Douching, as the name suggests, is a practice that is to get water or other liquids into the vagina to “clean it up”, using a tube with a nozzle or an enema bulb. Women who use this technique mistakenly believe that it guarantees them a clean and odorless vagina, especially after the end of the period, or that it prevents sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies after an intercourse.
Dangers of douching
Although gynecologists strongly advise against this practice, 25% of women worldwide still use it, unaware that they endangering their health. Indeed, the vagina is made to clean itself naturally through its acidity and its microorganisms, known as vaginal flora.
So by injecting water or any other substance intended to clean or neutralize its natural smells, its balance is disturbed and its protection against various bacterial infections is no longer effective. Even worse, douching can irritate your vagina and spread the infection to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, causing damage to your reproductive system and causing difficulty getting pregnant (fertility reduction).
Most importantly, it has been scientifically proven that douching doubles the risk of ovarian cancer. This cancer shows no symptoms in its early stages, it remains difficult to diagnose, which earned the nickname a “silent killer.”
Douching and the increased risk of ovarian cancer
According to a study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences researchers in the United States, and whose results were published in the Journal of Epidemiology in 2013, the practice of douching increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
This study included 41.000 American and Puerto Rican women aged 35 to 74, some of which had a family history of cancer. Initially, all women showed no health problem. A year later, 154 of them were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, with a double incidence among those who practiced douching and even increased risk for those with a family history.
According Clarice Veinberg of Environmental Health Reaserch Institute in South Carolina, douching is a completely useless practice and does not in any case play the role of contraception or protection against sexually transmitted infections.
Some tips for taking care of the personal hygiene
To take care of your private parts and avoid the damage that such practices can cause, here are some tips:
– Use only warm water for washing.
– Choose a natural soap to use occasionally to prevent vaginal dryness due to too frequent use.
– Banish scented and aggressive chemicals that disrupt vaginal flora.
– Wear cotton underwear of adequate size, which absorb sweat and prevent the growth of bacteria.
– Daily change the underwear to reduce the risk of bacterial growth and infections.
– Consult a gynecologist in case of redness, irritation or strange discharges… and avoid self-medication.