Douching Concerns: Care Instructions

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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 call line 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?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have vaginal pain, itching, or burning or a bad odour.
  • You have a vaginal discharge that is not normal.
  • You have blood or pus in your urine.
  • You have pain in your back just below your rib cage. This is called flank pain.
  • You have a fever, chills, or body aches.
  • It hurts to urinate.
  • You have groin or belly pain.

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

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: October 13, 2016