Douching: What Is It And Should I Do It?
The Debrief: We realised we didn’t actually know what it was. So we did some research, in case you’re also a bit at (douche) sea
A new study revealed that there’s a concerning link between douching in the shower and the onset of ovarian cancer. Alongside research that shows that feminine hygiene products used for douching puts women at risk of exposure to diethyl phthalate, which can affect estrogen, testosterone and thyroid levels. It also provoked a bit of a discussion in the office. Mainly about what douching actually is, if anyone does it, and why. Options ranged from, ‘Isn’t it just putting soap on yourself?’ to, ‘I thought it was like an enema but for your... front arse.’ Well, the latter is closer than the former – which led us to do some sifting around in a bid to find answers to questions about douching. The results being, you just shouldn’t do it.
It basically means washing. But more specifically, it’s a word used to refer to shooting water (either mixed with soap or straight) up an orifice (mainly an arse or a vagina) using a syringe-like contraption or squeezy bottle sold online or in shops.
What's a douchebag?
You can buy syringe-like contraptions, or squeezy bottles, you can also buy douche bags. The bag holds the water and you can squeeze it so the liquid shoots... up you. See also: Chris Brown.
Who does it?
There aren’t any stats for UK douching, but in the US around one in four women regularly douche – which is insane. Guys can douche to clean out their, erm, rectums and while we're sure straight guys can totally douche – it tends to be gay guys in preparation for a bit of lovin’. And by lovin’, we mean sex.
Is it just water?
No, a lot of women who douche use things like Femfresh or other ‘special’ soaps (in quotation marks because they’re not special, they’re just soaps and prefixed with the word ‘fem’). This is a really, really bad idea, because it can change the pH balance inside you, but douching with even just water can cause loads of health problems, too, such as bacterial vaginosis (a bacterial infection that smells pretty bad), pelvic inflammatory disease (incredibly painful) and general irritation/dryness. It can also increase the likelihood of STIs. Basically, doctors recommend you don't douche.
Why is it so bad?
Your vagina is full of naturally occuring bacteria and flora – all of which work to keep you healthy and, most importantly, clean. If you’re having issues, there’s an odour, or something’s not right down their then a) there’s nothing to say flushing it out with scented soap is going to do anything, and b) you’ll be rinsing away all the good bacteria working to maintain your body’s balance. Vaginas do not react well to heavily perfumed and fragranced soaps – water is usually best, and if you’ve noticed weird symptoms, then just go to your doctor. Don’t start flushing stuff up it. Especially not if it’s called something lame like Femfresh or LadyVagScentDestroyer.
So, don’t worry, if you're not douching you’re totally not missing out on anything. Probably give this a miss, yeah?
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