- Women's Health
Douching Is Bad For You
When I was in elementary school, douching was a popular topic at the lunch table. (I am not kidding.) The boys used to ask the girls if they did it, and the girls used to ask each other what the hell douching actually was. (No point in asking the boys, cos they didn't know either.) By the time Junior High came around, the girls were starting to wonder if this was something they ought to be doing. And a lot of girls decided to try it because their (highly ignorant) mothers told them it was a good idea. Fortunately, both of my parents worked in medicine (more fortunately, in gynecology) and so I was always told that this was a stupid thing to do. This wasn't always the accepted medical opinion, of course... if you'll look at that vintage ad to the right, you'll see an ad for Lysol douche.
Yeah, man, you read that right. I certainly hope it wasn't the same Lysol formula that my mother used to clean the bathroom with -- but I wouldn't be surprised. Can you imagine?? But nevermind that; that's not the most shocking thing about the ad. The bit which really infuriates me is the part where it says (if I may paraphrase here) that, if Jane's love life is in the crapper, it can't possibly have anything to do with her marrying a prat. Oh no, it's got to be because her hoo-hoo isn't Downy fresh. And, of course, they tell her that it will be, if she disinfects said hoo-hoo with Lysol. What utter tosh!! Yes, if your hoo-hoo is... err... aromatically challenged, your man (or woman) may be uncomfortable with visiting the flower patch. But douching is not necessary to keep the daisies smelling pretty. Quite the opposite, actually.
Why Douching Is Bad
Discharge and foul smelling odor is your body's way of telling you to get your hoo-hoo to the doctor and see what's wrong with it. Douching can mask the beginning stages of various infections -- which is precisely when you want to catch the buggers.
If you do have an infection, douching can make it go north, straight to your baby-making tubes and other girlie bits. Not the place you want an infection, especially if you are pregnant, or trying to get there.
Your vagina came with a perfect balance of good bacteria. If you douche the good stuff out, you are basically hanging out a welcome sign for the bad bacteria. Not good.
If you are douching to get rid of problems such as odor, itching, burning, pain, etc -- realize that douching ain't going to help. In fact, it will probably make it worse.
How Should You Clean Your Vagina?
The vagina is is self-cleaning. Seriously. A little soap and water on the vulva, a good soak in the tub, and voila! Nice, clean hoo-hoo. And nice clean hoo-hoo isn't aromatically challenged. If yours is having odor issues, or unusual discharge issues (some types of discharge are perfectly normal!), this means you should see your doctor. That said, if you happen to have overly-active sweat glands, you may have a bit of a musk problem. If that's the case, try my article on Vaginal Odor: How to Smell Good Down There.