Douching is a treatment and prophylactic manipulation, during which various solutions of drugs or decoctions of herbs are poured into the vagina. To perform this manipulation, it is necessary to arm with a syringe (rubber bulb with a tip) or (even better) Esmarch's mug. The essence of the procedure is the active leaching of vaginal secretions, microorganisms and ejaculate from the vagina. Gynecologists insist on using douching only for medicinal purposes, as a preventive method it does not bring tangible benefits, and even harmful.
However, before starting such a rather aggressive cleansing of the vagina, it is necessary to recall the properties of the latter. Why aggressive? Most doctors refused to prescribe douching to patients, and not without reason. The vagina has the ability to cleanse itself. This is achieved by natural secretions, along with which the desquamated epithelial cells of the mucosa, dead and / or pathogens, as well as their metabolic products, leave the vagina. Thus, the vagina is initially “clean”, with the exception of cases when pathological microbes suppress its normal microflora.
How to do douching
The temperature of the solution / decoction
The fluid used should be at room temperature (check simply: lowering the elbow into the solution). In no case should the water be hot, this can lead to a burn of the mucous membrane, or cold, which will cause discomfort.
Gynecologists believe that in the treatment of, for example, vaginitis, a five-day course of douching is enough, that is, to relieve severe symptoms. The maximum course may be 7 to 10 days.
During treatment, douche twice a day (in the morning and before bedtime), about three days, then carry out the procedure only before bedtime (this is another 2 to 3 days), and, finally, once a week.
The time spent on douching should not exceed 15 minutes.
Before using Esmarch's mug or syringe, the tip should be washed and boiled. After each manipulation, the rubber vessels (balloon or pear) are washed, not forgetting the cleanliness of the tip. Douching appliances should be used for this purpose only. In no case should they be used for enemas or microclysters.
The procedure must be carried out extremely carefully and slowly. To insert the tip into the vagina, you can lubricate it with sterile petroleum jelly, this facilitates the introduction. During douching, one should not strain, manipulation should not cause pain. If the movements are gusty and sharp, it is easy to damage the mucous membrane of the vagina and cervix.
It is best to douche while lying in the bath. At the same time, legs are thrown on its sides. As an alternative - sitting on the toilet, but the rubber bottle should be above the waist. Infusion of the solution cleanses the walls of the vagina, and it pours out on its own, under the influence of gravity.
If the composition of the solution includes active chemicals, such as soda, boric acid, potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide and others, you must strictly follow the instructions for preparing the solution. Otherwise, you can not only make the vagina completely sterile, which leads to the development of infectious colpitis, but also cause a mucous burn. If decoctions of medicinal herbs are prescribed for douching, then they should be prepared immediately before the procedure.
Contraindications for douching
- it is not recommended to douche for “cleanliness”, that is, for the purpose of prevention, it flushes the normal microflora from the vagina and provides a “training ground” for pathogenic bacteria,
- without consulting a gynecologist in case of itching, burning, spotting, unpleasant odor of discharge,
- Before visiting the gynecologist, it is necessary to refrain from the procedure, otherwise the results of the smears will be unreliable,
- with exacerbation of chronic diseases or during the acute process of inflammation of the uterus, appendages and cervix,
- during menstruation (the solution will easily penetrate the uterus through the free cervical canal, and pathogens will follow),
- during pregnancy (risk of leaching of the mucous plug from the cervical canal, which can provoke a threat of interruption or premature birth, infection of the fetus, toxic effects of drugs on it and embolism of the uterine vessels),
- in the postpartum period, while the lochia is preserved and the cervix is open (about 1.5 months),
- after curettage of the uterus (about two weeks).
What is douching and how to douch properly?
Douching - what is it? This is the intentional introduction of various solutions into the vagina. A pharmacy rubber bulb with a tip, a special syringe are usually used for it, an Esmarch mug can be used for irrigation, and some women also use disposable 20 cubic syringes without a needle for douching. So how to do douching?
Basic Douching Basics
- Water. Water for dilution of the solution should be warm, not cold and in no case not hot.
- The term of treatment. 3-5 days, maximum 7, otherwise you can “wash” everything until absolutely sterile, as well as prolonged douching promotes desquamation of vaginal epithelial cells with glycogen, which can slow down the restoration of normal microflora.
- The duration of the procedure. Douching time is usually 10-15 minutes.
- Frequency of douching. Typically, the gynecologist indicates a clear recommendation for douching. A common scheme - at the beginning, douching is done 2 times a day in the morning and in the evening, when improvement comes - only in the evening.
