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Should you douche

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Log in with your Medical News Today account to create or edit your custom homepage, catch-up on your opinions notifications and set your newsletter preferences. Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Many women use a douche to try to get rid of vaginal odor and believe that doing so helps to keep the vagina clean. While Should you douche many as 1 in 5 women between 15 and 44 years old are thought to practice douching regularly, it can have unpleasant and even dangerous consequences.

Vaginal douching involves filling a bottle or bag with water and squirting this upward into Should you douche vagina. Women sometimes choose to mix the water with other fluids, such as vinegar, or to buy douching products that may contain ingredients, such as baking soda, iodine, antiseptics, or fragrance.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology state that women should not use douches. The vaginal flora is the bacteria in the vagina.

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This keeps the vagina healthy and prevents Should you douche. A woman's vagina is 'self-cleaning' and can maintain the correct pH balance without interference. Douching can remove good bacteria from the vagina.

Using a douche can change its pH balance, allow bad bacteria to multiply, and infections, irritations, raw skin, and more severe complications to occur.

Douching can cause more harm than good. The potential for complications, some of which may be severe, is dependent on the reasons a woman decides to douche in the first place. Douching is not a valid form of contraception. However, using a douche can make it more difficult for a woman Should you douche is trying to conceive. There is a common misconception that douching can help prevent vaginal infections or get rid of them.

However, the opposite is true. Douching regularly can increase a Should you douche chances of developing a vaginal infection.

Disrupting the vagina's natural pH balance can result in yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.

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In fact, women who douche are five times more likely to develop vaginosis than those who do not. Using a douche when an infection is already present is also more likely to make it worse and spread to other parts of the reproductive system. Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection. It affects the reproductive organs and can reduce a woman's chances of getting pregnant.

Women who douche regularly increase their risk of PID Should you douche 73 percent.

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Cervicitis occurs when the cervix becomes irritated or inflamed, and it can cause itching, pain, and vaginal discharge. It is another condition that is usually contracted via a sexually transmitted infection.

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However, douching also increases the risk. While a natural vaginal odor and some vaginal discharge are both perfectly healthy, it is essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a more serious problem. A woman's vagina is self-cleaning and will get rid of semen, menstrual blood, and other bodily fluids on its own. Cleaning with Should you douche douche or any hash or disruptive cleaning method is likely to cause damage to the vagina, which in some cases, could be severe.

A woman who is worried about vaginal odor or abnormal discharge Should you douche contact her doctor to discuss the issue. Using a douche to eliminate these concerns could mask underlying issues and may lead to more severe complications if left untreated.

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Keeping the vagina clean is simple. The easiest way is by washing with Should you douche when bathing or showering. A non-fragranced wash can be used, or one designed for vaginal use that will not upset the natural pH balance of the vagina. When washing, a person should gently hold the outer folds of the vagina back and rinse or splash with water. Do not scrub the area and avoid getting soap or washes inside the vagina. If using a wash, the individual should make sure Should you douche rinse thoroughly afterward and gently pat dry with a clean towel.

Every woman's vaginal odor is different, and activities such as sex and exercise can change how the vagina smells. By following the above advice, the pH balance and good bacteria in the vagina should remain undisturbed, and infections and odors are less likely to occur. Article last reviewed by Thu 22 February All references are available in the References tab.

Fertility, family planning, and reproductive health of U. Data from the National Survey of Family Growth. National Center for Health Statistics.

Vital Health Statistics23 Should you douche Common problems of the cervix. Keeping your vagina clean and healthy. Factors associated with frequent vaginal douching among alternative school youth [Abstract].

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Journal of Adolescent Health41 5 Evidence for risks or benefits to women's health. Epidemiologic Reviews24 2 Use of feminine hygiene products and STI risk among young women [Abstract]. The Journal of Sexual Medicine6 5 What every woman needs to know. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media.

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