There are many reasons that a woman may choose to douche with the main reason being that they want their vagina to smell better. However, there are some risks to douching as women are likely already aware of. One of the latest risks to be researched is that douching may expose women to phthalates, which are chemicals that can be potentially harmful.
A study was conducted by researchers where urine tests were conducted on the participants. The women participants were surveyed about how often they used douches and other types of feminine care products. The more that a woman douched the higher they were at risk of exposure to DEP (diethyl phthalate.
The women that were participants in the study were aged 20 through 49 and many stated that they had not used a douche in the past six months. Approximately a third of the black women that participated stated that they used a douche at least once a month and about 11% of Mexican and white women said the same.
Another 20% of black women who participated in the study stated that they douche at least twice each month. The women who admitted to douching at least twice each month had a DEP that was 152% higher than that of the women who did not use one. There was no link found between other types of feminine hygiene products and DEP.
However, it is not known if the participants were exposed to DEP from other places.
What are Phthalates?
Phthalates are a chemical that women should be concerned about exposing themselves to. It is suspected that phthalates are endocrine disruptors and may change the actions of several important hormones including testosterone, estrogen, and hormones of the thyroid.
Should you Douche?
Most doctors state that you should not douche for several reasons. First, there are not a lot of benefits of douching in the first place. Additionally, using a douche on a regular basis can increase the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease, bacterial vaginosis, and can cause complications during pregnancy. It is also possible that it can cause cervical cancer.
Douching is simply not necessary as a healthy vagina has its own cleaning system that is extremely effective.Overall, there is simply no real reason to douche as it disrupts the amount of healthy bacteria found in the vagina. There has not been a lot of research done on the phthalates to determine how dangerous they are or what they do within the body.
Even without the research, douching is something that you should carefully consider before you actually do it. For most women douching does very little and will likely cause more bad than good. So before you get out that next douche, consider the risks and perhaps put it back and take a nice long hot shower instead.