- Do not let the liquid come under pressure. If the liquid comes under strong pressure, it can more easily penetrate beyond the cervix, which is fraught with the occurrence of inflammatory processes in women. Water flow is easier to control if using Esmarch’s mug (irrigator) - this is a bottle, plastic tube and tip, but not a syringe, in which the tip is connected directly to the bulb. If you use a syringe, then the container should be compressed, and the liquid will still go under pressure. But in Esmarch's circle, the flow pressure can be controlled by slightly lowering or raising the rubber vessel.
- Processing syringes. After each procedure, the tip, pear, Esmarch mug should be thoroughly rinsed, and before each use, the tip should also be boiled for 1-2 minutes.
- Use attachments for this purpose only.. If you started using a pear, syringe or other device for this procedure, never use it later for an enema or microclyster, it should only be used for douching. If you are using a disposable syringe without a needle, do not reuse it.
- be careful. The procedure should be carried out slowly, carefully, carefully. Introducing the tip, you can not make significant effort. The procedure should not cause pain, if it hurts, then you should wait a bit and try to relax. With sudden, rapid movements, there is a risk of damage to the walls of the vagina or bladder.
- Comfortable posture. It is more convenient to do douching - lying in the bathroom, laying his feet on the edges of the bathroom. You can also make douching while sitting on a stool, while raising a filled mug slightly higher than the waist. In this case, the douching solution will pour in and pour out of the vagina under the influence of only gravity and the fluid will not be able to get into the cervix.
- Preparation of solutions for douching. When preparing solutions, the exact proportions of the dilution of chemical compounds such as boric acid, potassium permanganate, soda, hydrogen peroxide should be observed, since exceeding the permissible concentration causes burns to the vaginal mucosa, which only worsens the condition. When using infusions from medicinal herbs, such as oak bark, celandine, chamomile (pharmacy, medicinal properties), calendula, tea tree, wormwood, sage, yarrow, eucalyptus, St. John's wort, succession, nettle, bay leaf, pine forest, decoctions and use infusions immediately after their readiness.
Can douching be done at all?
You can not use douching for the so-called "vaginal cleansing", getting rid of secretions. The female body cannot be "dirty." Some women often douche enough to seem to remove unnecessary discharge. This is not only not advisable, but also not safe.
The human body, and the vagina in particular, has the ability to cleanse itself, the viscous protective secretion secreted by the mucous membrane of the vagina is self-removing, and is a natural cleanser. Therefore, to maintain the microbiological purity of the vagina, no additional actions are required from a woman, except for a daily shower, washing.
If there are no unpleasant sensations, such as burning, itching in the vagina, unpleasant odor, then preventive douching should not be practiced. In this case, it is necessary to determine the cause of the discomfort that appears, most often it is infection, bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, etc., which is impossible to determine without a specialist and specific tests. Therefore, self-medication in the form of douching without a thorough diagnosis is not advisable.
When you can not douche
- You can not douche just to cleanse the vagina from secretions.
- You can not start independent douching without the advice of a gynecologist, without specifying the causes of any discomfort, self-medication can only worsen the situation.
- You can not douche on the eve of a visit to the gynecologist, since the results of the tests will turn out to be unreliable.
- In acute inflammatory processes of the female genital organs - acute adnexitis (see inflammation of the appendages - symptoms and treatment), endometritis can not be douched.
- During periods when women are menstruating, during pregnancy, 40 days after giving birth, the period after abortion is the time when douching is contraindicated.
Frequent douching is not safe
- Frequent douching flushes out a natural protective lubricant, changes the pH, disrupts the microflora in the vagina, contributing to the rapid reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms, in terms of destructive power this is equivalent to the uncontrolled use of systemic antibiotics.
- Also, constant douching increases the risk of allergic reactions.
- From frequent douching, the risk of injuring the bladder, cervix, and irritation of the walls of the vagina increases.
- Numerous studies conducted by international gynecological associations have found that frequent douching is associated with an increase in the development of various inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs, such as:
- bacterial vaginitis
since excessive washing can free the cervix from the protective cork, dissolving it, various infections quickly pass through the cervix into the uterine cavity. According to the results of these studies, 70% of women suffering from chronic diseases of the reproductive system had a habit of douching once a week.
Douching during pregnancy
Doctors obstetrician-gynecologists categorically prohibit douching during pregnancy, for the following reasons:
- During pregnancy, the number of blood vessels on the inner surface of the uterus increases; accordingly, the risk of air entering through the cervical canal increases during the douching procedure.
- Douching can deliver chemicals to the fetus that can have a negative effect on the growing body, and the risk of damage to the amniotic membrane also increases.
