What is douching?
For the uninitiated douching means cleaning something or washing something by using a spray or jet of water or any other sort of fluid material. Douche means soaking or washing. Therefore vaginal douching is basically a manual procedure where water or any fluid like iodine or even in some cases vinegar are squirted inside the female genitalia with some kind of tube or nozzle with the intentions of cleaning the inside vaginal walls. This slightly complex procedure is quite common in females between the ages of 20 and 44 who lead an active sex life.
This form of intra-vaginal cleansing methods, despite being so popular has a lot of misconceptions attached to it. One of the most common among them is the fact that douching of the vagina right after unprotected sex would be successful in preventing unwanted pregnancy. This is also the reason why it is used so widely. However this is a myth. Another very widely asked question is that can you douche when you are pregnant? The affects of douching while carrying a baby in the womb can have numerous health effects which is why the doctors tend to advice against douching of vagina while a woman is pregnant. Instead they suggest using vaginal medicated washes which work on the surface without coming in any sort of contact with the womb.
Not only this, there are a number of other effects that can take place in a woman’s body while practicing vaginal douching. Doctors have over the years suggested that douching is not to be used as a means of contraception or prevention of pregnancy. This method has almost zero effectiveness. Moreover douching your vagina can be counter effective since it can at times lead to infection of the vagina. This infection happens mostly because douching with fluids like iodine can hamper or kill the good microorganisms living inside the vagina (known as vaginal fauna) which fight against infections. It is found b researchers that women who douche are more likely to have vaginal healthy issues than women who do not. And to answer the question can you douche while pregnant, it has been discovered that douching of vagina during pregnancy severely affects the baby’s health as well. Douching increases the risk of the mother going into labor and delivering the baby early. This consequently has a negative effect on the baby’s health as well. More often than not, it is seen that women who douche regularly also have a harder time in conceiving a baby.
Other than the effects given above, vaginal douching also increases the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease or STD and sexually transmitted Infections (STI) and even in cases some fatal diseases. Also douching can lead to severe inflammation of the pelvis and vagina and irritation or unusual drying of the interiors of the vagina.
So it is always advisable for women to do a thorough research before practicing any procedure to maintain vaginal hygiene. This would not only prevent any future problems but also ensure good vaginal health, which is indeed very important.