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- Patient Comments: Vaginal Douche (Douching) - Side Effects
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- What is vaginal douching?
- Is vaginal douching necessary?
- Can douching be harmful?
- What is the best way to clean the vagina?
- Can douching help relieve vaginal discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning?
- Can douching after sex prevent pregnancy?
- Can douching after sex prevent sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs)?
- Can douching affect fertility or pregnancy?
Can douching after sex prevent pregnancy?
No, douching after sex does not prevent pregnancy and should never be used as a method of birth control.
Can douching after sex prevent sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs)?
Douching after sex or at any time has no effect in preventing STDs.
Can douching affect fertility or pregnancy?
Some studies have shown that women who douche regularly take longer to become pregnant when trying to conceive than women who do not douche. Other research has shown that douching may damage the Fallopian tubes and lead to an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus).
In pregnant women, douching was shown in one study to increase the risk of preterm birth by a factor of 1.9.
REFERENCE: Pray, S. W., et al. "Douching: perceived benefits but real hazards." Medscape.