Douching is a practice which squirts water or fluid in the vagina in order to clean it and has become very popular in recent years. However, according to scientists, the method doubles the risk of ovarian cancer.
Previous studies have linked the method to ectopic pregnancy, reduced fertility, yeast infections and pelvic inflammatory disease, and one study has even linked it to ovarian cancer. Joelle Brown, an epidemiology professor at the University of California, San Francisco, admits that the link between douching and ovarian cancer surprised her. “While most doctors and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommend that women do not douche, many women continue to douche because they falsely perceive douching to have positive health benefits, such as increased cleanliness.”
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading cancer killers in the world which is rarely detected in the early stages as it doesn’t show symptoms until it’s too late. In the USA alone, about 20 000 women are diagnosed with it every year, with 14 500 dying from the disease.
A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology has been following more than 41 000 women in the USA and Puerto Rico since 2003. The subjects had a sister with breast cancer, and had no traces of cancer when they entered the study. They were aged 35-74.
The results showed that there were 154 cases of ovarian cancer by 2014, and women who admitted to douching a year before the study had doubled the risk of ovarian cancer, which only strengthens the link between the method and disease. The link between douching and ovarian cancer was even stronger when the authors looked only at women who didn’t have breast-cancer genes in their family.
These studies show that you need to avoid douching and clean your vagina with warm water only.