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What is douching and why do people do it?

Douching refers to using any kind of wipe or spray to "clean out" the vagina.  Douching is not recommended for the vagina because the vagina is a self-cleaning  organ. Discharge, a fluid that comes out of the vagina, is how the body naturally cleans itself.  Using wipes of other forms of douching can kill the healthy bacteria in the vagina, which can cause vaginal infections.  It can also cause any current infections in the vagina to spread.  Recommended vaginal hygiene is simply washing the vulva with mild, unscented soap and water.

If you are engaging in anal sex, douching involves rinsing the rectum with water (usually using a tool for this purpose). Douching before anal sex is considered a safe activity when performed hygienically. Research also shows that it can help prevent certain STIs. 

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