1:43 pm - 02/05/2005

what opinions do you girls have on douching? i have been at it for a…

what opinions do you girls have on douching?

i have been at it for a few monthes now. I have a little one that is reusable. I tend to use it if i know i am going to be having sex soon and i just use straight tap water in. I will do that and repeat two more times.

The reason i started was that i have had an odor problem for about a year now.
It does smell fishy sometimes, but not always. It usually just smells pretty bad and nothing like it used to smell which was a very nice light smell.
The last time i went to the gyno i mentioned it and they said they tested me for bv and that i didn't have it. Still though something is wrong i swear.
i do goto a free clinic, because i don't have insurance. Maybe they aren't as thorough as they should be?

anyways, the douching does rid me of the smell for a day or two.
so is this douching unhealthy or perhaps contributing to any infections i may have? The only advice the gyno had for me was to stop taking baths and start taking showers instead. Unfortunalty that is impossible for me, i can not give up my bath time. I love it and i can't imagine life with out a hot bath everyday to relax in.

so any advice for me? maybe there is something better to use in the douche instead of tap water? i won't do the vinegar thing though like the box suggested..ick that made me smell worse.
any help will be greatly appreciated!
psycheague 5th-Feb-2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
I think douching is generally regarded as the devil by most women and their gynos. It really does contribute to infections. I can't even imagine it.

Vaginas are miraculous, self-cleaning creatures. They don't need douche, whether it's water or vinegar. Vaginas all have a unique smell. It's not bad (unless you do have an infection, in which case that's what happens when your vagina is off balance).

Just my two pence.
elizawrites 5th-Feb-2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
Douching is very, very unhealthy. It can upset the balance of your vagina, which very likely might contribute to the odor you think of.
I'm no doctor, but I figure that douching is worse for your vagina than a bath.

Your vagina is self cleaning. Do you have a planned parenthood nearby that you could go to?

Good luck!
slytherinblack 5th-Feb-2005 07:13 pm (UTC)
I've had people tell me that baths are bad for women, but I take baths fairly often (and my parents have a hot tub) and I've never had a problem.
bitchness 5th-Feb-2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
Douching upsets the natural ph balance in your vagina and isn't recommended. Douching regularly is very very bad. My sister was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few years ago, and was informed by her doctor that it was largely contributed to by her weekly douching.

I use one evey now and then, if I am feeling "off", but not more than once or twice a year. I feel bad every time I do it, knowing that it's not good for me, but I do it anyway, because it makes me feel good for a day or two.
aechei 5th-Feb-2005 07:22 pm (UTC)
cervical cancer is almost always the result of hpv. that doesnt make sense. unless she was douching with strong chemicals, there is no reason for it to cause cancer.

which makes it no less bad. i would guess the baths and the douches are both contributing to the smell, and there is a good chance that you have an infection of some sort. i would see a doctor again, in case they missed something.
catchstars 5th-Feb-2005 07:27 pm (UTC)
Personally, I wouldn't douche. If the smell is caused by bacteria, the douche would just push the bacteria further up, and it may cause a pelvic inflammitory disease. Drinking lots of water may be more effective than douching with it.

Have you changed any of your habits recently? Eating habits, exercise? Did the smell change when you became sexually active or changed partners? Sometimes contraceptives can change your scent, too.
willucry4me 5th-Feb-2005 07:38 pm (UTC)
maybe the smell is from what you eat rather than anything else.

seriously.. try just rinsing your vulva with water for a few minutes a couple times a day in addition to your regular shower/bath. (you can do it from a water bottle over a toilet) and it'll make a difference.

the douche might be making the problem worse.
rockstarbob 5th-Feb-2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
Here's a post we had in the community a while ago about douching:


Here are some other links about douching that might be useful too:


Hope this helps!
charisx 5th-Feb-2005 08:34 pm (UTC)
I'll just repeat what's been said about douching -- it's a bad idea according to basically everybody who would know, and makes you more likely to get infections.

A lot of times odor will change depending on what you eat, it sounds kind of goofy but it's true. Generally meat and animal protein makes it smell worse and drinking lots of water and eating fruits & veggies helps, there's more entries on this in the archive.
shellyday 5th-Feb-2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
i agree with what everyone else said about douching. but i wanted to comment on the baths. i've heard that it's what we put in baths (bubbles, soap, chemicals...) that causes vag problems, not so much the water. so from what i know (not a proffessional here though) hot water only baths should be ok and definately better than bubble baths.
actinide 6th-Feb-2005 12:37 am (UTC)
I was under the same impression, with the exception of cases where the woman lives in an area where the water has high chlorine content. Chlorine is terrible for girl bits (I speak from experience) >.
simian 5th-Feb-2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
fishy smells are generally thought of as a sign of an infection called Bacterial Vaginosis. Go to your doc & make sure that you don't have an infection. You may not, but BV can only be cured by meds so it's worth it to find out.

And yes, douching is extremely bad for your insides. Sometimes doctors will perscribe it for your own health, but that is really rare as well. I wouldn't do it.

The reason you smell bad might very well be the cause of the douching. Or else it might be your normal smell & you're just not used to it. Alot of the time when we smell strongly, we think everyone can smell us, but honestly, I've never smelled someone's else by just sitting next to them.
simian 5th-Feb-2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
ack sorry. I didn't see that you had already addressed the possibility of BV. In any case, could you try to find another clinic & get another opinion?
robynchick 5th-Feb-2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
Your problem is likely douching...
It washes away the natural bacteria and yeast that balances out your vagina for a healthy smell. Let it be for a while, and if it smells bad or seems like and infection (ie: odd colored discharge, itching/burning) go to the doctor and get tested. But if you don't know what your normal smell is how can you know when you have an infection?
mangofandango 5th-Feb-2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
I just want to echo what everyone else is saying - you should stop douching. If you do have some sort of problem or infection, douching is not helping, it's hurting. If you don't, then douching will only cause problems or make things worse. Try just washing with warm water and your fingers in the shower for a while (no soap inside the labia, but if it makes you feel more comfortable you can use it on the outside). It may take a while for you to get an idea of what is normal for you now (and "normal" may change throughout your life - we smell different as adults then we do when we're girls, you know?), but eventually you may get a better sense of it. Get checked by another doctor if you can, just to rule out any infections. That aside, try changing your diet - cut back on meat and caffiene, and make sure you drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables. That could help if your scent really is off. Also, try sleeping without underwear at night - letting your vulva breathe is good for it, and may help with any smell or other problems. Also, cotton underwear are best for letting your vulva breathe, so try that too if that's not what you're wearing already. Good luck!
sairyuu 5th-Feb-2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
change your diet, try to eat lots of low suagr yogurt and NEVER DOUCHE AGAIN.
hallo_seele_ 5th-Feb-2005 11:57 pm (UTC)
But if she's only using tap water... & Not a chemical that will kill bacteria... how's that changing the PH levels? That makes no sense to me.

(I'm curious, not trying to get flamed)
aechei 6th-Feb-2005 12:13 am (UTC)
rinses out the good stuff that maintains said levels
dokuya 7th-Feb-2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
here's a link:

dunno about how bad it is if you only use water through...
artudeetu 9th-Sep-2008 10:40 pm (UTC)

Your diet can affect odor. Cut down on fermented products, like fruits, sprouts, tofu, and alcohol, as well as sugars and white bread. See how that changes the odor. Look up an anti-candida diet, and follow it for a few weeks. Douching is SOOO bad for you! Douching before sex isn't great because it eliminates the natural protection you have against any disease you may encounter. So change your diet, not your doo-wah. Best!
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