Douching

DOUCHING Vaginal douching is washing the vagina with water or a mixture of fluids to eliminate odors and “clean” the vagina. Most often, vinegar is mixed with the water, but some prepackaged douche products contain baking soda or iodine. A few also contain antiseptics and fragrances. > To perform a vaginal douche, a mixture of water and other ingredients is placed in a bottle or bag. The mixture is then sprayed or squirted upward into the vagina. The fluids then wash out of the vagina. Common reasons women report they use a douche include: eliminating unpleasant odors preventing pregnancy washing away menstrual blood after a period or semen after sex avoiding a sexually transmitted infection Douching doesn’t accomplish any of these things. >safety Risks of douching If you douche, you may upset your vagina’s natural environment. You could end up dealing with complications that can be quite severe. These include: Pregnancy problems Women who douche regularly are more likely to experience early childbirth, miscarriage, and other pregnancy complications. Using a douche can also lead to an ectopic pregnancy, and women who use douches may have a difficult time getting pregnant. Infections A healthy balance of bacteria prevents vaginal yeast from overgrowing. Eliminating the natural balance may let yeast flourish. This can lead to a yeast infection. Likewise, a woman who douches is five times more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis than a woman who doesn’t. Some women use douches hoping that washing the vagina will eliminate a vaginal infection. Douching may make an infection worse. Douching while you have a vaginal infection may also spread the infection to other parts of your reproductive system. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that develops in the reproductive organs. Most cases of PID are caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Douching increases a woman’s risk of PID by 73 percent. One in eight women with a history of PID have difficulty getting pregnant. Cervicitis Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix. Like PID, cervicitis is often the result of STIs, but women who douche are also more likely to develop this condition. CLEANING TIPS How to safely clean your vagina The easiest way to clean your vagina is to perform a simple wash during a bath or shower. Soap isn’t necessary, but if you’re going to use one, make sure it’s mild and not heavily scented. Fragrances and chemicals can irritate the sensitive skin of your genitals. With one hand, form a V with your first two fingers to hold back the outside skin and spread out the folds of your vagina. Use warm water to gently splash the area several times. Wash with a mild soap if you want to use it. Don’t scrub the folds harshly, and avoid getting soap inside your vagina. Gently rinse the area with water until all the soap is removed. Using a clean towel, pat the area dry. SEEK HELP When to see a doctor A natural vaginal odor is normal, as is some discharge. A few signs may indicate you have a more serious problem and need to see a doctor. These include: vaginal discharge with a strong smell vaginal discharge that is white or yellow-green vaginal odor that is persistent and doesn’t end after a few days burning, itching, and redness or swelling in or around the vagina pain or discomfort during sex pain during urination PREVENTION How to prevent vaginal odor All vaginas have a natural odor. Each woman’s odor is different, and the natural odor can change over time. Likewise, events like exercise or sex can change your vagina’s natural odor temporarily. Still, you can reduce the risk of developing strong odors with a few simple steps. Practice proper hygiene Gently wash your genitals regularly. Avoid using soaps that could irritate the sensitive skin. Wear breathable fabrics Excess moisture around the genitals and vagina can increase odors and lead to infections. Wear undergarments made from 100 percent cotton, which is breathable and can wick away sweat and other fluids. Satin, silk, and polyester fabrics don’t allow for adequate air flow and may boost bacterial growth. Use deodorizing products carefully Sprays and powders may help mask vaginal odor, but don’t use them inside your vagina. They are only safe on the outside of your vagina. Don’t use harsh cleansers Don’t use harsh cleansers like douches in your vagina. They can upset your vagina’s pH balance and cause irritation and infections. 

Cc: healthline.... 

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