Vaginal douching among adolescent and young women: More challenges than progress

Academic Article


  • The practice of vaginal douching dates back centuries. Numerous studies have shown that douching is quite prevalent and often begins during adolescence. Motivation for the initiation and maintenance of this practice appears complex, and presents challenges to the intervention efforts. The practice of douching remains controversial. Douching has been implicated in numerous adverse reproductive health outcomes such as increased risk for pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, reduced fertility, and bacterial vaginosis. However, recent studies in developing countries have suggested that in certain circumstances, douching may actually be beneficial. We summarize key findings from the review of published literature and ongoing research, as well as highlight research challenges to our understanding of the role of vaginal douching in reproductive health.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Simpson T; Merchant J; Grimley DM; Kim Oh M
  • Start Page

  • 249
  • End Page

  • 255
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 4