4 Dangers of Using a Homemade Douche
It’s extremely important to take care of your vagina, but is douching an appropriate precaution? The dangers of using a homemade douche and douching in general can be very serious.
One way people try to cleanse their vaginas is through vaginal douching. This is when one washes the inside using a mix of water and fluids. This is to help eliminate odors and further “cleaning” the vagina.
Usually, vinegar is mixed with water, with prepackaged douche products containing ingredients like baking soda, iodine, or even antiseptics and fragrances.
This is a common cleaning method, with one in five women between 15-44 years old using douches, some even homemade, regularly.
Dangers of Homemade Douches
Many women choose to use a vaginal douche as a way to “cleanse” their vagina and rid it of odors. Others believe that douching can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), rinse away blood from periods, and prevent pregnancy and infections. This is untrue.
Douching isn’t necessary to further clean your vagina, nor will it protect you from STDs or pregnancy.
In fact, the dangers of homemade douche may be even more severe. This is why the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology does not recommend the use of any douching products. The vagina needs a healthy pH balance and is naturally filled with critical bacteria, known as vaginal flora. These bacteria helps prevent irritation and stop infections.
When you reduce the healthy bacteria in the vagina, then the problematic bacteria might flourish, leading to serious complications.
Here are the specific risks associated with vaginal douching:
1. Pregnancy Issues
Those who douche regularly have more of a chance to experience pregnancy complications, including miscarriage or early childbirth. It may also lead to ectopic pregnancies or difficulty in conceiving.
As mentioned, a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina can prevent vagina yeast from overgrowing. When you eliminate this natural pH balance, the yeast would flourish, causing yeast infections.
Those who douche are 5 times more likely to develop infections like bacterial vaginosis compared to women who don’t douche.
And for those who believe that washing the vagina can eliminate infection, it can actually worsen it. By douching, you could be spreading the bacteria to other parts of the reproductive system.
3. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This is an infection that would develop in your reproductive organs, usually caused by STDs. Using a douche can increase the risk of this disease by 73%, and may also hinder your success conceiving.
Cervicitis is the inflammation of the cervix, also caused by STDs. But women who douche are also more susceptible to develop cervicitis. It may also cause vaginal irritation, among other uncomfortable pain.
Wrapping It Up
While douching is a common practice, it isn’t something you should do, as there are more negatives than benefits. With many experts advising against douching, it’s best to stay away from the practice. Talk to your Gynecologist to learn how to clean your vagina properly and safely.
If you have questions or want to share tips in cleaning your vagina, do share them in the comments section below.