- The risk of thrush - vaginal candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis (discharge with the smell of fish) and other vaginal infections due to douching during pregnancy is very high and this can trigger the transmission of the infection from mother to fetus, which increases the likelihood of premature birth and other pregnancy pathologies.
Is douching after the act a contraceptive and protection against STD infections?
Many women believe that douching after sex with various acids helps protect against unwanted pregnancy. Neither apple cider vinegar, nor citric acid and juice, nor mineral water, nor salt and soda are effective contraceptives. Douching can not prevent pregnancy. Even if a woman rushes to rinse the vagina immediately after sexual intercourse, at this time part of the sperm will already penetrate the uterus, this is a very fast process, which will not be able to get ahead.
As for douching as protection against sexually transmitted infections, this is also an unreliable means. If a woman has had unprotected sex with a dubious partner, then douching can be carried out with a solution of the antiseptics Miramistin and Chlorhexidine. However, there are no convincing studies confirming 100% prevention of STIs by such douching. You should also not abuse this method of preventing sexual infections, you can get a burn of the vaginal mucosa.
This emergency procedure, of course, is best done, but no later than two hours after contact. To do this, you need to conduct a thorough toilet of the genitals and douche with miramestin for 15 minutes using 10 ml of solution. Moreover, after an hour, this procedure must be repeated. If after this measure you still have doubts, unusual discharge or discomfort appears, do not postpone the visit to the doctor. The best prevention of any genital infections and highly effective barrier contraceptives are internationally recognized. quality condoms.
Douching for inflammation and genital infections
As monotherapy, douching in the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs is clearly ineffective, since any gynecological diseases require complex therapy, both local and systemic. It is foolish to hope to cure serious genital infections or inflammatory processes only by douching.
For many women, such a method of treatment as douching seems very affordable and cheap, a good alternative to antibiotics, without which it is impossible to treat genital infections. However, the causative agents of chlamydia, ureaplasmosis, mycoplasmosis, trichomoniasis can be located intracellularly, deep in the tissues of the human body, therefore, external exposure to healing fluids is practically not effective. In addition, changing the normal composition of the vaginal microflora during douching increases the risk of further progression of these diseases.
There are special medicines for douching with antiseptic, antimicrobial properties, such as Miramistin, Chlorophyllipt, Vagotil. Despite the fact that these are concentrated antimicrobial solutions, using only these funds, it is impossible to cure a single disease of the female genital area. They are used to prevent infection after accidental unprotected intercourse, only as soon as possible after coitus, then the risk of contracting an STI is reduced by 70%. However, it is impossible to apply such a method of protection against infection as douching on an ongoing basis.
Douching with endometriosis
A similar situation with endometriosis, this disease also depends on the action of female sex hormones and treatment of endometriosis should be aimed at normalizing the hormonal status of women. There is no convincing evidence of the effect of douching with medicinal herbs for endometriosis, in addition, there is an assumption that, on the contrary, douching helps to spread endometrial cells outside the uterus, which forms the foci of endometriosis.
Douching during, after menstruation
It is strictly forbidden to douche during menstruation. Despite the fact that some women consider it logical to carry out a special cleaning of the vagina after or during menstruation, it is dangerous to do this. During menstruation, the cervix is ajar and the risk of infection entering the uterus increases significantly.
Douching with soda for conception is unreasonable
Normal microflora of the vagina creates the most favorable environment for the successful promotion of sperm, and douching with baking soda from a scientific, and from a practical point of view, can not contribute to the speedy onset of pregnancy. Moreover, washing out the optimal environment for conception only reduces the chances of successful fertilization.
В каких случаях можно делать спринцевание?
Делать спринцевание необходимо в случаях диагностирования:
- Воспаления шейки матки,
- Эрозии шейки матки,
- Нарушении микрофлоры,
- Вульвовагинита (у девочек, проводится исключительно врачом).
Спринцевание еще применяется как средство гигиены. However, it is not advisable to do douching often. As a result, the natural microflora of the vagina is disturbed.
How to douche properly at home: general principles
How to douche at home? Douching at home is done using a pear, syringe or Esmarch mug, the latter is most convenient. It is necessary to keep her centimeters 10 - 15 above the pelvis.
Douche with a douche, squatting, having typed in a solution, insert the tip into the vagina and slowly push on a rubber ball until the solution is over.
Sowing procedure is carried out sitting on the toilet or lying on his back in the bath. To whom it is more convenient.
The basic principles of douching include:
- Purity. The tip used in the process must first be boiled for five minutes. If douched by a pear, then it is unacceptable if she was given an enema. It is advisable to wear sterile gloves on your hands.
