A recent study has indicated that douching and vaginal washing could be a major cause of cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, STDs, HIV as well as major fertility problems. Based on the findings of the study, doctors are now urging women not to douche or practice vaginal washing. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also strongly discourage the frequent practice.
The study done in America by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that found millions of US women currently practice douching routinely. The researchers warn this practice is putting the women at a very high risk of contracting ovarian cancer symptoms.
Misconception Regarding Douching
There is a lot of misconceptions surrounding douching and vaginal washing. Most women believe that these practices are healthy and should be practiced often. They tend to believe that they should douche to be clean before and after sex. However, the truth is that you don’t need to clean your vagina as they clean themselves naturally.
According to doctors, squirting cleansers and other vaginal washes affect nature’s balance negatively. When you douche, you are exposing yourself to hormonal imbalance which is likely to cause an increased growth of harmful bacteria. This then causes yeast infections. When the bacteria is too much in the body and can climb up into your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes causing infections and risk of cancer.
According to statistics, about 20,000 ovarian cancer cases are detected in US women each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put annual deaths from Ovarian cancer at about 14,500. Ovarian cancer is referred to as “the silent killer” because symptoms hardly ever appear until the disease has gotten really bad and is at the untreatable stage.
Unfortunately, many women are still douching regularly in the belief that if the douching products were unsafe, they wouldn’t be on sale. The disappointing fact is that douching products are not under safety regulation like drugs are and therefore there’s no way to get them off the shelves. Douching products are termed as cosmetics and therefore not required by the US Food and Drug Administration to be tested for safety.
The Study Findings
The researchers involved over 41,000 women living across the US and Puerto Rico aged between 35 and 74 years, in their study. They followed the participants for one year from 2003 to 2014 while monitoring their health and douching habits.
The researchers ensured that all the participants chosen for the study were breast and ovarian cancer free before the study commenced. Unfortunately, as the study continued, a good number of the women were later found to have developed breast cancer.
According to the research findings available in the Epidemiology journal, women who revealed that they were douching the year before the study started, had almost twice the risk of having ovarian cancer.
Interestingly, the participants who didn’t have a history of breast cancer had the highest risk of getting ovarian cancer symptoms because of douching. Clarice Weinberg, the senior author said that there were a number of health reasons why douching is bad, has no health benefit at all and should not be encouraged.
While encouraging cancer and STD testing is important in order to catch any infection early and offer immediate treatment, it’s also vital that every woman takes care of herself and avoid any risky practices, such as douching, that may put them at higher risk.