What Is Douching And Should We Be Doing It?
Womans Health (2020) "Douching is washing or cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids. Most douches are sold in stores as prepackaged mixes of water and vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. The mixtures usually come in a bottle or bag". I grew up in a part of the world where a female is expected to douche with soap when taking a shower each each day and a woman after giving birth is expected to douche and also sit on a bucket filled with hot water to get steam up and inside to help with a quick healing and retightening of the womb passage. This is done with the addition of herbs or even a menthol rub or anything that encourages a burning sensation.
So with this way of conditioning, I have always been a little bit confused on if it is right to douche with soap or not to douche with soap. This is because a nurse once asked me if I use soap for douching and adviced not continue to use soap. I also braved the conversation with my old GP at the time, the poor man looked perplexed at first but then composed himself to manage to say something along the lines of 'different cultures view douching differently' without telling me whether it was the right thing to do or not. I think he was either from Bangladesh, Pakistan or India and so I kind of understood his answer when he said that. I figured women from such cultures most likely will douche with soap but he was an NHSworking proffesional and was not willing to put his livelihood on the line on being asked if to douche with soap or not. He was also a man, not a woman who had a ritual to speak from experience on.
I grew up in Ghana for most of my life and the general idea is that a girl who is considered to be 'clean' is expected to douche, and not just douche with plain water but with concotions such as water with soap or a drop of dettol , TCP or by adding local herbs. This varies depending upon wether you are trying to get rid of a strong natural and hormonal scent or one is preparing for a serious session with a lover which involves oral intimacy or even if it is a normal regular everyday washing episode. The general idea remains that a girl should definately douche with soap at least though.
I would rather die first than to say in a conversation amoungst a group of girlfriends from Ghana that I only douche with water. It is a faux pa and everyone would surely look at me as if I have instantly grown a second head. When I was asked some Italian friends they were equally suprised to hear that it is even a question in the first place to douche with soap or not and they certainly did not buy into the idea that soap disrupts the natural functions and secretions in the vaginal passage.
It is common to see online the advice to leave the lady area to be as natural as possible as it will cleanse itself, however to be honest whenever I ask a girlfriend on their view towards douching with soap they always confirm that they do , therefore I am looking for people whom state that douching with soap is not safe behind the blogs and on forums. I am clearly not meeting such people in real life and I wonder if such women truly walk amongst us.
One thing I would suggest though is that not every type of soap is good to use and heavily scented soaps are certainly not a good idea for washing. this is because the high percentage of fragrance can cause a dermal reaction such as itching, reddening or comming into contact with mucous membrane which could be carried off into more sensitive areas of the vagina which do not function well with elements of fragrance.
Natural soap on it's own is okay as natural soaps are made with water, botanical, animal fats and lye which all disappear from the soap by the time the soap is ready and has become soap. Any other additions to natural soap however must be checked as to how they will react inside the vaginal first.
There are also feminine wash which are made from the same detergents as regular shower gels such as the famous SLS and the more natural brigade friendly surfactants like glucosides. It is a little confusing that in the UK we have feminine hygiene wash on the shelves in supermarkets and yet it is widely adviced that we should not use soap for douching. I wonder if some of the people that says douching with soap is wrong are naively buying feminine wash assuming they are not soap too.
If you find all of this slightly confusing, refer to the ingredients on a feminin wash and compare it a cheap supermarket line shower gel. That should give you some indication on wether it is worth buying two different soaps or if you should stick to one soap for both douching and taking your shower.
If you don't wash or douche with soap or any other detergent and that works for you, you should stick to doing this. I can attest that I hardly ever have any infections and the couple times I have had thrush it was always immediately after I had gone on a long cross country bus journey and I have held in my wee to prevent using a loo I'm unfamiliar with.
Online advice suggests that soap contributes to excessive dryness which causes infections in my personal experience, the body naturally secrets liquids back to areas that needs to be moist when they are cleansed. People taking certain medications may however struggle with excessive dryness and need medical advice on this.
How To Douche:
This is very simple to do if you are not familiar with douching.
1. You can fill a plastic water bottle that has a spout with water or pierce a hole on the top of a regular screw top.
2. Point the bottle towards your lady area whilst kneeling down or sitting on the toilet and spray the water directly inside.
3. There is no need to rub with your palm or fingers. This can certainly introduce unwanted things in the vaginal area.
Health, W., 2020. Douching | Womenshealth.Gov. [online] womenshealth.gov. Available at: <https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching> [Accessed 3 July 2020].