Douching is a type of female cleansing done to wash the vaginal canal. Feminine washes used in the douching process come pre-mixed over-the-counter and typically contain a mixture of vinegar, water, baking soda and iodine, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you decide to use a feminine wash, you should review the short-term and long-term effects.
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Vaginal Infection Treatment
According to the California State University, a doctor may occasionally recommend using a feminine wash in conjunction with another type of medication to treat a vaginal infection. However, in most cases, douching actually creates more problems than benefits due to the effects it has on the acidity of the vagina.
Although you may think that you are washing infection-causing bacteria out of the vagina, you are actually also getting rid of the good bacteria that keeps the area free from infections. The balance of good and bad bacteria maintains the acidity of the vagina and this balance prevents the overgrowth of the bad bacteria.
Spread of Infections
If you already have a vaginal infection, it is possible that using a feminine wash causes the spread of the infection to other areas in the canal. The force of the water from douching can move bacteria into the uterus.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, douching may affect your chances at getting pregnant. There is a chance that a woman who uses feminine wash will have problems conceiving and has an increased chance of an ectopic pregnancy. These problems may occur due to the health problems linked with douching. These medical problems include bacterial vaginosis, vaginal irritation and pelvic inflammatory disease. A common misconception is that douching can prevent pregnancy. Feminine washes do not work as a form of birth control.