Douching during Pregnancy: Is It Safe or Not?

Douching During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rima Sonpal (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

There are many women who are unaware of the concept of douching and with good reason. Douching is not usually undertaken because there doesn’t seem to be a necessity. While some women might do so to feel clean down there, they might begin to ask the question, ‘can douching while pregnant cause a miscarriage of their baby?’ Let us understand what douching is and whether there is a necessity for it or not.

What is Douching?

To understand what douching is, it is necessary to know what completely constitutes a vagina. The entire region that starts from the cervix inside the body, down to the opening outside, is termed as a vagina. It is made up of numerous muscles serving various functions and contains a number of bacteria and discharges that take care of its cleanliness. Douching is the procedure of using fluids made from a combination of baking soda and vinegar to clean the vagina. This is done by squirting this mixture inside using a bottle and a nozzle.

Is Douching Safe for Pregnant Women?

Vaginal douching during pregnancy is not recommended and is actually advised to not be undertaken at all. Unknown to us, there are a huge number of microorganisms and bacteria that are constantly working towards maintaining a healthy environment in the vaginal tract. These are also responsible for taking care of any harmful bacteria that might enter, thus, carrying out an antibacterial action and preventing any infections. The various discharges that occur to make women wet, but these also make it difficult for external bodies to stick in the vagina, and rarely do smell or cause any irritation.

But when you douche, the chemicals of the fluid end up disrupting the pH balance present in the vagina, which is necessary for all these processes to continue and the good bacteria to thrive without any problems. In order to make the area smell better, using perfumes or other aromatic chemicals react adversely with the inner tissues, leading to further irritation. It could even open the doors for infection as well.

Is Douching Safe for Pregnant Women?

Harmful Effects of Douching in Pregnancy

When pregnant women undertake douching to keep their vagina healthy, they are, in fact, causing a lot of harm to the area and making in unhealthy in various ways.

  • First off, douching can reduce the chances of you getting pregnant if you are attempting to conceive. All the natural processes and bacteria constitute an integral part of the reproductive system. Introducing any foreign elements into a system that is well-balanced and self-sustaining could cause an impact, which might even result in a failed conception as well.
  • Douching can result in pushing the bacteria that are ought to be in the vagina, deeper into the body. These then reach the fallopian tubes and ovaries and begin to infect them. Such a condition is harmful to the woman and needs to be treated immediately.
  • In the case of pregnancy already present, douching exposes the vaginal tract to a number of external factors, which might be responsible for triggering a premature delivery as well. Having a childbirth way before the full-term of pregnancy could result in the baby having numerous complications, or even be stillborn. Chances of exposing the uterus to infection, resulting in endometriosis, or the infection finding its way inside the amniotic sac, all increase due to douching.

Most women carry out douching more as a reason to feel clean psychologically since it doesn’t actually bring any biological benefits. One might opt for douching with water while pregnant, but that too isn’t fully safe, since the water itself might not be absolutely clean and free of microbes. It is best to leave the vagina as is, and not indulge in it. Your pregnancy will continue unabated and you will have a healthy baby as well.

Also Read:

Vaginal Infections during Pregnancy
Yellow Discharge in Pregnancy
Viral Infections while Pregnant
Green Discharge in Pregnancy

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