Does Douching Cause Yeast Infections?

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Slideshow Pictures

Ask the experts

Does douching cause yeast infections? Also, is it necessary to douche after a yeast infection?

Doctor's response

All healthy women have bacteria and other organisms in the vagina. The balance of organisms and the normal acidity of the vagina both act to prevent overgrowth of specific organisms, leading to symptoms of a vaginal infection. Douching disturbs the normal environment of the vagina, which can lead to inflammation and further imbalance of the organisms normally present in the vaginal canal. This can result in symptoms such as chronic vaginal discharge and discomfort. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and most doctors recommend that women avoid douching unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. The body has a natural way of cleansing the vaginal canal by itself. Douching is not believed to have any health benefits and may actually worsen vaginal symptoms.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.


Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Reviewed on 7/20/2017

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors