Is douching safe?
Many people believe that douching is harmful because it washes away the flora in the vagina. In fact, many physicians have stayed with the old feminine hygiene rule to not douche and recommend this to their patients.
In 2003, two doctors, Dr. Martens and Dr. Monif tried to set the record straight and published their findings about douching in the journal called Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology. In their study, they found that douching has little effect on the microbial flora.
Another physician, Dr. Mustaf, had previously proven that the vaginal bacteria counts after a vinegar and water douche were only temporarily decreased and these decreases did not lead to vaginosis or upset of the vaginal flora.
This is good news to women, because douching does leave a woman with the feeling of internal cleanness and freshness.
The Hydrogen Peroxide Douche
Besides the vinegar and water douche, there’s another way you can douche, and that’s with hydrogen peroxide. Researchers found that 89% of women with bacterial vaginosis had no fishy odor for three full months during the study. The method that they used in the study was a nightly douche with 2 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in water. They repeated this once daily for 7 days. It’s such a simple cure with such a simple and natural type of solution.
What’s the Alternative to Douching?
In fact, when you examine the current medical treatments prescribed by gynecologists, every one of them results in a high percentage of recurrent bacterial vaginosis.
Clindamycin and Flagyl are the two most commonly prescribed antibiotic treatments for bacterial vaginosis. Clindamycin is available as a vaginal suppository that is taken for three nights or for seven days as a vaginal cream. Because this antibiotic can cause serious diarrhea and possibly Clostridium infection in the intestines that becomes life-threatening, it should not be taken orally. These side effects do not occur in the cream or suppository forms.
Flagyl is also prescribed for bacterial vaginosis, at an oral dose of 500 mg twice daily for 7 days. This medication should not be taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Here’s the major problem with the treatments mentioned above: After each of these prescriptions were used for one week, the cure rate was 83% but a month later, 25% of those cured will have a recurrence. In studies that follow women’s cure rates even longer, the cure rates fall even lower.
There are other problems with these medications:
- Clindamycin will kill healthy Lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina.
- Flagyl gel isn’t clinically proven although the Lactobacillus bacteria remain intact.
- Clindamycin can damage condoms.
- Treatment can get pricey. Clindamycin vaginal suppository treatment is about $50 while the vaginal creams are up to $70. Flagyl taken by mouth is less than $20.
- Flagyl taken orally can cause nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.
- Women who combined probiotics capsules taken twice daily for 30 days along with oral Flagyl prescription medication had twice the cure rate as those who only received Flagyl by itself.
- Clindamycin cream treatment is associated with antibiotic resistance of the vaginal anaerobic bacteria in 53% of those who take it. The resistance lasted more than 90 days after treatment.
- When antibiotic resistance occurs from Clindamycin, the resistance usually includes the antibiotics erythromycin, clarithromycin and azithromycin. These are in a group of antibiotics called macrolides. The problem that occurs is that if a Group B Streptococcus bacterial infection occurs, these antibiotics won’t work, which can be a major issue in women during late pregnancy.