It has been determined that douching can significantly reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. If you want to conceive, you should avoid this practice.
Vaginal Douching and Its Long History
Women have douched for centuries, with one of the earliest instances dating back to 1500 B.C., when wine and garlic were used to treat menstrual disorders. In the early 20th century, some women even used diluted Lysol for the practice.
In more recent times, douching has been done using a mixture of water and vinegar. While the practice has widely been used as a way to treat certain gynecological conditions, it is usually used for hygienic purposes. However, using a douche is not recommended and can have adverse effects on your fertility. There has been a link between douching and pelvic inflammatory disease or PID, which can significantly impact a woman’s fertility.
A study was done looking at a group of women who douched to determine how long it took them to get pregnant. While 38% admitted that they douched, 13% of women took over a year to conceive. Those who douched were seen as having the lowest pregnancy rate out of the group.
How Using a Douche Can Diminish Fertility
Using a douche can reduce fertility in women, which is why those who are in the habit of doing so should immediately stop if they’re trying to get pregnant. There are a variety of problems that can arise from the practice. Studies have also shown that douching can decrease one’s fertility by up to half.
In some cases, women who douche have a sexually transmitted disease or STD, of which they are unaware. Many use a douche to cover up symptoms such as discharge, itching and odor. An untreated STD itself can cause infertility.
Women who use a douche can also have additional problems if they do become pregnant. It can lead to birth defects and preterm delivery due to the way the practice disrupts the normal balance of the reproductive system. Using a douche can affect beneficial bacteria in the body and lead to these problems.
If you feel unclean and need to wash your vaginal area, you should skip the douche and take a shower instead. Cleanse yourself using regular soap and speak with your doctor if you need advice on how to clean yourself.
Fertility Reduction in Younger Women Who Douche
Another study examined 840 married women in Washington. Some regularly douched while others avoided the practice. The study took place over a number of months to see whether using a douche had an impact on the women’s ability to conceive. It was found that those who did douche were 30% less likely to get pregnant for each month they douched, compared with the women who did not use a douche. In particular, there was a significant impact on younger women between the ages of 18 and 24, who had a 50% reduction in fertility, versus women 25 to 29, who saw a 29% reduction in their fertility. Meanwhile, those in the 30 to 39 age group saw a 6% reduction in fertility.
In a separate study that occurred in 1988, researchers also determined that the type of douche didn’t matter when fertility was adversely impacted. They learned that it didn’t matter whether women used a douche they bought in a store or if they used a homemade one consisting of water and vinegar. Additionally, they found that even using water alone had significant effects on women’s fertility and their reproductive system.
Be Careful When Trying to Conceive
When you’re trying to get pregnant, you should not douche under any circumstances. Not only are you disrupting the natural bacteria of your vagina, but douching also makes the environment less hospitable to sperm. This can make it more difficult to conceive. You should also avoid using any type of scented vaginal spray or feminine hygiene products such as tampons.
Additionally, if you use a vaginal lubricant during sex, you should avoid one that’s water-based. Those that are sperm-friendly should be used instead.
If you’re in the habit of douching and plan on getting pregnant, now is the time to stop. You will have better fertility and better chances at conceiving.