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Wellness

The Truth About Douching

Let’s be honest, sex education in public schools have been shown to not prepare students for healthy, sexual relationships. If we expected those slides in middle school to educate us on real world sexual health; like pregnancies, or sexually transmitted infections, or oral sex-we were all in for a very real shock. The slides did not give practical education on sexual health or reproductive organs, hence why most adults do not know the difference between the vulva and the vagina of a woman.

The education girls receive about their bodies is just as vague and mysterious as sex education. In this vague world of sex education and care for our reproductive organs, we are taught information that ranges from extremely helpful to ‘very bad idea’.

The one topic that is confusing for sexually active women is douching; is it good for you or harmful? The research shows that using commercial douche is bad for your lady parts and here is why you should stop doing it:

 

  1. The vagina is a self-cleaning machine.

The vagina is designed to clean itself; it does not need any extra help. According to Iffath Hoskins, MD, an ob-gyn at NYU Langone Medical Center for Health.com, “New healthy cells lie underneath, coming to the surface and creating a liquid-y sensation, similar to the way your mouth creates saliva. It’s a self-cleaning part of your body.”

 

  1. Douching can cause the growth of harmful bacteria.

The vagina is its own ecosystem, it creates a balance of good and bad bacteria that keeps your lady parts at a certain pH level. For a quick chemistry lesson, pH measure how acidic something is-usually something that is liquid or has liquid; the normal pH level for a healthy vagina is between 3.4 -4.5. To put that in perspective, a pH level of 7 is considered neutral and anything under 7 is considered acidic-so a healthy vagina is as acidic as tomato juice-which is a good thing.

If douche is introduced to the body, the pH will become imbalanced and cause a growth of bad bacteria-which may lead to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

  1. Douching can cause pelvic inflammatory infection.

In the previous point, douching can encourage bad bacteria to grow in the vagina; it can also push bad bacteria or infection into the fallopian tube and cause pelvic inflammatory infection. The presence of pelvic inflammatory infection in your fallopian tubes can cause damage and could cause infertility.

 

  1. Douching will not ‘wash away’ any irregular smells or itching.

The old wives’ tale of adding a cap full of bleach to your bath water or douche bottle will take away smell is utterly false.  Please do not add cleaning products to your body, especially in your vagina! The itching or irregular smells happening ‘down there’ is an indication that there may be an infection that the body can’t fight off. The best recommendation is to see a health professional.

 

The myth of douching being healthy for your vagina has officially been debunked, she cleans herself-just like a cat. If the reader is confused between the difference between the vulva and the vagina; the vagina is the canal that connect to the fallopian tubes and ovaries, the vulva is the outside parts that protect vagina and causes stimulation.

Storyteller, innovative thinker, and aspiring women's and family health advocate; Whitney Keitt is pursuing her passion of being an activist for change in her commuity. She graduated from Savannah State University with a Masters of Business Administration in December 2019. Whitney is pursuing her Master's of Public Administration and will graduate in December 2021. Growing up in Savannah, Whitney learned leadership skills and innovative thinking as a Girl Scout. She recognized her love of storytelling and creativity through her exposure to museums and theaters. Whitney's leadership skills, innovative thinking, and creative passion manifested into innovative professional positions. She has held positions as a senior tour guide at a historical site, social media strategist for her local farmers market, and project coordinator for an educational teaching program funded through the National Science Foundation.
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