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Douching: Is it Safe For Vaginal Hygiene?

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Over a decade ago, I was a victim of bouts of vaginal infection. This was really distressing. Really, I’m this kinda person that’s obsessed with keeping my vagina very clean, fresh and healthy.

I practically scrub it every morning and night. Anything and everything to prevent having a vaginal infection, I did.

From wearing clean underwears, spreading under wears in sun,very frequent change in sanitary towels, avoiding public rest rooms to keeping my personal restroom sparkling at all times.

Your guess is as good as mine, it did not work!I still had 1-3 episode per year. For someone who wasn’t sexually active, I didn’t know why I had to suffer these horrible experiences. All these happened during pre-clinical years.

For me, it starts with vaginal itching, burning sensation while voidin urine and to crown it all, an offensive odour. Imagine a young pretty lady smelling like rotten fish. That can be disgusting.

Several years into my practice, I still meet clients both young and old with similar complaints with a lot of them frustrated about its recurrence After taking proper history and carrying out investigations, majority of them have an otherwise clean bill of health excluding this complaints. Infact, a lot of my clients already know what medications to use and they start experiencing this symptoms.

The reason behind their clinic visit is to find out why it re-occurs despite their excellent hygiene practices.

Douching is a method of washing out the vagina with water and antiseptics, fragrances,vinegar or other chemical substances.

In simple words, washing your vaginal with any thing other than water. Most people including me do that to keep the vagina clean, healthy and pleasant smelling.

We all have vagina flora (normal bacteria in the vagina) that helps to maintain the pH of the vagina which is acidic.

This acidity helps to prevent growth of yeast and other unwanted organism thereby keeping the vagina safe from infections.

During douching, a lot of these normal flora are washed off or killed by the antiseptics. Thus, messes up the pH of the vagina.

This exposes the vagina to a lot of infections with bacteria vaginosis topping the list. That was the puzzle I couldn’t figure for years.

Other complications of douching include: increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, increased risk of cervical cancer and so on.

I usually will advise to wash up with just clean water only. Taking that advice might be difficult especially for people, I inclusivie, who are obsessed with scrubing it all off.

In that case, feminine wash is an alternative. They are specifically designed to maintain the pH of the vagina.

They make you feel clean with added advantage of moisturizing and soothing the skin.

However, some medical experts have argued against its use with claims that these products still contain chemicals which are not safe.

I clean with just water now, I mean, it`s safe, cheap and free of controversy.

Most of my clients still visit but usually for other complaints.

Occasionally my obsession returns, then I use the feminine wash. My advice, do not douche, clean with just water or use a feminine wash.

©️ Dr. Olubusayo Nkemjika

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Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.

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