Douching is a process in which a woman uses a container attached to a small hose or a bottle with a nozzle to flush water or some other solution into her vagina.
Years ago, women would do this after their period to clean themselves out. Women also used douching to prevent pregnancy.
However, douching actually wipes out the healthy bacteria that naturally exist in your vagina and increases the likelihood of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as yeast infections.
In addition, douching after intercourse may push sperm further up the vagina, rather than flushing it out. Also, inexperienced women may traumatize the cervix or vagina by douching. For these reasons, doctors generally do not recommend douching of any kind.
Last Reviewed: October 2019