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Douching: More Harmful Than Helpful

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Douching is the age-old practice of using a solution to attempt to clean the vagina, but there's only downsides to it.

Beyond having no proven benefits, douching can cause many health problems, including bacterial and yeast infections. And if you already have a vaginal infection, it can push bacteria up into your reproductive organs, causing pelvic inflammatory disease, which in turn can lead to fertility problems.

Douching has been linked to premature births and ectopic pregnancies. Research has also found that it can double the risk for ovarian cancer in women who had a sister with breast cancer. For all these reasons, doctors have been recommending that women not douche. Yet it's still done by many, including teens. In the United States, almost 20 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 douche.

Why isn't douching needed? The vagina is designed to clean itself naturally. Rinsing the outside area is safe, and warm water might be all you need. In fact, if your skin is very sensitive, using even a mild soap can be irritating. So can all scented products, including tampons and pads, so you might want to avoid them.

If you're douching because of hygiene concerns, know that a mild odor that changes throughout the day is normal. It can even become stronger after exercise, but a quick rinse is still all you need.

On the other hand, a strong and unpleasant odor is often a sign of a health issue, such as an infection. Douching won't correct it and is more likely to make the problem worse, so see your doctor to find out the cause and the right treatment.

More information

The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more on douching and its hazards.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=743770

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Irrigation
Women
Infection
Neoplasms
Vagina
Ovarian Neoplasms
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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