My mother always told me that douching was not necessary. And she was even against my use of tampons because she didn’t like me “introducing” things into my sensitive parts. (But I still did!) So I pretty much assumed all women knew that douching was old fashioned, unnecessary and maybe even harmful until I saw a douche set in my friend’s bathroom. Apparently, more African women douche than any other race. Why? Go figure. So I read more about douching and I would like to share some myths about it.
Why Women Use Vaginal Douches:
- To rinse away any remaining menstrual blood at the end of the monthly period.
- Some women douche following sexual intercourse to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
- To reduce vaginal odours.
- Women sometimes don’t feel they are clean unless they use vaginal douches regularly.
- Women douche with some concoctions to make them “tighter”.
- Women douche to dry them up so there is more friction during sex to satisfy men.
The last two points were obtained from speaking to some prostitutes at a brothel in Accra. Oh and boy do they douche with weird things! Try disinfectant and hot water! Before I digress, the point here isn’t that women should not douche with particular things. The point is that women should not douche at all. Not. At. All. Even if it’s with the imported “summers eve” or “femfresh” douches etc.
- Douching is neither a contraceptive, or preventative measure against STDs or other infections.
- Women who have an unusual vaginal odour need to see their doctor for proper diagnosis, using a douche may only intensify the problem.
- It has been scientifically proven that the vagina has its own way of cleaning itself by the production of mucous.
- Also when a woman has her period, the vagina cleans itself with the flow of the blood. It’s like washing a clean dress.
- Regular vaginal douching changes the delicate chemical balance of the vagina and can make a woman more susceptible to infections. Douching can introduce new bacteria into the vagina which can spread up through the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Researchers have found that women who douche regularly experience more vaginal irritations and infections such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, and an increased number of sexually transmitted diseases.
For these reasons, douching is no longer recommended as a safe or healthy way to routinely clean the vagina. The only safe and healthy way to clean the vagina is to let the vagina clean itself. The delicate chemical balance of the vagina is very sensitive and easily disrupted by routine vaginal douching.
How does the vagina clean itself?
The vagina cleans itself naturally with its own mucous secretions. When bathing or showering use warm water and gentle unscented soap to cleanse the outer areas of the vagina. Feminine hygiene products such as soaps, powders, and sprays are not necessary and may lead to irritation of sensitive tissues.
What are your thoughts?