- Solution temperature. It should not be lower than room temperature and not higher than body temperature. If there is a need to dilute the solution with water, then the water should be boiled, cooled, and in no way should you use tap water. It is better to use water for injection.
- Pressure level. The solution should flow slowly. With strong injection, inflammation of the cervical tissue can be obtained.
- Treatment duration. It is determined by a doctor. But based on practice, no more than 5 consecutive days are allowed.
- Duration of one procedure. At the same time, you can spend about 3 introductions. In time it takes no more than 10 minutes. As a rule, douching is performed once a day. But sometimes a doctor may be recommended twice.
- The solution should be freshly prepared.. Solids should be diluted, filtered and then poured into the instrument. Herbs must be brewed and insisted before use. Using yesterday's solution is prohibited.
Douching with thrush
In this case, the main purpose of douching is to relieve inflammation with an astringent effect. Douching with thrush at home can be done with chlorhexidine, furatsilina, myromistin.
If we talk about folk methods, then use herbs such as a string, chamomile, calendula.
Official medicine is an opponent of douching with thrush. As:
- Possible inflammation of the uterus, appendages, ovaries,
- The microflora is disturbed, pathogenic microorganisms increase,
- All solutions have one or another contraindication.
But everyone decides for himself which treatment method to use.
Douching with chlorhexidine is quite convenient even without the use of a special syringe. A ready-made solution is already sold in the pharmacy, the bottle has a long spout, with which you can perform manipulations. Chlorhekidin disinfects, kills microbes, relieves inflammation. For the procedure, one third of the bottle is enough. But with frequent use, dryness appears, microflora is disturbed, and various diseases can develop as a consequence. In addition, chlorhexidine is a potential allergen for many people.
Douching with chamomile is well used in the prevention of thrush, accompanied by cheesy discharge. Chamomile has a good antibacterial effect. To prepare the solution, you need to take three teaspoons of chopped herbs to brew with one liter of boiling water. Insist about 30 - 40 minutes, cool and strain. There should not be any grass particles in the solution. It also takes place to be douching with chamomile for inflammation.
The method is suitable for pregnant women
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to treat thrush. For the procedure, one teaspoon of 3% peroxide is diluted in 200 grams of boiled cooled water. You can douche twice a day.
Douching with miramistin is quite acceptable, both in case of candidiasis and inflammation. 10 - 15 ml. solution are able to overcome various pathogenic microorganisms. Douching should be about 5 days, twice a day. It is not forbidden to apply to pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Douching with cystitis
The treatment of cystitis includes an extensive therapy, including douching, in order to wash away the bacteria.
The treatment of cystitis at home, by means of douching, is based on the use of soda (due to its alkaline composition). For one liter of boiled water - 2 tablespoons of soda. Cool the solution and douche. The procedure is recommended to be carried out 3 times a day, for four days. For prevention, you can wash yourself with such a solution. Can be used by pregnant women.
With thrush, inflammation, cystitis, erosion, you can douche with calendula. It has bactericidal, regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties. Pour a teaspoon of dried flowers 300 gr. boiling water. Cool, strain. Use 2 times a day.
You can also douche with a solution of manganese. Making a strong solution is not advisable. Since you can bring on a dry vagina. Perform the procedure once a day. Pregnant not recommended.
Contraindications and side effects
Any douching is an intervention in the natural microflora of the vagina. Therefore, such a procedure should be carried out only after the advice of the doctor, and the topic of drugs that he will advise.
- During critical days, douching is basically unacceptable.
- Women over 40 years old, douching is also contraindicated.
- For pregnant and lactating women, douching can only be done as a last resort. Douching can lead to miscarriage or premature birth.
- Before going to the doctor, douching is also not necessary.
Frequent douching can lead to dryness in the vagina, to the development of pathogenic microorganisms, an increase in the development of allergic reactions. Getting pregnant with frequent douching is almost impossible.
Douching at home, the procedure is quite real and has the right to life. But only on condition that she was appointed a doctor. It should be carried out carefully, slowly. With strict observance of the time and number of days.
Be sure to consider the presence of allergies and individual intolerance.
It is advisable for pregnant women not to carry out such a procedure at all.
Without prior consultation and a doctor’s examination, prescribing douching for yourself is dangerous to your health.
Douching at home
Ordinary douching is easy to hold at home. Do not rely on your own feelings, it is better to buy a thermometer for water. If the solution is too cold, vaginal muscle cramps are possible.
Syringing with unboiled water is unacceptable. To prepare the solution, water (settled tap water or bottled) must be boiled, and then cooled to the desired temperature. For douching, you need 150–250 ml of liquid. Mineral water (including in resorts) is used to irrigate the walls of the vagina exclusively for the purpose of the gynecologist.
