Douche usually refers to vaginal irrigation, the rinsing of the vagina, but it can also refer to the rinsing of any body cavity. A douche bag is a piece of equipment for douching—a bag for holding the fluid used in douching.To avoid transferring intestinal bacteria into the vagina, the same bag must not be used for an enema and a vaginal.
Douching after sexual intercourse is not an effective form of birth control. Additionally douching is associated with a number of health problems (cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometritis, and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections) and thus is not recommended
Vaginal douches may consist of water, water mixed with vinegar, or even antiseptic chemicals. Douching has been touted as having a number of supposed but unproven benefits. In addition to promising to clean the vagina of unwanted odors, it can also be used by women who wish to avoid smearing a sexual partner's penis with menstrual blood while having Sexual intercourse during menstruation. In the past, douching was also used after intercourse as a method of birth control, though it is not effective (see below).
Many health-care professionals state that douching is dangerous, as it interferes with both the vagina's normal self-cleaning and with the natural bacterial culture of the vagina, and it might spread or introduce infections. Douching is implicated in a wide variety of dangers,
including: adverse pregnancy outcomes including ectopic pregnancy, low birth weight, preterm labor, preterm birth, and chorioamnionitis; serious gynecologic outcomes, including increased risk of cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometritis, and increased risk for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; it also predisposes women to develop bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is further associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.
- the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services strongly discourages douching.
- citing the risks of irritation, bacterial vaginosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)..
- Frequent douching with water may result of the vagina.
- a douche product and who had been treated recently for a sexually transmitted bacterial infection or bacterial vaginosis.