Feminine hygiene is a sometimes-uncomfortable topic. For that reason, it is often overlooked and rife with incorrect information. For example, most women think douching is dangerous or unhealthy. Actually, it is especially beneficial since most women no longer take baths. We clean all our other orifices, like our ears, mouth and nose, but neglect the vagina. The vagina has exposure to more potentially harmful invaders than the ears, nose and mouth. Douching is a gentle internal bath that promotes good health.
Allowing gravity to naturally clean the vaginal area is a good option, but can be very slow. If a woman is in discomfort, douching is more effective. Many women have discharges because of chronic inflammation, which may be temporarily relieved with a douche. Douching soothes the vaginal and cervical tissues, which decreases swelling and promotes comfort.
Douching is a good option whenever there is an unpleasant odor, irritation or itching—usually pointing to bacterial vaginosis (BV). Another good time to douche is before or after sexual activity. It refreshes the tissues and prevents embarrassing odors allowing enjoyable sexual contact. After sex, a douche can help to prevent pregnancy by washing away semen and possibly prevent a sexually transmitted disease. You should not rely on it as a sole contraceptive however and one should always practice safe sex by using a condom with an unfamiliar partner.
As a natural physician, I recommend a simple natural douche, with known compounds like distilled or apple cider vinegar—with herbs like goldenseal, yarrow, comfrey, ursnea, and peppermint leaf. If these herbs are not available you can simply use clean water with Epsom salt. Goldenseal has antimicrobial properties and is good for treating BV. The use of antibiotics is a major cause of vaginal discomfort and taking a good probiotic would help mitigate inflammation and discomfort or for the treatment of BV.
The douche usually has a long insert, which is similar to inserting a tampon. Once the insert is in place, squeeze the soft plastic bottle to flush the vaginal area.
Women have been douching since the beginning of time and it’s being replaced by harmful medications, including steroids, antibacterials and anti-fungal creams. We need to return to common sense and use the wisdom of thousands of years. It’s about your health—you can run for the drugs and continue the deterioration of health or simply use a douche and natural medicine to restore your health. It’s gentle and simple.
Doctor as Teacher
One of the tenets of naturopathic medicine is “Doctor as Teacher.” The doctors at Brannick Clinic of Natural Medicine consider this to be a vital element of improving one’s health. We educate through our newsletter and social media, but nothing is more effective than a one on one conversation with your doctor. Our doctors can help guide you to a higher quality of life and health.