It’s amazing how our society is so fascinated with the female body, but there’s still so much misinformation out there. These days one particular question that every woman wants to ask (but sadly doesn’t) is whether or not to pay special attention while washing herself “down there”. Many people have a misconception that the vagina is an unclean part of the body. The real deal here is that most vaginas secrete a milky fluid from the para-urethral glands inside the urethra (especially during sex or other forms of exercise). Here’s a myth busted: the vagina is designed to keep itself clean and healthy by way of natural secretions in the form of vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge that doesn’t have a foul odour or colour is healthy. It is only worrisome if you experience any itchiness or soreness there and it smells bad. If this happens, immediately consult your gynaecologist.
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Based on the various misconceptions, there’s one common practice that is gripping women around the world – Vaginal douching. “Douche” is a French word for “wash”. Vaginal douching involves cleaning out or washing out the vagina with a solution of water and vinegar. Douches sold in drugstores that contain antiseptics and fragrances have become quite popular in our society. It comes in a bottle and is sprayed up and into the vagina. It emerged by the very belief that was mentioned earlier – that the vagina is an unclean organ and needs to be cleaned out. Many cosmetic companies are launching douches and marketing them across various platforms; this is only further confusing the women all over the world about their vaginal health. A large number of women are resorting to frequent usage of these products without getting first-hand information from the experts.
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Some women claim that they douche after sex or after their periods end as it helps to clean out the blood. However, experts advise against it. Also, there is little scientific evidence that shows the benefits of douching. Research has shown that douching has more cons than pros and it’s a practice that is utterly unnecessary. Moreover, repeated use of vagina washes have been linked to certain unhealthy conditions for women including infections and pregnancy related issues.
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Here are a few conditions that have been linked to increased use of vaginal douches:
Bacterial vaginosis: This is a type of bacterial infection that occurs in the vagina. Too much usage of vaginal douches upsets the natural level of vaginal flora that’s essential for a healthy vagina. This results in increased formation of unhealthy bacteria which causes infections that in turn increases the risk of endometriosis.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): This is a type of infection that occurs in the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. It is extremely painful and further increases conception and pregnancy related complications.
Pregnancy complications: Studies have shown that douching often can be the cause of difficulty in getting pregnant. It increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy where the embryo implants outside the uterine cavity.
Cervical cancer: Frequent douching has also been linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer.
In conclusion, various health experts across the world have advised women against douching as it exposes us to various potentially harmful conditions. Washing your vaginal walls with plain warm water is enough to keep it fresh and healthy.