The word “douche” is French, and means "to soak or wash." Women douche to clean or wash the vagina. Although regular tap water can be used, some women prefer to use a douche kit that contains a mixture of fluids such as vinegar and water. The best douche kit will come with a bottle, an applicator nozzle, and a solution that will not upset the natural chemistry of your body.
You should be able to find a douche kit at your local drug or grocery store. When looking for one, be sure to read the ingredient label carefully. Many kits contain a solution of vinegar and water. Any douche kit that contains dyes or perfumes should be avoided as these synthetic ingredients can cause irritation.
Although many medical experts believe douching is not necessary, women continue with the practice because they believe there are benefits. Those who douche regularly believe that douching cleans the vagina, gets rid of odor and rinses away blood after menstruation. Douching does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases, nor does douching prevent pregnancy.
When you purchase a douche kit, pay special attention to any warning labels on the package. The practice of douching is not without risks. Douching can alter the balance of flora in the vagina, the natural organisms that live inside the vagina and help keep the vaginal environment healthy.
Both good and bad bacteria are present in a healthy vagina. The balance of bacteria helps the environment to remain acidic. Excessive use of a douche kit can actually cause infection. If there is an active infection in the vagina, douching can push the infection to the fallopian tubes or uterus.
Some physicians suggest that women avoid douching altogether. In most cases, an acidic environment is needed to clean the vagina. If you are douching to address irritation or a strong odor, you should make an appointment to see your physician or gynecologist; those are both signs that there may be something serious that needs to be addressed. If you learn that you have a vaginal infection, you will have to refrain from using a douche kit until the infection has been appropriately treated.
Proper hygiene can take the place of a douche kit. Regular showers and a cleansing routine of warm water and unscented soap can help you feel fresh and clean without the use of a douche kit. If possible, avoid using feminine hygiene products that contain perfumes to mask odor. These products can cause irritation and create an infection friendly environment.