At home, it is easier to use a syringe, but Esmarch’s mug is less traumatic. You can not use a syringe or Esmarch's mug, which was used as an enema. Before douching, the plastic tip must be thoroughly washed. For disinfection, it is dipped in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
Some women prefer to douche with disposable syringes without a needle. After irrigation, the syringe is discarded; it cannot be reused.
Douching with Esmarch's mug
It is most convenient to carry out the lying procedure in the bathroom, bending your legs and laying them on the sides. The mug is hung so that it is located at a height of 75-100 cm above the hips. The faucet is slightly opened to allow air to escape from the hose and not enter the genital tract. Then the valve is closed, the tip is inserted into the vagina to a depth of 5 cm and the valve is slightly opened. The solution should leak out slowly and evenly. When the fluid fully enters, you should contract the muscles of the vagina for a second. After the procedure, you need to lower your legs, relax and lie down for 15-20 minutes.
Another option is douching over the toilet or just over the pelvis. A woman should spread her legs, bend them at the knees and lean forward slightly. After the procedure, you need to get dressed and lie down for 15-20 minutes.
Douching as a way of contraception
Douching with vinegar or lemon juice does not protect against pregnancy. Sperm cells die in an acidic environment, but they move too quickly. To wash them from the vagina, it is necessary to do douching within one and a half minutes after intercourse. It is clear that this is technically impossible.
Douching for conception
It is believed that douching with soda promotes conception. This is only true if a woman cannot become pregnant due to the increased acidity of the vaginal environment. Soda alkalizes, so the chances of sperm survival and subsequent fertilization of the egg increase slightly.
Home-made douching with a soda solution is usually done from the 11th to the 18th day of the menstrual cycle and only as directed by the doctor. Half a teaspoon of soda is quenched in 50–70 ml of boiling water, mixed thoroughly so that not a single grain remains and topped up to 250 ml with cool water. The procedure is carried out half an hour before intercourse.
Douching for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
Douching after unprotected intercourse reduces the likelihood of contracting sexually transmitted infections. The sooner after intercourse irrigation is performed, the better (optimally - within an hour after intercourse).
For the prevention of STDs use:
Preparations are sold in special bottles of 100 g, equipped with pipettes and ready for douching. However, none of these tools gives an absolute guarantee if a man is infected. Therefore, after 3-4 weeks after unprotected sexual contact with an unfamiliar man, a woman should contact a dermatovenerologist and take tests.
Douching for various diseases
The most common douching products:
- Soda - with thrush (candidiasis) and vaginal dysbiosis. A solution for douching is prepared in the same way as for conception. The course is 5-7 days.
- Miramistin is a pharmacy drug with antibacterial and antifungal effects. It is prescribed for thrush.
- Chlorhexidine is a ready-to-use pharmacy drug. It is prescribed for bacterial vaginosis, colpitis, used in pediatric gynecology.
- Hydrogen peroxide is an antibacterial agent that relieves itching and burning with thrush. The substance decomposes very quickly in the light and in hot water, so the solution must be used immediately after preparation. Proportions: 30 g of peroxide (3%) per 90 g of water.
- Potassium permanganate is an effective antiseptic, but dries the mucosa. For douching, 0.2 g of potassium permanganate is dissolved in 200 g of water (the liquid should be pale pink).
- Chamomile - against thrush. A tablespoon of dry grass is brewed in 300 g of water: boil for 5 minutes or insist in a thermos for 3-4 hours, then filter.
- Oak bark - against thrush. 300 g of water is poured into a full teaspoon and boiled for half an hour. Douching with a mixture of decoctions of chamomile and oak bark in a ratio of 1: 1 is allowed.
- Celandine is an antibacterial, but poisonous remedy that must be used with extreme caution. Helps with thrush, cervical erosion and myoma. It is best to add a pinch of dry grass to a decoction of chamomile or nettle.
- Nettle is a blood purifier. With cervical erosion, one tablespoon of grass is brewed in 300 g of water.
- Honey is a wound healing and regenerating agent. A teaspoon of honey is added to the cooled broth of herbs during cervical erosion and myoma.
- Aloe juice - used for cervical erosion. A teaspoon of juice is added to the cooled herbal broth or dissolved in 200 g of warm boiled water.
Douching is not a hygienic, but a medical procedure. If itching, burning, suspicious discharge from the vagina occurs, you should definitely consult a doctor. Self-medication in such cases can seriously harm your health.
Sincerely, Elena Minakova is a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist.