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It feels nice to be clean and fresh but washing out the inside of your vagina is not recommended. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, about one in five women from the ages of 15 to 44 years old douche. But douching is not recommended by medical providers. Read on to learn the myths and facts of douching.

Myth: Douching is Good for You and Cleans Your Vagina

Douching is a method of washing the inside of the vagina using water and a mixture of chemicals. It is done using a bottle or bag containing the mixture which is squirted up into the vagina. The issue with douching is that it can lead to other health problems. Douching is not the same thing as washing the outer part of the vagina during a shower. Washing yourself during a shower will not harm you but douching could.

Fact: Doctors Don’t Recommend Douching

Doctors do not recommend douching because it can throw off the pH and healthy environment of the vagina. A healthy vagina contains bacteria that maintain an acidic environment to help prevent infections. Douching can interfere with the vagina’s environment and bacteria which can cause infections and disease.

Myth: There is No Harm in Douching

There are several health issues linked with douching including bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, problems during pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and vaginal irritation.

Fact: Douching Does Not Help Get Rid of Odor

If you are experiencing a strong vaginal odor, douching will not help. It may cover up the odor for a short amount of time but it will make whatever is causing the odor worse. A strong vaginal odor is an indication of an infection or sexually transmitted infection.

Myth: Douching Prevents Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Pregnancy

Douching does not prevent STIs or pregnancy. It may actually increase your chance of contracting an STI.

Fact: Vaginas Clean Themselves

The vagina cleans itself by making mucus. This mucus carries blood, semen, and vaginal discharge out of the vagina. It is normal for the vagina to have a mild odor that changes throughout the day. The best way to help keep your vagina clean is by washing the outside of the vagina when you shower. Avoid soaps, sprays, or scented tampons because they can cause irritation and infection.


  1. Douching. Douching | Office on Women’s Health. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2023