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Douching Concerns: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Doctors do not recommend that women douche, which is rinsing out the vagina by squirting water or a solution into the vagina. Women who douche have more vaginal problems and more pelvic infections than women who do not douche.

Douching changes the normal balance of fluids in your vagina. This can make you more likely to get a vaginal infection, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Douching will not prevent pregnancy. Douching also may cause problems during pregnancy.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Let the vagina clean itself. The body has its own fluids that naturally keep the vagina clean.
  • Wash the outside area of the vagina with warm water and gentle soap only.
  • Do not use feminine hygiene soaps, sprays, and powders. They do not help and may have chemicals that can irritate your skin.
  • If you have a vaginal discharge, do not clean your vagina before you have a pelvic examination. Washing away the discharge will make it hard for your doctor to know what causes it.
  • Remember that douching may increase bad vaginal odours and infections.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.