Sex Education for the Real World…


Douching: What the Box Doesn’t Tell You.

Posted October 18, 2012 by Kimani in Love. Life. Erotica.

From the Writer’s Desk: Growing up, my greatest fun was practicing spy moves with my little brother. In a few years, we had mastered sneaking around undetected; as quiet as church mice. I don’t know about my brother, but I chose to use my special skills by peeking into the medicine cabinets and under the sinks of any and nearly everyone’s bathrooms that I encountered as a child. Sometimes I’d see these boxes that said “douche” on them and wonder what they were for.


Photo Credit As I became a young adult, I’d still see those boxes in the bathrooms of my friends’ moms. I took it upon myself to buy a box and try it. Talk about interesting! It had the most pleasant smell, like roses or a summer rain or something. Tingled a little bit, and the scent lasted all day. I knew something had to be wrong with that.

A few days later – my vadge started to itch. Besides the fact that I had used the douche for no reason (I didn’t have any vaginal odor issues), my sensitive flora had been disturbed. The germophobe and hypochondriac I was, I went straight to my OB/GYN in a fit of fury. I had given myself a yeast infection. Curiosity nearly killed my cat, so I won’t let it do the same to yours.

Let’s Talk About Douching… 

An estimated 20% to 40% of American women between ages 15 and 44 say they use a vaginal douche. Higher rates are seen in teens and African-American and Hispanic women. Besides making themselves feel fresher, women say they douche to get rid of unpleasant odors, wash away menstrual blood after their period, avoid getting sexually transmitted diseases, and prevent a pregnancy after intercourse.

Yet, health experts say douching is not effective for any of these purposes. They also warn that it can actually increase the risk of infections, pregnancy complications, and other health problems.


What is douching?

The word ”douche” is French for ”wash” or ”soak.” It is a method to wash out the vagina, usually with a mixture of water and vinegar. Douches that are sold in drugstores and supermarkets contain antiseptics and fragrances. A douche comes in a bottle or bag and is sprayed through a tube upward into the vagina.


Photo Credit

What are the advantages of douching?

Some women say douching makes them feel cleaner. There is, though, very little scientific evidence of benefit from douching. The rare positive research that does exist often has a downside. One study found that douching during the six months before pregnancy reduced the risk of preterm delivery. However, in that same study, douching during pregnancy was linked to an increased risk of preterm birth.

What are the disadvantages of douching?

Overall, the risks of douching far outweigh the benefits. Here are just a few of the problems linked to douching:

  • Vaginal infections (bacterial vaginosis). Douching upsets the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina (called vaginal flora). These changes make the environment more favorable for the growth of bacteria that cause infection. Studies have found that women who stopped douching were less likely to have bacterial vaginosis. Having bacterial vaginosis can increase the risk of preterm labor and endometriosis.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries. Research has found that women who douche have a 73% higher risk of getting PID.
  • Pregnancy complications. Women who douche more than once a week have more difficulty getting pregnant than those who don’t douche. Douching also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy by as much as 76%. With an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants outside the uterus. The more a woman douches, the greater the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Cervical cancer . Douching at least once a week has been linked to an increased chance of developing cervical cancer.


Should a woman douche?

According to health experts, including those at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you should avoid douching. Having some vaginal odor is normal. However, if you notice a very strong odor, it could be a sign of infection. The acidity of the vagina will naturally control bacteria, and simply washing the vagina with warm water and mild soap is enough to keep clean.

Note: If you feel you MUST douche, try this all-natural alternative. Fill a douche bottle with spring water, then add one part baking soda. It will freshen you up post-menstrual cycle, and in the right proportions can balance your pH.

Ladies, your vadge isn’t supposed to smell like roses, it’s supposed to smell like vagina. Take care of it, eat right, drink lots of water, take your vitamins and probiotics – and it will take care of you. If you feel any levels of pain, discomfort, strange odors or itchiness – seek professional medical help IMMEDIATELY. 


Take Care,

– Kimi


About the Author


A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

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  • Shenry

    cool, very informative. i always thought i was committing some sort of hygiene crime by never douching, now i know my vagina is just fine the way it is, lolz.

  • Very informative post. Think it’s best to leave douching in the “history books of women’s hygiene.” Less is more and don’t forget, the vagina is a self-cleaning oven!

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