I recently highlighted steps to maintaining a balanced vaginal pH and why it’s important to a lady’s health, pregnancy and baby’s health in Digging Deeper into the Vagina’s Microbes. Even though women aren’t douching with Lysol to smell flower-fresh anymore, today’s marketed hygiene products continue to promote non-beneficial health consequences for women.
I don’t recall douching due to my “baby I was born this way” attitude about my bouquet down there. Turns out that many woman in the United States feel the need to frequently douche. Woman’s Health.gov estimates that 20 – 40 percent of American women 15 to 44 years old douche regularly. About half of these women douche each week. African-American, Hispanic women and teens tend to have higher rates of douching.
I suppose young ladies and women feel that it’s necessary to smell pretty down there, even when our private area isn’t designed to smell like roses or a summer meadow. Perhaps the quick, easy and private option to use a product from a store seems like a better choice to prevent or fix an odor rather than understanding its root cause? Advertising and marketing make a difference to how women react too. In an effort to make money, companies use subtle and overt messaging to continue to suggest that women need products in order to be cleaner and secure in their femininity.
Check out this recent ad that caused me to triple check if it was from 1950. The purpose of the message – 10 tips for women to increase their confidence to ask for a raise by Woman’s Day and Summer’s Eve. Number one on the list? Using Summer Eve’s Feminine Wash or Feminine Cleansing Cloths to keep your vagina fresh in order to compete with the fellas. Seriously? Something stinks and it’s not our va-jay-jays.
From one girlfriend to another, it’s important for young and older ladies to be aware of the possible negative health implications of douching.
Here are 5 reasons to avoid douching:
- Douching promotes bacterial vaginosis:
If you’re noticing a fishy odor emanating from your vagina, especially after sex, that’s your body’s way of communicating that you might have bacterial vaginosis (BV). Douching is known to promote BV. Washing out your vagina causes your vagina’s acidity to get out of balance. If you have less acidity in your vagina it increases the risk of non-beneficial intruders multiplying. Learn more about BV here.
2. Increases the risk of spreading vaginal infections:
If you happen to have a vaginal infection, douching can push bad bacteria up into the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
3. Your lady parts could be harmed with serious gynecologic issues:
- Cervical cancer – reports indicate that douching once a week can increase your risk of cervical cancer.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – research shows that risks of PID increase by 73 percent if douching.
- Endometriosis – having bacterial vaginosis can increase the chance of this condition.
- Raises risk for sexually transmitted infections and HIV.
4. Douching is linked to pregnancy problems:
- The practice is not beneficial to fertility – research indicates a 50 percent decrease in monthly fertility in women (ages 18 to 24), and a 30 percent decrease in fertility among women (ages 25 to 29.) Those who douched more than once a week had the lowest pregnancy rate.
- Ectopic pregnancies – douching can increase the risk by 76 percent!
- Low birth weight – in a research group of almost 4,700 women, the 650 who douched two to three times a week had a 40 percent greater chance of delivering underweight babies than women who didn’t douche.
- Preterm labor and birth risks could increase.
5. Your vagina is a lot smarter than you might think!
Your vagina is designed to naturally clean itself! If you notice a change that’s funky or smelly, masking the issue with a fake scent isn’t solving the problem. You might be doing more harm than good. Seek out information from your doctor or a reputable holistic practitioner.
The more women and young ladies are aware of the signs their bodies share with them and opportunities to support their health, the greater the chance to wash away and clear increased health risks under the perception of smelling fresh. Please share with your girlies!
Lorraine Giordano Inspired To Health www.inspiredtohealth.net firstname.lastname@example.org 201.344.6448