the smell of sweat when the sun comes out to play. So, we lather up a bar of soap and wash away all the impurities of the day.
What is Vaginal Douching?
Douching entails using either water or a mixture of water and other ingredients to clean the inside of the vagina. It’s done by placing the fluid into a bottle or device that enables it to squirt upward into the vagina. This fluid is then said to wash out the inside of a woman’s vagina.
So, does this mean that half the population have to start or continue douching in order to keep their lady parts fresh and clean? Actually, no! And here are three important reasons why.
- The Vagina is Self-Cleaning
The wall of a woman’s vagina naturally creates mucous that expels waste (such as period blood and old cells), and special bacteria is formed inside the vagina to prevent infections.
In this way, it’s unnecessary to douche.
- Douching and Bacteria
When a woman uses a douche, a PH imbalance can arise. The vagina is naturally-acidic and douching disrupts this healthy environment.
Additionally, using a douche can remove the bacteria that is produced to fight infection.
And while women pre-20th century believed that douching was the best way to clean the inside of their vagina, many gynaecologists and health experts strongly advise against it.
“I can’t think of any circumstances where douches are helpful, because all they do is wash out everything that’s in the vagina, including all the healthy bacteria,” says Professor Lamont, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
- Douching and the Reproductive System
When a woman uses a douche, they run the risk of spreading existing infections further up into the vagina, which can then cause all kinds of issues with her reproductive organs, such as contracting an infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes, and or the ovaries.
Myths About Douching
Douching can prevent pregnancy
False: When a woman uses a douche, it does not remove semen from the vagina.
Douching will remove bad vaginal odours
False: using a douche acts as a mask for vaginal odours and does not remove them.
In actuality, if a woman finds that she has a strong vaginal odour, it could be a sign of something more serious such as a bladder infection or an STD. In this case, they should seek medical treatment as opposed to douching.
How Can a Woman Clean Her Vagina?
As mentioned, the vagina is self-cleaning. But, one should not ignore washing the outside of the vagina. To do this in a healthy way, use a mild soap and clean only the outside.
It’s also advised to avoid soaps, tampons, pads, sprays and powders that are scented or perfumed.
Can Using a Sex Toy Disrupt the Health of a Woman’s Vagina?
In fact, having a healthy sex life, either in a couple or solo, is a natural and important part of adult life. Using a sex toy, be it a vibrator or a dildo, is a great, fun, and creative way in which to experiment and get to know one’s body.
The only advice we can give you on maintaining optimal vaginal health while using sex toys, is to make sure that you thoroughly clean them after use. This is especially important if you are sharing your toys.
You can do this by using an antibacterial sex toy cleaning spray, soap and warm water, or putting it in the dishwasher (if it is dishwasher-safe).
In short, using a douche has, in no way, been linked to having a healthier vagina.
Adversely, it’s been shown to cause a slew of vaginal problems, and health professionals strongly advise that women avoid doing it.
Rest assured, ladies – your vagina is amazing as is!
Helena Lorimer at JOUJOU